Timber Stand Investment Analyzer ©Forest Econ Inc.
Timber investments are among the hardest to analyze. It takes magic to pick the right formulation, there are a jillion variables, and even professional economists may screw up the complex math.
Don’t skip financial analyses just cause they have been complicated and frustrating—long-term timber investments are too variable and risky. Small project differences can separate bonanzas from bankruptcy. Let TreeCents analyze options for you. You’ll never have to face ugly complicated Faustmann calculations like this one again.
TreeCents is is a user-friendly decision assistance template that analyzes timber investments for private forest owners. It handles simple or complex investment profiles that users can tailor to the details of their own financial and silvicultural conditions. TreeCents programming is universal and it runs in EXCEL™, a program that is widely available and constantly updated without affecting existing data sets.
TreeCents organizes data for 4 different land use investments including: new timber plantations, existing timber stands (whether even or uneven-age), ag crops and pasture. TreeCents leads you through the identification and data requirements of various single acre investment analyses unique to your forest. Button navigation and prompted data entries make it easy to represent your unique timber project. It does automatic financial calculations by matching appropriate formulas to project type and data, then spits out before and after-tax financial feasibility criteria in easy-to-interpret reports. It has built-in optimistic and pessimistic brackets to help you weigh the sensitivity of projects. TreeCents also simulates feasibility changes to help you second-guess assumptions or data that are poorly known.
You supply financial and tax variables to your choice of detail, as well as your own market expectations. You design and test silvicultural regimes that can have up to 5 harvest entries. Each added harvest entry requires growth responses to previous practices and expected timber harvest volumes. TreeCents includes some general reference yield tables, but users should use project-specific harvest volumes from experience or more detailed growth & yield tables or simulators from other sources.
TreeCents calculates four standard financial criteria based on discounted cash flows to measure absolute feasibility for project variants that start from the same initial condition. TreeCents also calculates incremental criteria to compare small changes in on-going projects. Then you can use TreeCents to redesign and compare project variants and evaluate the quality of expected results.
There is no programming to do. It takes <5 minutes to follow default examples through all the analytical steps. Loading your own first project may take 20 minutes or so, but subsequent analyses use mostly the same data. You can toggle to the complete operations manual and tutorial while TreeCents is running. It is easy to understand and explains each window in sequence.
Every program window has clear user instructions. Then there are default example investments to guide you in project design and data selection. Each program window also has help buttons for more detail. Critical assumptions and user actions are flagged with alarm bells for pop-up user warnings. Interpretation guides and definitions are available at the touch of a button. The complete manual can be loaded in the background--so you just toggle to enlightenment. You can always back-step to a previous program window, or if you get befuddled just quit, hyperventilate and start over.
TreeCents runs on IBM personal computers. Minimum chip speed is 233 Mhz with 32 Mb RAM. TreeCents works faster with more. You need WINDOWS 95 and EXCEL 97 or later. The .pdf manual can be read with ADOBE reader, a free download.
TreeCents design criteria:
We've watched private forest owners avoid financial analyses for years. And if the truth be known, forestry consultants are too. We knew that no one would buy TreeCents (much less use it) unless it radically changed the timber investment evaluation experience. To achieve this popular utility our design follows four criteria.
The finished product had to be:
Copyright © 2003
Forest Econ Inc.