July 2018 Treelines Website Header Arborgen Tree Seedlings July-2018-Treelines

ArborGen Nursery & Reforestation Advisor Locations

How will investment in the South’s lumber industry affect timber demand in the coming years?

The US South’s softwood lumber industry is in the middle of its largest expansion in over 40 years. During the first half of 2018, plans to build seven new lumber mills have been announced (Table 1). This is in addition to five new mills already announced/constructed since 2016 and numerous investments aimed at increasing capacity and productivity at existing facilities throughout the region. In total, Southern lumber capacity is expected to rise to nearly 24 billion board feet (BBF) of capacity over the next 5 years, a 17% increase relative to the industry’s size at the height of the housing boom in the mid-2000s.

Table 1: New Softwood Lumber Mills in the US South

Sawmill Chart Arborgen Tree Seedlings July-2018-Treelines
Source: FEA, North American Sawmill Profiles

Pile Of Lumber Arborgen Tree Seedlings July-2018-Treelines

In addition to expanding, the South’s lumber capacity is shifting to bigger mills owned and managed by larger companies. Historically, the South’s lumber industry was characterized by smaller, independently-owned sawmills. In the mid-2000s, a third of the South’s capacity was composed of lumber mills less than 100 million board feet (mmbf) in size, while mills larger than 200 mmbf accounted for only 20% of the capacity. By 2022, FEA estimates that this will flip, with the share of capacity in smaller mills dropping to less than 20%, and larger mills increasing to over a third of the capacity. And a greater portion of the capacity is being concentrated in larger companies operating multiple mills. Ten years ago, the region’s ten largest companies controlled roughly half of the South’s softwood lumber capacity. They now account for nearly two-thirds of the South’s capacity.

What does this all mean for timber demand going forward? Even with a declining volume of logs needed per unit of lumber output, log demand at southern sawmills will exceed the peak levels of the mid-2000s for much of the next decade due to the strong rise in lumber production expected in the region. In addition, with more production occurring at large-scaled mills focused on maximizing recovery and productivity, the portion of harvest sourced from managed pine plantations will continue to increase.

Rocky Goodnow Treelines Arborgen Tree Seedlings July-2018-Treelines


Article by Rocky Goodnow.  Rocky is Vice President of the Timber Service at Forest Economic Advisors (FEA), the leading economic consulting firm for the North American forest products and timber industry. In this role, Rocky is responsible for FEA’s outlook on the North American timber markets. Rocky is the primary author of FEA’sTimber Quarterly Forecasting Service publications and is a contributor to other FEA publications and studies. Rocky has spoken at numerous conferences as a recognized expert on North American timber markets.

Now Is The Time

Lumber prices have soared and, as pointed out in the article above, new sawmills are under construction. What does this mean for forest landowners? It means now is the time for you to plant trees that provide highest growth and log quality for an even more profitable forest for you and your family.

Take advantage of improving markets by planting MCP® today that will give you 70% more sawtimber and 40% more revenue. You invest $75 now and earn $1,000 with more sawtimber per acre. MCP also allows earlier thinnings by 3 to 6 years with 25-40% more volume, meaning an even earlier return on your investment.
Get Started Button 1 Arborgen Tree Seedlings July-2018-Treelines
Mass Production Chart Arborgen Tree Seedlings July-2018-Treelines

There are currently more than two million acres of MCP planted – 130 million seedlings planted this year alone!  As shown by this graph from a N.C. State Tree Coop study, production has increased as landowners see the increased benefits of planting trees with greater growth, higher sawtimber potential, and better rust resistance.ArborGen produces 80% of all MCP sold, has the top performing MCP families for all regions in the South and has 20 year data supporting landowner investment  inMCP seedlings.


Mcp Trees Website 1 Arborgen Tree Seedlings July-2018-Treelines

Contact your ArborGen Reforestation Advisor to make a plan for your future now.


ArborGen Launches New Website

Fresh, new, and live! We get it – choosing the right seedlings is serious business and we’re here to help you every step of the way. Our new website delivers an easy browsing experience that is sure to answer your questions and help guide you to the information you need.Website Announcement Arborgen Tree Seedlings July-2018-Treelines


New Reforestation Advisor, Jonathan Wall

Jonathan Wall Treelines Arborgen Tree Seedlings July-2018-TreelinesJonathan comes to ArborGen with more than 13 years of forestry industry experience. He began his career as a forestry consultant with Reynolds Forestry and most recently was the procurement manager for Flakeboard/Arauco. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in forestry management from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Jonathan and his wife of 20 years, Krissi, live in Monticello and have one son, Andrew, 15. In his spare time, Jonathan likes to hunt, fish, boat and ski.

Connect with Jonathan at: jrwall@arborgen.com

Need a trusted partner to guide the way?
Get in touch with a Reforestation Advisor to explore your options!

Austin Heine

Austin Heine

North Carolina and Virginia


Jason Cromer

Jason Cromer

Florida, Georgia


Greg Hay

Greg Hay

Arkansas, Northern Louisiana, and Oklahoma


Shannon Stewart

Shannon Stewart

Eastern Texas, Southern Louisiana


Paul Jeffreys, Ph.d.

Paul Jeffreys, Ph.D.

Alabama & Mississippi

Manager Special Projects & Sustainability

Kylie Burdette

Kylie Burdette

U.S. Sales Manager

Reforestation Advisor
South Carolina

Jason Watson

Jason Watson

Director, U.S. Sales