“How numerous tons of wood are there on one acre of land?” irrespective of location, it’s one of the most typical questions foresters listen on an almost-daily basis, and it’s also one that’s challenging to appropriately define, together there is simply no absolute answer. Regardless of who asking, my go-to answer come this inquiry as a consulting forester has constantly been, “It different considerably.”

Consumers of wood raw materials want to recognize the answer to this question so they have the right to maximize efficiencies and also seek out the many affordable resources, and also timberland owners desire to know so castle can get a general estimate of how much their hardwood is worth. Like all resources, the law of supply and also demand cd driver the volume and value the timber.

At a an extremely high level, an acre of timber is an acre that timber. But local differences in species mix, growth rates, terrain and also a organize of other components oftentimes mean there is a significant disparity in the volume, and also therefore the value, of wood on an acre that land. For instance, we freshly published a blog write-up that analyzes the distinction in chip and pulpwood price trends in between the us South and also the Pacific Northwest.

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But in the US south specifically, the variable that has actually the single largest affect on the volume of wood per acre is the predominant types of tree on the land: pine tree vs. Hardwood.

When seafaring a stand of timber, the volume of organic hardwood can be the toughest factor to recognize due to large variations in the variety of trees every acre, the remarkable inconsistency in tree sizes and also the variance in quality based on the species. Even mixed was standing of timber (both pine and also hardwood) can have huge variations as result of the size of the trees, the density of trees, and the portion of the area the is spanned by pine vs. Hardwood.


Landowners in the US southern that actively manage the hardwood on their properties typically manage because that the development of pine—usually the slash and loblolly varieties. When this minimizes diversity and significantly boosts the capacity to accurately determine stand volume, over there is still plenty the variation because of a few important factors:

Forest Type: A plantation-style managed property has an ext fixed density across the stand, relying on the preferred spacing; a natural-style residential or commercial property is regenerated without actively planting trees, i beg your pardon oftentimes leads to a much greater density of tree and more variable spacing across the stand.Soil Quality: Lower-quality soils generally an outcome in slower tree growth, smaller sized tree size and also lower tree quality.Management Regimes: Tree spacing will contribute to separation, personal, instance tree growth and also timber top quality over the life of the stand. Density can be managed on a plantation-style stand, together the trees space planted in rows come improve access for timberland managers, and the rows result in higher tree density: 7’ x 10’ rows (trees planted every 7’ in rows that room spaced every 10’) = about 620 trees every acre, and also 10’ x 10’ = approximately 435 trees every acre.Silvicultural Applications: Mechanical or chemical site preparation, chemical release spray, prescribed burns, weed and also pest regulate management have the right to all an outcome in boosted survival rates and faster growth for planted jaw seedlings.Type the Harvest: Thinning vs. Clearcut: thinnings remove only a portion of the stand’s smaller trees to make an ext room because that the various other trees to flourish larger, and clearcuts remove every one of the tree on the stand. A pre-commercial thinning top top a natural timber stand will an outcome in greater variance in the variety of trees per acre at the time of a 2nd (commercial) thinning. Also, the total number of thinnings, volume harvested during each thinning, and the timing of each thinning in the complete growth bicycle will affect the as whole volume top top the stand.

When combining every one of the over factors, the is noticeable that countless influences add to the as whole volume of lumber on any given stand of lumber in the us South.

What go the Data Say?

It’s important to keep in mind that the size of the trees removed during thinnings and also clearcuts are fairly different. In general, the size of jaw logs fall into the complying with categories: trees that room 5”-7” diameter in ~ breast height (DBH) are considered “pulpwood;” logs that are 8”-11” are taken into consideration “chip-n-saw;” logs that are 12”+ in diameter are thought about “sawtimber.” as logs acquire larger, the per-ton worth of the trees increases; sawtimber that has actually a DBH the 18" is an ext valuable than 12" sawtimber, because that instance.

Harvest Type

smashville247.net’s transaction-based data indigenous actual lumber sales throughout the US southern over the critical year (7/17 - 6/18) helps us answer the larger question. Clearcut harvests will eliminate trees in all three categories listed above, vice versa, thinnings will remove only pulpwood and smaller logs that fall into the chip-n-saw category. Detailed data by harvest type, predominately native pine stands, demonstrate that:

Clearcut harvests generate around 80-105 lots of timber per acreAverage clearcut tons per acre: 87Thinning harvests generate in between 25-40 loads of wood per acreAverage thinning loads per acre: 32


Timberland Type

Timberland form also dram a far-ranging role in the complete tons every acre at harvest. Plantations typically maintain a greater volume every acre because they room harvested prior to growth starts to sluggish down substantially (35+ years old). On stands that are thinned and harvested in ~ a younger age, over there is much less mortality due to the fact that they experience less hardwood competition because of silvicultural prescriptions. Smashville247.net data native timberland type demonstrate that:

Average volume of herbal pine clearcut: 86 lots per acreAverage volume that plantation pine clearcut: 99 lots per acre

The complying with chart states the volume tendency for both natural and plantation pine.

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A trained forester is crucial to aid determine an accurate amount of lumber on an acre that timberland. In the follow-up rate to this blog post, I will certainly dig deeper right into this common question and also analyze actual lumber prices in conjunction with loads of timber per acre. Combine smashville247.net’s straight market pricing data and also harvest volume information will aid to highlight the genuine value of an acre of timber.