Beginning in 1996, Green Crow recognized that investments in eastern hardwood timberlands offered the potential for attractive returns on investment, as well as additional diversification for a timberland investment portfolio. The eastern hardwood region extends the length of the Appalachian Mountains and into the lake states, parts of Canada and much of the Mississippi drainage. Green Crow is currently active in northern New England and northern New York.
The land ownership pattern in the northeast is dominated by the non-industrial private landowner. Green Crow generally targets parcels in the 200 to 1,000 acre range, although we have pursued parcels as small as 50 acres and as large as 5,000 acres. Our people are continuously reviewing potential investment opportunities for ourselves and our clients, and we have found many interesting opportunities with prices as low as $250,000.
The most important and valuable species of timber in the region include northern red oak, sugar maple, yellow birch and white ash. These species grow slowly by volume compared to west coast conifers, but they command a much higher value. These species can be sold as veneer logs (both domestic and export markets) for premium values. Other hardwoods include white oak, white birch, American beech, red maple, poplars, etc. Common softwood associates include eastern white pine, eastern hemlock, red pine, red spruce and balsam fir.
Markets for forest products in the region include domestic producers, Canadian mills made accessible by “back-haul” trucking, and Asian export customers. Green Crow operates several log yards in northern New England that are continuously selling logs to all of these markets. We believe that these sales contacts improve our ability to capture full value for the landowner when managing a timber harvest.
Holding costs in the region tend to be low. These forests are generally managed on a low-cost, non-intensive basis, and lands are generally enrolled as working forestland to keep property taxes low.