This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
About three miles from the residence of the writer, and in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, is a piece of chestnut timber land, about thirty acres, which was cut off forty-five years ago, and a new crop suffered to grow up. This is now being cut and sold for posts. The posts sell at S30 per 100 dressed and delivered to purchasers. We have made a careful estimate, and find this tract will yield 5,400 posts per acre, which at thirty cents each, makes $I,620, or S36 per acre, per annum. Land near it has recently been sold for $150 per acre, and this is probably the market value of cleared land by which this forest stands. The writer happens to know that this is exactly what the land there was worth twenty-five years ago. We may say that no increase in value has been made since the forty-five years the timber has been growing, and this fact affords an excellent opportunity to judge of the value of timber land, uninfluenced by any other circumstances. Of course, there is some labor and expense in cutting, shaping, and delivering the posts, but this expense has of course to be spread over the whole forty-five years, and amounts to but a very small percentage of the $36. The only fair charge against the timber is compound interest on the $150 for forty-five years, and the taxes.
The latter would be only about SI.50 per annum. From out of this tract during the period it has been in forest, large quantities of thinnings have been taken, which have served for rails, and so forth, which will be a fair set off to compound interest. Simple interest will be even more than ought to be charged against the product. Thus, we have about $9 an acre cost, against $36 of income per acre, a very good profit indeed, and going to show that under some circumstances timber culture will pay. This tract is but fifteen miles from the centre of the City of Philadelphia, and within what is now the city limits.