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Forestry

Cost for Common Forestry Practices in the South*

Table 1. below summarizes average cost data for nine common forestry practices in the U.S. South since 2002.  Costs were derived from a survey of private forest companies, public agencies, and forestry consultants located across the southeastern United States.  This survey has been completed every two years since 1982, and provides cost trend data for southern forestry practices

While the results here should provide a reasonable representation of cost trends for various forestry practices, remember that actual costs for forestry practices on your land will vary from those reported here due to a number of factors.  For example, local availability of vendors and the size of area to be treated by a certain practice may influence costs.  A good rule of thumb is treating larger areas generally costs slightly less on a per acre basis than the same treatment on smaller acreages

More detailed cost information on specific forestry practices can be obtained by requesting a reprint of Costs and Costs Trends for Forestry Practices in the South, by Rebecca J. Barlow and William Levendis in the September/October 2015 issue of Forest Landowner, www.forestlandowners.com.

Table 1.  Costs per acre of major forestry practices in the south from 2002 to 2014, in US dollars as adapted from Costs and Costs Trends for Forestry Practices in the South, by Rebecca J. Barlow and William Levendis in the September/October 2015 issue of Forest Landowner.  All costs are in dollars per acre except for planting costs which are reported as dollars per seedling planted.

Survey Year
Forestry Practice
2002
2004
2006
2008
2010
2012
2014
Prescribed burning
14.41
21.08
24.94
29.31
25.79
32.42
18.18
Removing undesirable trees (chemically)
70.18
69.45
79.41
48.82
47.68
55.12
29.89
Timber cruising
5.40
3.32
5.23
6.28
6.56
13.20
2.75
Marking trees for harvesting
65.09
14.62
58.26
86.99
48.40
43.48
29.64
Planting by hand
0.0800
0.0668
0.0863
0.1079
0.1187
0.1144
0.1122
Planting by machine
0.1100
0.1162
0.1168
0.1386
0.1469
0.2411
0.1400
Precommercial thinning
102.10
74.98
58.89
80.18
166.66
50.27
*
Fertilization
56.04
50.08
77.98
110.28
62.79
86.33
79.49

*Too few responses to report

**Prepared by Dr. Becky Barlow, Alabama Extension, Forestry Extension Specialist and Associate Professor, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.