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Standing wood value

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Hi All,


I have been offered about 23 acres of woodland, the land and standing timber (about 60% pine 40% native broad leaf). The pine was planted as a crop around 35 years ago, the broad leaves are older, but around the same height as 35 year old pine. To help offset the cost of the land I was looking to sell the timber and replant with 100% native broad leaves. As this is the first time I have done this I do not know if there is any value in doing this or who to approach? I was hoping you guys and girls might be able to give a bit of advice?


The timber is split into approx 5 acre segments with access tracks around all 4 sides. The site has direct access of a road. The site is near the Suffolk/Cambridgeshire boarder.


I hope the above gives sufficient information. I have also attached an image to give you an idea.






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I am sure the Forestry Commission will give you advice and send an officer to discuss options.  They may expect a full management plan to be drawn up, and bear in mind the value of 35 year old standing pines may be only £12 per ton or so.  I may be a little out of date but these will probably be logs suitable only for low grade fencing or just pulp, not proper milling.  And of course felling all the pines may cause all sorts of problems with the hardwoods - leaving them exposed to windthrow for example.  If this isn't your area of expertise I think some professional advice is essential.

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ditto above.


depending on whether the stand has enough potential, a thinning program may be best idea. As slack ma girdle says, removing half-way established conifers at this point will see no advantages, will likely just cost you money. If they are growing straight, look into thinning out some of the ugliest that are standing next to the straightest, nicest form ones, and your stand of trees will go up in value and be in demand in the next few decades.


anti conifer or conny bashing is an out of control trend that may be looked back at with embarrassment.

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Thanks for the replies all.


TBH I was hoping i could reap the benefits now and replant for my kids to reap the benefits again, sounds like that was a bit optimistic :$. I didn't realise there was an anticipated shortage. I always pass Thetford forest which is nearly 50,000 acres of mostly pine, it always seemed so abundant here :D.

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The upcoming shortage of commercial conifer with the lack of any meaningful planting going on is about the most common subject in all the forestry trade journals, magazines, confor messages, you name it. The FC at least in the south east are also involved in this policy, there are going to be plenty of scrubby broad-leaved woodlands around in the next decades, fewer woods of timber grade hardwood, and a decreasing number of straight timbered, conifer stands. We shall have to rely further on shrinking global supplies of 4x2's to build our structures, or get into building rustic hovels and benders with all our environmentally friendly (bendy) hardwood sticks. I wouldn't mind such a dwelling myself, but I think a lot of housewives and their fellas might be in for a shock...!


At best, if you have 35 yr old trees with an average stem diameter of say 25cm at breast height in your stand, you may reap a small amount by clearfelling 23 acres, if you were granted a felling licence to do so. However, to establish a new wood is not without cost, or if you only remove the conifers, either way a young hardwood plantation will not likely provide much to reap for your children, perhaps for your grandchildren? Unless we're talking cricket bat willows maybe. Firewood harvesting provides a small income, but on 23 acres it would be hundreds a year rather than thousands (especially if you are not going to do the work yourselves, but sell the timber standing).


I think Alastair Stirling is the FC woodland officer likely covering your area, you could call him if you get that far. 01223 773053/07748 336714. I'm not sure his stance on conifers etc, but you're forewarned anyway.


All the best.

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tbh, looking at the photograph of your pine I'd be exceptionally surprised if you got any money for it at all.... I'd imagine you'd have to pay to have someone take the pine away. I'd guess it's Scots Pine? From what I understand they are normally harvested at 100 plus years. Also harvesting 15 acres isn't really economic...


How much are they wanting for it? (don't say if you don't want to)

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It might be worth you looking through the management plan details on the Forestry Commission web site before you buy. When I did the management plan for my woodland it did help to focus your mind on what you want to do with the wood. Take a look here: https://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-9bmjwe I actually did my plan using the myForest site: https://sylva.org.uk/myforest/


The pines look like Scots to me as well and I have a few of similar age on my woodland. I quite like them as part of a mixed woodland and as has been said I would have thought anything you get for them would be eaten up by the costs of replanting and protecting new trees.


I don't know if there's a small scale forester near you who might be interested in taking some of the thinnings for firewood? I've not found it the easiest to process as my trees are fairly knotty but it seasons quickly.


If you can afford to buy the wood I'd own it for a year before deciding to do too much to it.

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