Timberland Associates, LLC
Bottomland Hardwood Forest Management

Bottomland hardwoods occur in the major and minor river bottoms, major creek bottoms, and occasionally,  the minor creek bottoms and lower slopes of upland drainages. When performing a timber cruise for inventory or timber appraisals, we recognize 3 types: 1) Bottomland Hardwood, well drained;   2) Bottomland Hardwood, poorly drained, and; 3) Cypress-Tupelo. These bottomland forest types contain 18 percent of all hardwood live tree volume (on just 9% of the forested acres) in Tennessee.

But, these bottomland hardwoods need our help. Because of past cutting practices that favored shade tolerant species (Red Maple, Bluebeech, Stiff and Rough-leaved Dogwood, Elm, ...) and altering the hydrology by stream channelization, the valuable oaks are decreasing in relative stocking. In Tennessee, that rate of decreased stocking ranges from 0.8 percent per year (Cherrybark Oak) to 1.8 percent per year (Water Oak).

There is some good news. A recent study of the forest resources in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley (LMAV)(from Cairo, IL to the Gulf Coast) shows that forested acreage is on the increase due to the planting of oak and loblolly pine on former ag land.
The report is available at: http://www.srs.fs.fed.us/pubs/gtr/gtr_srs177.pdf

Is it economically feasable to spend money, up-front, on silvicultural practices to improve oak stocking? Well, consider that on good sites the bottomland oaks are capable of growing 100 cubic feet per acre per year (>4 tons per acre per year), or more, and assume that an improvement cut or thinning could increase oak stocking from 30 to 50 percent. Therefore, this one operation could increase the return by $5 per acre per year (if the entire 4 tons per year was put-on oak species, the return would be $120 per year) and generate some current income for the landowner at the same time.

With current hardwood stumpage prices in Tennessee and Virginia higher than pine, we encourage landowners to take advantage of a NO COST inspection of their property and learn how the hardwood resource can provide wildlife habitat, protect water quality, plus earn a good financial return.

Contact us, or call Tom at 662 837-0381.
Bottomland Hardwood Forest Management, Hardwood Thinning, Bottomland Hardwood Improvement Cut
Economics of Bottomland Hardwood Silviculture