Forestry sales have reached an “all time high”, with year on year increases between 15-25%, according to Tradeforus Forestry Ltd.

Typical prices for bare land are between €7,000 and €8,500 per acre depending on location, access, land quality and plot size, according to the business.

Premium plots of Sitka Spruce, depending on age are being sold for up to €10,000 per acre.

Smaller plots or poorer site values are for as low as €3,500 to €5,000 per acre.

Office and auction manager Lorraine Woulfe said that “there is real interest in forestry investment at present”.

She said that investments are coming from institutional forestry investment funds, semi state companies and farmers.

Forestry sales

Almost 23,000 landowners’ own forestry in Ireland now, according to Woulfe.

Buyers are mainly interested in commercial conifer plantations, but more recently, there has been an upsurge of people interested in buying broadleaf plantations.

The crop age, yield class and time to clearfell are also key factors for valuations. Premiums remaining to be drawn is also a factor, according to Woulfe.

“The recently announced forestry programme and the whole drive to make a real impact on climate change and sustainability are certainly key drivers underpinning these value increases,” Woulfe told Agriland.

Meanwhile, the Social, Economic Environmental Forestry Association of Ireland (SEEFA) has claimed that less that 1,500ha of new forestry will be planted this year.

The association of private foresters made the comments as new data shows that 12 additional afforestation licences were granted by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) in the third week of January.

17 afforestation applications have been made to DAFM, while the data shows that 18ha of forestry has been planted to date this year.

Tradeforus Forestry advised forest owners considering selling forestry or forestry land to engage with a specialist in the sector for advice, as “if you were selling your house”.

“You can only sell it once. So, leave no stone unturned in the sale process,” the business stated.