As hurricane season is in full swing, our area will likely see unfortunate damage to timber resources. If your timber investment is damaged by a hurricane or other weather event, you may be able to claim the loss for tax purposes. Land & Timber Management, Inc. is qualified to assist you with a timber damage assessment and appraisal in the event that you suffer a loss. In addition, storm damage can often yield further timber stand degradation and damage due to bugs and fire hazard. Please contact us today - the sooner we can take a look at the damage, the more accurate we can be and the faster we can get the remainder of your stand protected. Call our office at 850-668-8333.
Here at LTM we often hear the excuse from older landowners that they don’t plan to reforest (that is, plant trees) on land they just harvested because “Why would I? I won’t live to see those trees mature.” After wishing them a long and healthy life, we like to give the following three reasons for why they should consider planting, even in the off-chance that they head for greener pastures before the trees can be harvested.
It’s tough to spend the money on reforestation knowing that you might not be around to see the trees mature. But we think the reasons above make a compelling case for why it’s a good idea for your pocket, your land, and your community.
 “Working Forests Work” brochure: http://floridaforest.org/wp-content/uploads/WFW-ad-for-Fresh-From-FL.pdf
 University of Florida, IFAS: Stewardship Ecosystem Services Survey Project: http://www.sfrc.ufl.edu/CFEOR/docs/EcosystemServices.FloridaStewardshipReport.Jul2012.pdf
Land & Timber Management does more than forestry work. We are a TOTAL LAND MANAGEMENT company dedicated to helping our clients meet ALL of their goals for their properties. To that end, we provide a list of services in a category we call "Forest Landscaping." These services are available for the landowner that wants to increase the aesthetic beauty, accessibility, usability, and wildlife potential of his or her property.
Sometimes Google imagery captures our work in progress. Here are a few cool images from the last couple years that give a unique perspective of what we do.
Another year is behind us! Welcome to 2016 - here's to a healthy and prosperous new year. First, let's reflect on some of the most newsworthy articles and blog posts from 2015.
January: FORISK Provides Housing Starts Outlook
February: Timberland Investing Checklist
April: NYT Confirms Foley Land Up For Sale
October: FORISK Revises Housing Starts Outlook
November: Weyerhaeuser Announces Bid to Buy Plum Creek
December: Drone Owners Must Register with FAA
And one to start the year with: Southeastern Farmland Prices Seem Stable
2nd Quarter 2015 Southern timber stumpage prices showed slight declines over 1st Quarter performance in all but one product category: Hardwood sawtimber rose slightly quarter to quarter. Pine sawtimber, chip-n-saw, and pulpwood, and hardwood pulpwood dropped by a small percentage. Year-over-year performance was better for the higher product groups, with Pine and Hardwood sawtimber, and pine chip-n-saw showing small gains over a year ago. Pine and Hardwood pulpwood declined year-to-year, with Pine pulpwood stumpage highest in Florida this quarter at just over $14 per ton on average.
Looking forward, U.S. housing starts continue to show strong recovery, especially in the South. This trend is expected to continue as evidenced by strong upward performance of new building permits, and has historically correlated to demand for lumber, and therefore timber prices. We expect to see growth in the timber markets as housing continues to climb, barring any market correction.
Southern timberland real estate asking prices rose this quarter to just over $2,050 per acre on average. Tracts fewer than 1,000 acres continue to sell at a slight premium over larger tracts.
Bottom Line: We are still waiting for timber markets to respond to the ever-improving housing recovery. Volatile stock markets and global uncertainty continue to affect investor confidence. Even so, timber markets and land sale markets have held steady in general over the past year and continue to show a growth in demand for quality timberland properties.
For an in-depth analysis of your timberland property, or to discuss how timberland can improve your portfolio, please Contact Us today to discuss.
We find that many timberland owners aren't aware of all the various ways to earn income from their property besides timber harvests. LTM are experts in identifying as many ways to earn additional returns from your land as it will support. If you have never considered these options, call us today and let us discuss ways we can start putting your land to work for you.
LTM has been on top of the genetic advances for its entire 35-year history. We not only consider broad categorization, but we pay close attention to tree families and quality ratings, keeping track of intra-generational differences. Just within its line of Generation 3 seedlings, one of our vendors has 3 more levels of differentiation. More so, among these are also multiple ways for the seedling quality to be enhanced, such as open pollination, controlled pollination, and even cloning the best of the best trees. These options can easily seem overwhelming. That's why we're here. LTM has done the grunt work of staying current with the science and technology to make it easier for you to optimize your investment.
The annual tree-planting season is here. Below are some helpful tips on how to prepare, and what to expect and when.
1. Discuss all the options for your land in full with us, and have your property on a full-scale management plan. This sounds obvious, but we cannot stress enough how important it is to have an overarching plan for your property. Reforestation is just one small part of total land management, and is much less effective when done as a one-off, without taking into account a host of other factors. If you do not have a comprehensive management plan on file with us, talk to us today about developing one.
2. Read our primer on tree species and genetics [click here]. Tree seedlings have vastly improved in the past 20 years, and you may be surprised at just how many options you have, and how your investment will be affected by your choices. Then talk to us for an in-depth analysis of the choices for your land.
3. Don't put it off until next year! It's tempting to look at the cost of reforestation and decide that it can wait, but those costs will increase exponentially with time. Your cleared land isn't going to wait on your timing - it will re-sprout and grow into a veritable jungle within just a couple years. Costs to re-clear the land, control the competition, and get the site ready to plant once this happens will be significantly more than on land that has been recently clearcut. If you'd like to see a model of how waiting affects your costs, let us know and we can provide one.
What To Expect and When
Before any field work is done, you will need to have a discussion with your forester about your decision to reforest your land. We will walk through the options for your site, and show you financial models for the types of investment returns you can expect. We will then place an order to the seedling nursery for the trees that we have agreed to plant.
The field work starts with preparing the site for planting. This includes competition control through herbicide, and in some cases prescribed burning and mechanical site clearing (roller chopping, raking ramps, etc.). All of this work ensures that your seedlings will have a clean site on which to be planted, and will be able to grow uninhibited by other plants or weeds. During this time you will see the hardwoods, annuals, vines, and unwanted pine trees on the site die off to make way for your new plantation. All field work will be overseen by one of our staff to ensure a quality job and you will be kept up to date on the entire process.
When the site is fully prepared and the weather is right, we will schedule your planting. Your seedlings will be transported from the nursery on a refrigerated semi-trailer to your site. On site, our team of planters will begin putting trees in the ground at the density (trees-per-acre) that was agreed upon earlier in the year. The majority of our planting is done using v-blade tractors - one of the highest quality methods available. Watching these machines roll over your land leaving a wake of healthy seedlings is something to see - let us know if you would like to join us on site as we oversee the work. And once we're finished, sit back and admire your new investment.
The big winner is hardwood sawtimber, which shows a more than $6 jump year over year, or a nearly 24% increase. Hardwood pulpwood growth is strong as well with a 19% increase of its own. We are projecting that hardwood markets will continue to show increases in the near-term. If you have hardwood that you have considered harvesting, talk to us about timing your sale to take full advantage of the market movement.
Pine product year over year increases are still respectable: Sawtimber (+5%), Chip-n-saw (+4%), and Pulpwood (+4%). Florida and Georgia were the leaders in the southeast pine pulpwood markets, both with stumpage prices over $14/ton, and Florida nearing $15.
In other market news, housing starts and home improvement projects are still growing, but at a slower rate than expected earlier this year. Fuel prices dropped lower this quarter.
In real estate, average timberland transaction prices in the South were around $1,800/acre, well above the nationwide average of $1,475 and last year's south-wide average of $1,595. This may well be a time to consider divesting timber assets from your portfolio. If you would like to discuss, give us a call.
Source: Timber Mart-South, The Journal of Southern Timber Prices, 3rd Quarter 2014, Vol. 39, No. 3
LTM are professional forestry consultants with expertise in all aspects of timberland management and investment analysis.