What Impacts the Price of Timber?

A forest in the shape of a chart graph that's going up

Understand Why Your Trees’ Values Are Always Changing

The same as oil/gasoline prices fluctuate, or the price for vehicles isn’t static; the market value of hardwood timber is constantly changing. For landowners trying to sell their standing timber, such price uncertainty can create quite a headache! That’s why companies like Walnut Timber Buyers take it upon ourselves to track the price of timber for you. By monitoring factors like weather, location, tree quality, etc., we can always supply our clients with the most up-to-date pricing for popular hardwood species. To understand why some of these price changes occur, read on or call Walnut Timber Buyers today!

  • Location
  • Seasonality
  • Harvesting Method
  • Market Demand
  • Weather
  • Timber Quality


The species of trees that grow in different regions vary, and some species are more valuable than others. Additionally, accessibility plays a crucial role in timber value. Forests closer to timber mills and infrastructure such as roads and ports often have higher value due to lower transportation costs. Finally, the local market demand and supply conditions and the forestry laws and regulations in a specific region can also affect the timber price.


During the drier months, logging is often easier and more cost-effective as machinery can easily access the forest, and trees can be transported with less difficulty. This increased ease of logging often leads to a higher supply in the market, which might temporarily decrease prices. Conversely, when logging becomes challenging in wetter months, the supply may decrease, potentially leading to a surge in timber prices.

Harvesting Method

Selective harvesting, where only certain trees are removed based on their size, species, and condition, often leaves the forest’s overall health intact and yields higher-quality timber, enhancing its market value. As for clearcutting, where all trees in a designated area are uniformly cut down, this method might result in lower timber prices. Although clearcutting can be cost-efficient and time-saving, it often involves the removal of both high-quality mature trees and lower-quality young trees, which can lead to a mixed yield and potentially lower average price per unit of timber.

Market Demand

If the demand for specific types of timber is high, the price they command in the market will likely be high as well. This is because the value naturally rises as more manufacturers and builders seek these specific types of timber, willing to pay a premium. Conversely, if the demand decreases — perhaps due to changes in consumer preferences, new regulations, or the introduction of alternative materials — the timber value correspondingly decreases, even if the supply remains constant.


Extreme weather events like storms, wildfires, or droughts can damage trees, reducing the quality and, thus, the price of the timber. Furthermore, prolonged unfavorable weather conditions can limit logging activities, creating a scarcity in the market and potentially increasing timber prices. Conversely, ideal weather conditions for logging can lead to an increased supply of timber in the marketplace, which might drive prices down if the demand doesn’t keep up.

Timber Quality

The quality of timber significantly influences its market value. Factors such as tree species, size, health, and the presence of defects all play an integral role in determining timber quality. High-quality timber typically comes from mature, healthy trees of desirable species with straight trunks, few knots, and minimal defects. These characteristics make the timber more valuable as buyers can use forest products to produce high-end goods like furniture, veneer, and joinery.

Extreme weather conditions affecting the price of timber in Illinois

Talk with the Walnut Timber Buyers Team

While it might seem like valuing your timber is “guesswork,” we promise it’s anything but! Walnut Timber Buyers can provide you with the information you need if you want the most accurate, up-to-date timber prices based on ongoing market conditions. Or, if you are interested in Walnut Timber Buyers’ tree appraisal, harvesting and sale process, contact us today at 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.