For any given piece of land or land base, a timber inventory is needed to understand the timber resources present and make decisions regarding management and present or future value. Timber inventory and appraisal is a technical activity. The purpose of the inventory, and the need for precision will determine the technique, sampling intensity, and audit level. The range of needed precision may range from a ball-park, off-the-cuff estimate on one extreme, to an absolute 100% count of every tree in the forest at the other extreme. Understanding of statistics is critical for proper layout, execution, and interpretation. Understanding of markets is critical for utilization. In general, if it is worth doing, and if decisions will be made based on the data, it is worth doing right. For proper inventory design, we need to know the purpose, the desired confidence interval, and the allowable margin of error. With this information and some preliminary plot data, we can design an inventory to meet the project or ownership goals.
With a quality inventory in hand, and an understanding of the species (loblolly, longleaf or slash pine; sweetgum, red oak, white oak, etc.) and product class breakdown (chips, pulpwood, chip-n-saw, sawtimber, poles, etc.)present, the merchantable timber can be appraised properly, assuming access to price information is available. Premerchantable timber can also be appraised using either establishment-plus-growth or discounted-cash-flow methodologies.
At DDFSI, we are committed to completing quality inventories for our clients, so that the best decisions can be made. If you need an inventory and appraisal, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to discussing your project.