How is Timber Valued in Illinois?

Sell Standing Timber Illinois

Count on Timber Appraisal Experts

If you have land with acres of untouched forest, there’s money to be made through timber sales in Illinois! But how much money can you expect? It depends; the prices of timber vary greatly and are impacted by a variety of factors. From the physical condition of your timber to the specific species of trees on your property, only a tree appraisal expert understands how to value your standing wood accurately. Walnut Timber Buyers’ appraisers determine the value of timber based on:

  • Species
  • Diameter
  • Merchantable Height
  • Age
  • Blemishes
  • Location


The species of timber plays a pivotal role in determining its value. Different tree species have varying characteristics and qualities that can significantly influence their market demand and price. For instance, hardwood species such as oak or walnut are highly sought after for their durability and distinct, rich grains, making them ideal for furniture and cabinetry. On the other hand, softwood species like pine and spruce are commonly used for construction purposes due to their strength and ease of use.


The diameter of your tree is one of its most crucial measurements, as your tree’s diameter can have a significant impact on its value. The diameter of a tree is measured at diameter breast height (DBH), a standard method foresters use to estimate the volume and value of timber. The larger the diameter, the more wood a single tree can provide, enhancing its overall market worth. For instance, trees with a DBH of 18 inches or more are generally of marketable size and provide lumber suitable for a broader range of applications.

Merchantable Height

Just as the diameter indicates the volume of wood that can be harvested from the tree’s width, the merchantable height gives an estimate of the volume that can be procured from the tree’s length. Trees with greater merchantable heights are typically more valuable, offering more wood for harvesting. Additionally, taller timber is more viable for longer timber products. Furthermore, trees with fewer limbs on their lower trunks – and hence longer merchantable heights – often yield higher-quality lumber.

A timber appraiser taking pictures of the timber to be harvested via the select harvest method in Illinois


As a tree ages, it grows in size, thereby increasing the volume of wood that we can harvest and boosting its market value. However, the relationship between age and value isn’t linear. Though not mature, young trees can sometimes be valuable due to the high demand for small-diameter wood, such as pulpwood or veneer, in specific markets. On the other hand, very old trees might not necessarily be more valuable. Past a certain age, trees might become prone to disease, decay, or other damage, which could decrease their timber quality and, thus, their value.


If there are blemishes on your tree, they can range from scars, knots, and hollows to fungal or insect damage. The presence of blemishes often indicates a lower quality of wood, which can limit its use and lower its market value. For instance, a clear piece of timber (one without blemishes) is in higher demand as it is desirable for aesthetic applications like furniture making, flooring, or cabinetry. In contrast, a blemished piece of timber may have its uses restricted to less visible or critical applications, such as structural parts or pallets, thus fetching a lower price.


Location is a crucial factor in timber valuation that landowners shouldn’t overlook. The geographic location determines tree growth conditions, impacting their health, growth rate, and value. For example, hardwood species like oak or walnut may fetch higher prices in areas that promote optimal growth. Proximity to timber mills and markets also plays a significant role. Transportation costs can reduce profits if the forest is far away, while closer forests often command higher prices.

Harvesters taking measurements for a tree, getting it ready to cut

Learn More from Walnut Timber Buyers

There’s incredible financial potential in the timber on your land. All you need are appraisal experts who can accurately value your trees. Thanks to Walnut Timber Buyers’ professional appraisers, landowners can confidently sell their timber for maximum value. To learn more about Walnut Timber Buyers and our appraisal, harvesting and timber sale services, call 309-316-7966.

Thank you for your interest in Walnut Timber Buyers. At this time we are only considering projects of 20 or more mature trees. For residential projects and projects of less then 20 trees, please contact your local tree service.