How to Successfully Invest in a Pine Plantation
The timber industry is an integral part of the economy of the Deep South and for good reason. If you were to look outside right now, there are probably trees within your line of sight, and at least a good portion of those trees are the longleaf pine, by far the most prevalent tree in the South.
Pine plantations help sustain the thousands of jobs and billions of dollars the timber industry produces yearly. With the right approach, investing in a pine plantation can be an extremely profitable endeavor.
Where to Start
A profitable pine plantation starts with finding profitable soil. Look for a piece of property that is located in an area that has an established timber market and infrastructure. Then when you have a list of several properties, start reviewing their county’s soil maps.
You can learn a lot about the soil of a property from its site index. The site index measures the land’s ability to produce various types of trees and will help you gauge the fertility of the property you are evaluating.
Choosing a Profitable Property
After you have found a few properties with fertile soil, evaluate the remaining properties on their manageability for harvesting. Once it is time to harvest your trees, loggers will need to be able to enter and exit your property with ease. Find a property that has an established road infrastructure and, where possible, one that will hold up better in wet conditions.
You should also consider looking for a property that is within 30 miles of a saw and/or pulp mill. Finding a property that has established roads, handles water well, and is nearby a mill will all factor into the price you are charged from your logging crew. The more obstacles they have to overcome, the higher price they will charge you.
Investing in Your Pine Plantation
Have a plan for your pine plantation. Where possible, stagger your fields and ages of your trees to establish a continual flow of product. Consult with a local land expert to learn the type of market your property is in. This will play a key role in determining what types of seeds you use and when you harvest. For example, if your pine plantation is in a pulp-driven market, you will want to plant containerized seedlings known for their rapid growth and/or rotations that are mass pollinated.
When it comes to revenue, pine plantations are battle-tested and proven profitable. Depending on the market, you can expect an average return on your investment of at least 10%. However, pine plantations are a long-term investment by nature, so owners should not expect to see immediate returns.
Finding Help to Get Your Pine Plantation Started
There are a plethora of variables that must be considered when investing in a pine plantation. If you are new to the timberland investment market, you should seek out expert help to guide you every step of the way.
The Tutt Land Company team has more combined experience than any of our competitors. Our staff is composed of registered foresters, land managers, and wildlife experts that help us thoroughly evaluate every piece of land we manage. If you are interested in investing in pine plantations and need reliable expertise, contact us today!