Tree selection based on the financial maturity of northern hardwoods


  • Malcolm Cockwell Haliburton Forest, Ontario


tree selection, revenue


Northern hardwood forests are managed to achieve a variety of objectives, including generating revenue by harvesting trees and creating conditions for future value growth by retaining other trees. Decision about tree selection for harvesting and retention are typically guided by parameters such as residual basal area, q-ratio, and maximum diameter. Whereas residual basal area and q-ratio are biological concepts related to the stocking level of forests, maximum diameter is an inherently economic concept that identifies the point of financial maturity. Previous assessments of maximum diameter of northern hardwoods focus on the rate at which trees increase in value due to growth and product development, but few also considered the risk of a tree declining, decaying, or dying between harvests. By considering the rate that trees increase in value as well as the risk of retaining trees between harvests, our analysis of long-term datasets provides a new operational perspective on maximum diameter, and therefore financial maturity, among northern hardwoods. 

Author Biography

Malcolm Cockwell, Haliburton Forest, Ontario

Malcolm Cockwell is the Managing Director of Haliburton Forest, a private land stewardship company that owns 250,000 acres of timberland in Ontario and operates four mid-sized hardwood sawmills, value-added manufacturing facilities including a biochar production facility, as well as a diverse ecotourism business. He is also the Chair of Acadian Timber Corp, a leading forest management company that owns 1,100,000 acres of timberland in New Brunswick and Maine. Malcolm is the principal of Macer, a private Ontario based company focused on acquiring, and holding for the long-term, shares of companies owning and operating forest and recreational properties.  He is a Registered Professional Forester in Ontario, holds a B.Sc. in Forestry from the University of Toronto, and is a PhD Candidate at the same institution, with research interests focused on hardwood silviculture. Malcolm serves as Chair & President of Forests Ontario, Director of the Ontario Forest Industries Association, and on Council of the Ontario Professional Foresters Association.