Many landowners have heard the term stumpage price but may not be sure about its meaning. Stumpage price refers to the price a timber buyer will offer landowners for standing trees. In general, sawtimber, which includes larger standing trees with a diameter over 10 inches suitable for making lumber or other structural products, will get a higher price than pulpwood size trees which are smaller standing trees less than 9 inches diameter.
Sawtimber stumpage price trends: On average, statewide pine sawtimber prices were $23.56/ton in the 4th quarter of 2019. Mixed hardwood sawtimber prices were $24.86/ton on average statewide in this quarter. See figure 1 on the next page for a graph of SC sawtimber prices.
Pulpwood stumpage price trends: On average, statewide pine pulpwood prices were $9.36/ton in the 4th quarter of 2019. Mixed hardwood pulpwood prices were $8.80/ton on average statewide in this quarter. See figure 2 on the next page for a graph of SC pulpwood prices.
Several factors impact the stumpage prices for both sawtimber and pulpwood. Those factors include the overall economy and housing market conditions, as well as, local environments such as accessibility, terrain, sale size, tree size and quality, and distance to the nearby mills. Managed timber stands that produce quality trees that are large, straight, and have clear logs (logs without knots or branches) generally get a higher price. That is because these logs can be used for lumber, veneer, or export products. So, properly managed trees that are in good health and condition would likely be of higher value than unmanaged trees. Trees that are blown down or broken during hurricanes or ice storms also have a residual value, but their value would be somewhat less than standing trees.
One common mistake some landowners make while selling their timber is to accept the first offer, without waiting for other offers. Competitive bidding by timber buyers tends to assure that fair market value is offered for your timber.
For more information, please refer to the SC Forestry Market Quarterly Updates Archive, https://www.clemson.edu/extension/timber-market/
Data credit: The sawtimber and pulpwood price data included in this newsletter are published with permission from TimberMart-South Athens, GA 30605 email email@example.com.
This article was originally featured in the Spring 2020 Version of CU in The Woods newsletter.
Puskar Khanal, Cooperative Extension, Forestry and Wildlife Specialist
Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer.
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