Forestry Basics

How Do I Estimate My Woodlot Value?

The question is how do I apply the stumpages prices to estimate my woodlot value? As can be seen in any of the reports listed above, stumpage prices are listed in dollars per thousand board feet ($/MBF). Since stumpage value changes by species and is listed in $/MBF, the job comes down to making a tree list for your woodlot that records species, diameter (dbh) and sawlog height of each tree. Measuring diameter and sawlog height is covered in Lesson 2. We will start with an unrealistically small list of 5 trees in a woodlot (your’s will most likely be a much larger list). For each tree we will list the species, diameter (DBH) and number of 16-foot logs to the nearest one-half log:

Species DBH Logs
WO 18 1.5
RO 20 2.0
RO 22 2.5
BC 19 2.0
RM 20 2.0

WO = white oak
RO = red oak
BC = black cherry
RM = red maple


Using the board foot volume table on page 31 of the booklet “How to estimate the value of timber in your woodlot” by Dr. Harry V. Wiant, Jr. (LINIK), we can assign each tree in our list a corresponding tree volume estimate. For example, our 18-inch 1.5 log white oak has 132 board feet and the 20-inch 2.0 log red maple has 223 board feet. Completing the entry for each tree we get the following updated table:

Species DBH Logs BF Volume*
WO 18 1.5 132
RO 20 2.0 223
RO 22 2.5 344
BC 19 2.0 195
RM 20 2.0 223
Total 1,117    

* Doyle board foot volume, form class 78

Now to estimate value, we have to apply appropriate stumpage values (described previously) by species. We will use the stumpage values for Region 2 of West Virginia as reported by the Appalachian Hardwood Center for the 4th quarter of 2006 (Select AHC Resources link then click on Timber Market Report and select Quarter 4, 2006). Be sure to use the Doyle values! Since the prices are listed as $/MBF (dollars per 1,000 board feet) we will update our table with an MBF (divide volumes by 1,000) and $/MBF field:

Species DBH Logs BF Volume* MBF* $/MBF Value
WO 18 1.50 132 0.132 207 27.32
RO 20 2.00 223 0.223 216 48.17
RO 22 2.50 344 0.344 216 74.30
BC 19 2.00 195 0.195 543 105.89
RM 20 2.00 223 0.223 187 41.70
Total 1,117 1.117 297.38      

Based on our very simple example, our stumpage value of the five hardwoods in our list equals $297.38. Note that this value is for sound (not rotten) trees of average sale value. Tree with obvious rot would have to have their volume reduced to reflect the loss due to the amount of volume that is not sound. If trees are of above average grade, a slightly higher stumpage value could be used.

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