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Two Trees Forestry
167 Main St.
P.O. Box 356
Winthrop, ME 04364
V: (207) 377-7196
F: (207) 377-7198 harold@twotreesforestry.com

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Wednesday, October 22 2014

October 2014: hardwood prices continue to rise

Another wet summer was followed by a nearly perfect fall, with little rain, seasonal temperatures, and beautiful colors. A dominant theme also appears to be that hardwood prices continue to ramp up, most notably for oak sawlogs/veneer and hardwood pulp/firewood. No one seems to be able to procure enough firewood and the same seems to be true of pulpwood. Historically, when the weather is this good the pulpmills have slowed down purchases by putting wood suppliers on limited quotas, though both last winter and this fall the gates were/are wide open. As more low-grade hardwood is marketed as firewood the average price has climbed. The combination of residential firewood customers willing to pay to secure a scarce commodity and the redirection of pulpwood quality wood to firewood markets has led the run-up in the average hardwood stumpage.

Good quality pine logs have also been in high demand, though pine log stumpage has remained somewhat flat.

Finally, it remains to be seen how the closing of the Bucksport and Old Town pulpmills will impact mid-Maine stumpage and pulpwood demand. However, the shuttering of those Penobscot River mills will no doubt send more eastern Maine wood westward to Madison, Hinckley, and even mills in Jay and Rumford. As well, Bucksport’s demise will for all intents and purposes end the former price premium that spruce/fir pulpwood used to gain. I’ve seen such pulpwood stumpage slowly eroded to the point where, in our part of Maine it is now generally sold as mixed softwood pulpwood, which gains no more stumpage for the landowners than pine pulpwood.

Other news

Though the competitive ride came up slightly short of our goal, client landowners Bambi Jones and Tracy Moskovitz were recognized as the northeastern U. S. Tree Farmer of the Year, one of only four national finalists. Last month, SWOAM and the Maine Tree Farm Committee feted the couple with a full day of demonstrations, speakers, and tours at Bambi and Tracy’s Jefferson woodlot. Congratulations for the huge educational impact that your efforts have had in the mid-coast and surrounding areas.