A look at hardwood prices: Lake States and Pennsylvania

A comparison with oak and maple species

Madison, Wis. – How do stumpage prices compare between northern hardwood regions across the eastern half of the U.S.? That’s a question that has popped up occasionally for Forest Data Network since we began offering reports that compare hardwood prices between Lake States regions at the beginning of the year.

An early look at comparisons with one highly regarded hardwood state – Pennsylvania – via stumpage prices from timber and logging companies, state land management agencies, and forestry consultants gathered by the Penn State University Extension. These comparisons are based on Quarter 2 of 2022.

FDN pricing from all 28 Lake States regions are available here.

FDN reports are available for ten species and several subspecies and the Pennsylvania data covers a similar range of species, but we focused on the two mainstays common to both areas: oak and maple and their subspecies.

Average second quarter sawlog prices for hard maple and soft maple were nearly even between Wisconsin and Pennsylvania statewide. (Hard maple showed a 5% premium for Wisconsin but soft maple was 13% higher in Pennsylvania.) Michigan prices were significantly lower than either those in Pennsylvania or Wisconsin. Minnesota maple price reporting was quite limited in geography and volume.

For oak, the price comparisons with Pennsylvania are much more dramatic. Wisconsin, which has the highest oak sawlog prices among the Lake States, was surpassed by 79% for statewide red oak prices compared to Pennsylvania statewide. For white oak, the Pennsylvania prices are higher by a far wider margin – more than double the average prices from all three of the Lake States.

Of course, a number of factors may cause stumpage price differences over such a large area of geography, including wood quality and distances of relevant mills from woodlots. But it does appear that geography is a factor in certain species. (This also appears to be true between the three Lake States as demonstrated by the FDN species index price reports.)

Annual subscriptions to species reports, including Quarter 3 2022, are available here.

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