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BJF Comment: Big Trees II - The Miller timber sale in 1905

Cruising the numbers, forester extrapolates some pretty impressive values, in today's dollars, for the fabulous tract of timber sold in 1905 by the Miller Estate

By Billy Joe Fudge

What an honor to be mentioned in the same sentence with Mike Watson but for you to dedicate this bit of history to me is a compliment of the highest degree.

These tallies of trees are a very special real record of the kind of forest the first South Central Kentuckians, our forefathers, would have had the pleasure of experiencing.


All the species listed are still prevalent in our local forest today with the exception of saw log sized American Chestnut which had already begun dying in the New York City area 6 years earlier from an Oriental pathogen brought into New York City ports around 1906.

Just as an example of what the value of trees of that size and quality would have been worth in today's dollars; there were 3,312 White Oaks above 20 inches in diameter. If we assume that the average size was 30 inches with a merchantable height of 40 feet an average White Oak would have been easily worth $1500 at today's prices. That would mean that the White Oak of this size on these two tracts at today's prices could very easily be worth $5,000,000.

I worked 30 years with the Kentucky Division of Forestry and much of the 10 years since retirement helping landowners manage their forest resources to attain maximum income potential. Also and at the same time I was taking into consideration the sustainability of that resource in order to provide for a healthy, economically viable forest for all Kentucky's citizens present and future.

Thanks again Mike for the honorable mention and what a great service you and others like you provide for us. It is folks like you who help us not to forget those who have gone before us. I've often said "those who do not know from where they've come most assuredly will not know where they are going". Comments re article 58590 Big Trees II The Miller sale in 1905 AdairRussell Co KY


This story was posted on 2013-04-04 05:12:07
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