Time is a valuable commodity, so the cost of services is based on time spent with a client. Most private foresters’ incomes are derived from payments from their clients, basically forest landowners, for time devoted to their forest. Most professional foresters do not provide logging services, and most loggers are not professional foresters, and so they should not be used to develop management plans.

A Forester’s role in Managing Your Woodlands may involve:

  • Discussing management plans and activities to be accomplished, based on landowner objectives and forest conditions
  • Cruising your woodlands to determine tree species, tree conditions, and wood volumes
  • Writing a management plan that meets landowner objectives
  • Evaluating plan progress, commonly referred to as “inspecting” and completing an inspection 021 when needed for Tree Farm compliance
  • Helping landowner identify logger, negotiate contracts, and oversee timber harvesting operations when applicable

While the initial contact between a forester and a Tree Farmer may be free, or of nominal cost, time spent advising, educating, developing the management plan, or evaluating plan progress will obviously result in billable services. Some foresters charge by the hour, and some have established fees based on specific services or acreages involved. It is best to discuss costs with your forester early in the process to ensure both parties understand what is going to happen, what it will cost, and what the limits are.