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Ames Forester

Abstract

MANY people are enthusiastic advocates of having forest landowners grow "high-quality" timber. They feel that short-sightedness and ignorance are the principal reasons why silviculture aimed at such timber is not more popular. The purpose of this paper is to point out that timber quality is not a variable measured on a single scale ranging from low to high, but instead is a collective term for numerous attributes and variables affecting either end-product serviceability or manufacturing cost. An attribute of timber considered desirable by manufacturers of certain end-products may be considered unimportant or even undesirable by manufacturers of others. Before landowners incur the added silvicultural costs required to produce timber with certain attributes, they naturally wish to be assured that these costs will be repaid with .interest when stumpage is sold or manufactured. Such repayment depends on whether cheaper processing of more costly wood produces a more serviceable or a cheaper end-product than can be produced by more costly processing of cheaper wood, or by using materials other than wood.

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