Thinning Sales

Thinnings in plantations and natural timber for a variety of goals.

We take great pride in our thinning jobs.  Marking is always done to predetermine which trees will be cut to insure professional selection.  We guarantee the quality of the job while getting the greatest possible price for the timber that is removed.

Thinning is when a percentage of the trees are cut to achieve a goal, or set of goals. These goals may include improving the health and vigor of the stand, increasing the percentage of trees that will grow into a more valuable product class such as sawtimber or poles, reducing the rate of disease, and/or reducing the susceptibility to pine beetle infestation. Management goals may also include objectives not directly related to timber management such as aesthetics, better quality range for livestock, or improved wildlife habitat.

In recent years, markets for smaller diameter trees have diminished while demand for larger trees has risen. Smaller trees in the Southeast, while they are also used to produce oriented strand board (OSB) and mulch, are used primarily to make pulp and paper, and are generally classified as pulpwood trees. Larger trees are used to make a variety of products such as lumber, plywood, and poles. There can also be great variations within these product classes due to size and quality – otherwise referred to as “grade”. For example: a large tree of good grade will produce more high quality lumber than the same volume of smaller trees of low grade.

Pine pulpwood stumpage prices are about half of what they were ten years ago while prices for larger trees have increased due to a high demand for lumber and other solid wood products. This means that having a high percentage of larger diameter trees at time of harvest has become a critical part of successful management plans. Modern thinning methods present a management option which allows us to reduce the number of small diameter trees while keeping most of the larger, better quality trees. The residual trees can be grown a few more years into a stand consisted mostly of highly valuable products.

During thinning operations, trees infected with disease are removed as well as the smaller, suppressed trees. This increases the overall health and vigor of the stand. The susceptibility to beetle infestation becomes greatly reduced as well. In years of extreme drought, trees compete for water and become stressed, which may lead to severe beetle infestation. Healthy stands are much less likely to suffer during these dry periods. Research has also shown that healthy stands may also be more resistant to the spreading of disease.

Very often, thinning can improve the aesthetics of a timber property. It looks better. It becomes more open and you can see. If it is burned every one to three years, it will stay open and attain a grassy understory look