Northeastern forests are generally regenerated from natural seeding rather than planting, and our forest management activities are geared toward fostering this regeneration with intermediate treatments to promote optimum growth on the desired species. These are called silvicultural treatments. Occasionally, planting does occur to meet some regeneration objectives.
Timbervest foresters and consultants always manage our forests to the highest standards of sustainable forestry and best management practices in the forests under our control.
Timber is sold to mills or to logging contractors in medium size timber sales on either a bid or pay as cut basis. Due to the high value of the species such as black cherry, sugar maple, red oak, and white pine, the timber to be sold is generally marked with paint to identify the trees to harvest (or in some cases, to leave) by our consulting foresters under the supervision of our regional forester. They are also measured to determine the volume/value expectation from the sale.
In the Northeast, we are members of professional forestry organizations and state forestry groups that promote sustainable forestry among many stakeholders.
The Southeast Region covers the Atlantic Coastal States from Virginia to Florida and the gulf coast state of Alabama. This part of the South has considerable variation in land forms, which can be divided into three fairly distinct physiographic regions. The Coastal Plain is a broad band of territory paralleling the seacoast from Virginia to Alabama. While there are many commercial species of hardwoods in river bottoms, the upland sites are known worldwide for fast growing southern yellow pine species. The Piedmont Region is a plateau that begins at the fall line, where the coastal rivers narrow, and ends at the Appalachian Mountains. This area is characterized by rolling hills frequently dissected by streams, where southern yellow pines are in abundance. The uplands comprise the mountainous regions of the South along the western borders of Virginia, North Carolina, and the northern borders of South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. Although portions of its topography is steep in nature, this area has many valuable hardwoods.
Although activities associated with hardwood timber management receive the most emphasis in the Appalachian Region, other miscellaneous practices are also important. Some properties include mineral assets that require limited management oversight for lease administration and site inspections. Hunting leases are a significant source of revenue and provide security against trespass abuses. In addition, as in all regions, a host of activities relating to administrative functions are handled on a periodic or day-to-day basis ranging from quarterly property valuations to invoice and stumpage receipt approvals.
The majority of Timbervest’s forestland in the Southeast Region is located in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont Regions where southern yellow pine dominate the uplands and a variety of hardwoods inhabit areas along drains and river bottoms. Timbervest manages the hardwood lands using natural regeneration techniques by relying on natural seeding and shelter wood. Our pine management strategy is to utilize state of the art silvicultural operations to establish and manage a diverse group of loblolly, slash, and longleaf pine timber stands to increase merchantable yield, while maintaining a healthy forest environment.
In the South, timber is usually sold directly to forest products mills or wood supplier/logging contractors on a bid or pay as cut basis. Due to the importance of opening up young mid-rotation pine plantations to increase merchantable yield, Timbervest pursues a strategy of timber marking all thinning sales to ensure the highest quality trees are left to grow into mature sawtimber. Final harvest sales are sold on a bid basis with retained economic interest, and following harvests are reforested with genetically improved pine seedlings.
In the Southeast Region, Timbervest foresters and consultants manage client forestland under the guidelines of the Tree Farm Program, which supports the concept of sustainable management. Sustainable forestry means managing our forests to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations. It includes practicing a land stewardship ethic which integrates the reforestation, managing, growing, nurturing, and harvesting of trees for useful products with the conservation of soil, air, and water quality, wildlife, and aesthetics.
Hardwood management is the focus of forestry practices in Timbervest’s Appalachian Region. Forestland holdings are mountainous with terrain ranging from flat and moderately sloping ridges to an increasing degree of steepness on side slopes, all of which are dissected by an extensive network of water drainages. Consequently, management prescriptions are heavily influenced by terrain and water quality issues. Advanced planning incorporating these factors is used in determining management directives and assuring that they are executed in both an environmentally and fiscally sound manner.
The Appalachian Region forests are comprised predominantly of a variety of hardwood tree species. Red and white oaks are most abundant, along with poplar, maples, hickory, ash, and smaller amounts of several other hardwoods. Some native pines are present in scattered locations throughout the Appalachian Region, as well as a limited amount of established pine plantations.
Management practices in the Appalachian Region address a number of issues. To assure activities are confined to the desired locations, boundary lines are established and permanently marked and maintained. Access to properties is assessed and provided for by improving or maintaining existing roads and, where needed, constructing new roads that will provide a road network to facilitate future management activities. Timber volume estimates are developed from timber inventories secured for each property. This data becomes the basis for the planning and scheduling of timber harvests.
The planning process for timber harvests continues with map preparations and site visits to define the recommended type of timber sale, and in most cases, to obtain new volume estimates specific to the sites proposed for harvest. Sale boundaries are delineated taking into account the identification and protection of environmentally sensitive areas, including streamside zones. Depending on the type of harvest prescribed, individual trees within the sale area are painted to designate them for cutting or, in other cases, trees may be marked to designate that they are not to be harvested. In either case, these thinned sale areas are designed to recoup value from the harvest of economically mature trees, with some less desirable trees included in the sale. The result is the opportunity for value added growth on the younger, more vigorous residual trees. On other selected areas, all trees may be designated for harvest when regenerating the site is deemed to be the most appropriate management objective. Establishment of the new forest can then be provided by natural hardwood regeneration from hardwood seed and sprouts with little additional investment needed, or the site may be converted to a pine site by planting pine seedlings. The latter case requires some additional investment in site preparation and hardwood sprout control measures. Pine plantations are less common in the Appalachian Region due to the more extreme site conditions and steeper terrain that is prevalent in many of the mountainous properties.
Prepared harvest areas are sold to buyers on either a bid or individually negotiated basis. When a successful buyer begins harvest operations, all aspects of the sale are monitored for contract compliance issues, including the adherence to Best Management Practices and environmental guidelines. Sale production is checked for correct scale volumes and payment. When completed, post harvest site reclamation work and road repairs are inspected for final approval.
The West Gulf region includes Mississippi, Louisiana, eastern Texas, southeast Oklahoma, and southern Arkansas. This is geographic region is considered “Southern Pine Country.” Pines are classified as softwood trees and are in abundance, whether in natural forests or plantations. There are also hardwoods, although commercially, they are secondary to softwoods.
Timbervest foresters and consultants manage our forests to the highest standards of sustainable forestry and Best Management Practices guidelines. Also, Timbervest foresters and consultants manage our forests under the guideline of the Tree Farm Program, which supports the concepts of sustainable forestry. In this program, reforestation, managing, growing, nurturing, and harvesting of trees for many products are integrated with conservation of soil, water, wildlife, and aesthetics.
Products made from southern yellow pines include paper and pulp (paper, cardboard, tissue), panels, (plywood and oriented strand board), lumber (2x4s, etc), and poles (utility poles). Products from hardwoods include paper, pallets, and railroad ties. Only a small volume of high end products like fine lumber or hardwood flooring comes from hardwoods in this region.
The land in this region is generally even, with few dramatic topography changes. The Coastal Plain is a broad band of land paralleling the coast; it is quite flat and can have very high growth rates. The “uplands” are more varied in terms of topography and can be slightly rolling, with some streams.
After a harvest, the forest is regenerated. Fast-growing, genetically improved pine seedlings are purchased from nurseries that have specialized seed orchards that produce the best trees. We use those seedlings along with state-of-the-art silvicultural operations to establish productive loblolly pine plantations. Also, slash pine and longleaf pine species are occasionally planted. Secondarily, natural pine stands can be regenerated by natural methods such as seed tree and shelter wood whereby existing trees are used as seed sources for the new generation of trees.
On a thinning harvest, the timber to be left behind is generally painted or marked by our consulting foresters under the supervision of the regional manager. This is because we want only the best trees left behind to grow forward into valuable sawtimber. This also delivers our value and volume expectations for a timber sale. We want high yields and returns, while maintaining a healthy forest environment.
Timber is usually sold directly to a paper mill, lumber mill, or logging contractor. Sales can be bid out or negotiated, and they can be pay-as-cut or occasionally lump sum. The payment method varies on what is best for that situation. Our consulting foresters supervise the logging on a day-to-day basis.
Some properties include mineral assets such as oil and gas, brine, or iron ore, the extraction of which requires separate management. Minerals can deliver significant revenue, along with that from hunting leases.