A timber appraisal is a model of a hypothetical timber harvest.
To determine a value, a timber appraiser must know the quality
and quantity of forest products available and what the net
revenue would be from a likely harvest scenario.
A timber cruise is needed to establish the quantity and quality
of forest products that can legally be derived from a given
stand of timber. In addition to timber quantity and quality, a
cruise often contains information about species composition,
age, tree health, site quality, topography, and operability for
logging. It also can include data on growth, down woody
material, snags, understory vegetation, and other resources. It
is sometimes possible to use an existing cruise as the basis of
a timber appraisal if adequate data is available.
Once good cruise information is collected, net revenue is
calculated. Net revenue is the difference between delivered log
prices and all costs associated with a hypothetical harvest.
Harvest costs include logging, hauling, road construction and
maintenance, administration, harvest taxes, entrepreneurial
profit, and risk. The appraiser consults with log buyers and
timber harvesters from throughout the region to obtain
up-to-date information about the constantly changing market.
A final timber appraisal report gives a detailed account of how
the appraiser reached the value opinion along with data
summaries, maps, tables and figures used in the data gathering
An example appraisal report can be downloaded below: