Forum > Ask The Forester

Rotation age in the pnw

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quilbilly:
Talked to a Forester from local company that owns about 50k acres and he said they were going to a 38-40 year rotation. This is in site class 2-3 ground on the Olympic peninsula. Why are all of the big companies moving to shorter rotations and emphasizing small wood. BTW this company doesn't own a mill that they're trying  to supply, they are strictly forestland.

Ianab:
Economics.  From a financial point it's better to get a slightly smaller return earlier, which then gives you the $ to reinvest. Waiting twice as long for maybe twice the return isn't smart investing. 

Similar situation here on NZ, where pine is grown on a 25-30 year rotation. Sure you could grow higher value tree, but the long wait for  a return makes it a poor decision financially.

Iwawoodwork:
Back in the 1980s Weyco was giving us employees seminars about their changing cutting/growing cycles and about the change from board feet to cunits as a measurement for wood fiber,  They were telling us that they could actually get more fiber per acre on 40 year rotation  ???????????

Texas Ranger:
Southern pine rotation is 15 or less for the short turn around on the investment.

quilbilly:
I feel that it is less about total dollars and more about a quicker return on investment, if they waited 10+ years and kept the same growth rate they would be logging a much higher dollar tree. I think maybe the part about relatively poor soils was missed, this is not top notch growing ground. This isn't NZ or the South. Historically most wood here has been on a 60-70 year rotation.

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