Scheduled timber harvests should be dictated based on both market conditions and the general growing condition of the stand to be harvested. As a timber manager, I feel it is imperative that the landowners have full knowledge of the exact timber volumes that are to be conveyed. Those areas of the property supporting adequate volumes of pine and hardwood timber that will be marked for sale in accordance with proper forest management practices. A selective sawtimber harvest consists of the removal of mature, diseased, forked and suppressed timber. Once timber marking activities have been completed, a timber bid prospectus will be prepared. The bid prospectus will detail the number of trees by forest product and diameter class to be conveyed.
When performing sawtimber sales, it is our policy for our estimated timber volumes to remain confidential, thus the bidder must make his own determination of the volumes being offered for sale. The bid will also denote the fact that we expect the purchaser to follow best management practices while conducting harvesting operations. The landowner will maintain the option of rejecting any and all bids provided the sale price does not meet expectations. In order to obtain the highest market price for the timber being sold, bid invitations will be mailed to the various wood using facilities and logging contractors that procure timber in the area in which the property is located. However, when deemed advantageous to the landowner, a negotiated sale can be a viable option. Muslow Forestry will either prepare the harvesting contract or assist the successful purchaser in the preparation of said contract. Once harvesting operations begin, they will be monitored for contract compliance.
A first thinning harvest operation in a pine plantation is one of the most important aspects of proper forest management. If not performed in a timely manner, the stand becomes subject to pine beetle infestation, disease, and growth reduction. Over the years, it has been our experience to select a highly qualified timber contractor that specializes in first thinning operations. With the mechanical equipment used today, a first thinning has to be designed to accommodate the size of the equipment that is used during the harvesting process. Predetermined corridors, or rows are required to accommodate this equipment. Once the rows have been removed, trees in between the rows are selected for harvest based on sound forest management practices. It is recommended that these first thinning sales be conducted on a pay-as-cut basis. Once the timber has been delivered to the mill, the landowner will be paid accordingly. We find that when selling pine pulpwood, this is more financially beneficial to the landowner.