About Us: History

  • The Beginning
  • Commitment to Continuity
  • US South Timber Product Forms and History

  • The Beginning

    After graduating from the University of Georgia Forestry School in 1947 and serving in World War II, Frank Norris began a forester's career working in private industry, as a consultant, and later as owner of a pulpwood dealership and logging business. With his experience in the industry, Frank initiated TimberMart-South in 1976 to benefit both private landowners and industry professionals. Frank worked diligently and almost single-handedly to provide this service so valuable to private companies, consultants, landowners, and others. He recognized a need to assist private land owners who had little knowledge of the value of their lands and consulting professionals who faced difficulty knowing current market prices in regions where they had little experience.

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    Commitment to Continuity

    The Frank W. Norris Foundation is a private foundation created to provide continuity and direction for the publication of TimberMart-South. The Foundation acquired all rights and assets of TimberMart-South, Inc., and contracted with the Daniel B. Warnell School of Forest Resources at the University of Georgia (UGA) to compile, publish and distribute TimberMart-South's products.

    Institutionalizing this service assures long term available and reliable information for use by the forest products community. Since the School took over publication of TimberMart-South, subscriptions to the quarterly report have more than doubled and a newsletter now summarizes events and trends in the timber market. In 1998, the School added a web site to describe the service and post the newsletter. By 2001, the high average, low average and average prices in each market have been digitized for on-line access, as have the newsletters and quarterly reports. TMS staff members provide research assistance throughout the business day, ready to fill orders for historical price reports using the TMS price database.

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    US South Timber Product Forms and History

    Harvesting is the removal and delivery of trees from a site to manufacturing facilities where wood-based products are produced. The product form required by the mill influences the type of logging operation used. Objectives include product quality, minimum fiber or value loss, and acceptable per unit cost. Product specifications for mills may vary and change often. This requires harvest operators to ensure appropriate products are delivered to the correct markets.

    The most common product form delivered to markets in the US South is the tree-length stem. These trees have been delimbed and their tops removed at a designated diameter length (usually 2-6 inches). Delimbing refers to the process of removing all the limbs from the merchantable portion of the tree. Pine stems may be processed further by bucking into several logs or into shortwood pulpwood bolts before transported from the woods. Hardwood stems tend to be manufactured into sawlog lengths or random length pulpwood. Some operations include in-wood chippers that chip felled trees and deliver chips to the final markets.

    Financial losses are incurred by the logger, timber buyer, or landowner if poor bucking decisions are made, depending on who owns the timber at the time of bucking. Bucking or merchandising refers to cutting tree-length stems into sawlog lengths or shortwood sticks before transportation to the mill. Merchandising decisions are important to maximizing the value of every tree, which is why large mills tend to require tree-length stems and merchandising decisions are made at the mill. Computerized sensors are often used to aid decisions on log dimensions.

    • 1 Information adapted from Greene, W.D. and Reisinger, T.W. 2002. Harvest and Roads class materials.

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