SIC 0811 Timber Tracts


SIC 0811

This category includes establishments primarily engaged in the operations of timber tracts or tree farms for the purpose of selling standing timber. Establishments not holding timber tracts as real property (not for sale of timber) are classified in SIC 6519: Lessors of Real Property, Not Elsewhere Classified and logging establishments are classified in SIC 2411: Logging.



Nursery and Tree Production


Timber Tract Operation

About one-half of the United States is wooded, and approximately 500 million acres of this forested land is classified as timberland, or land capable of growing 20 cubic feet of wood per acre per year. Federal, state, and local governments own 130 million acres; 300 million acres are in relatively small tracts owned by individuals; and 70 million acres are owned by commercial firms. Oregon, Washington, and California are the country's largest timber producing states, accounting for more than three-fourths of Western timber production. Timber also is the South's largest agricultural product.

There are about 500,000 acres in production for growing Christmas trees in the United States, managed by more than 20,000 Christmas tree growers. Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states, and more than 100,000 people are employed full- or part-time in the industry. Consumers purchased 27.1 million trees in 2004, an increase over 2003 (23.4 million) and 2002 (22.2 million). The average purchase price per tree was $42.60 in 2004, up sharply from $33.80 in 2003, and the retail value of Christmas trees in 2004 was $1.15 billion. According to the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association, Oregon was the leading producer in 2004 with 7.3 million trees sold, followed by North Carolina (3.5 million), Michigan (3.0 million), and Pennsylvania (2.3 million). Those states held similar rankings in the 2002 federal agriculture census conducted every five years: in 2002 Oregon harvested 6.4 million trees, followed by North Carolina (2.9 million), Michigan (2.4 million), and Pennsylvania (1.7 million).

Depending on the species, it takes between 7 and 15 years for a tree to grow to an average cuttable height of 6 feet. The retail cost per foot for Christmas trees generally ranges from $3.10 to $5.65. The largest expense for farmers is pruning each tree every year so that they maintain the classic, conical shape demanded by consumers. The Scotch pine is usually the largest selling tree, capturing more than 30 percent of the market annually....

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