The Summer has been good to us: Log and Non-timber Forest Product Prices and Trends

By Lauren Grand, OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension, Extension Agent serving Lane County

Prices are continuing to be good and even increase slightly this summer. Normally I’d have the inclination to say, “we are flying high on increasing prices that we don’t normally see during summer months. Usually, prices decrease in the summer due to more wood coming on the market.” However, things have hardly been “normal” since I started writing this blog 6 years ago. There seems to be some mills with lots of inventory and some mills aggressively buying so be sure to call around to find the best fit for your property and your logs. Douglas-fir prices are currently sitting in the $950/mbf, with the potential for a $50-$150 increase for a really good quality log.

Figure 1. Douglas-fir saw log price averages over the last two years. © Lauren Grand, OSU Extension

Chips haven’t been exciting in the recent past, but conifer chips are holding steady from last quarter at double what I usually report. You can find chip prices in the $40-$45/ton range at the moment. Usually, we see chip prices come down when log prices go up, but more mills are able to deal with pulp now so chips are in higher demand at the moment.

The Hem-fir sorts (spruce, hemlock, grand and white fir) are holding pretty steady from last quarter if you are in the Roseburg area, but they are up a bit from last quarter if you are in the Eugene area. Currently prices are between $525 – $550/mbf in the Roseburg area and $525 – $545 mbf if you are in the Eugene area.

Alder market is slightly up from last quarter and buyers are looking for logs down to a 6” diameter. Alder is sitting in the $500 – $775 /mbf range depending on size. The twelve inchers are in the upper range and the six inchers are in the lower range. 

Reports are showing redcedar prices are also holding steady or slightly decreasing this quarter. Unfortunately, I don’t have a price in the Eugene area, but logs are $1700/mbf in the Philomath area and $900 in the Roseburg area. So, if you are in Eugene, you can expect the price to sit between those two. Incense-cedar in the Eugene area is usually about $50-$100 less than in the Roseburg area where prices are currently $650/mbf. Port-Orford-cedar prices are holding steady in the $400 – $625 range depending on size.

If you are in the non-timber forest products game it is time to start thinking about Christmas Greenery, cones, boughs, and Christmas trees. Oregon grape and cascara season has closed, but usnea lichen is still an interest. Usnea prices have slightly increased to $5.75/lb clean and dry.

Well, prices are looking up mostly and fall is on its way which means less access to wood and potentially even higher prices, but as we’ve learned in recent past, the story is never written in stone. If you plan to harvest, note that contractors are always in high demand especially these days. Make sure to find your logger early and be a bit flexible. Good luck and always remember to get your purchase order before you cut!

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