August 2020

In this paper, we provide an overview of timberland investments. Timberland is often categorized as a sector within a natural resources allocation, and it is generally a lower risk, lower returning strategy with the potential to generate stable income and provide uncorrelated performance relative to other asset classes.

Harvesting trees remains the primary driver of the income, while tree growth and land values drive appreciation potential. Unique to the asset class is the ability or optionality to defer harvest activities during low price environments and the ability to generate income from alternative sources, such as recreational activities, hunting fees, or conservation easements. An institutional investor has the ability to diversify timberland by forest type, species, geography, and income source. However, investors need to consider the political, regulatory, currency, liquidity, and physical risks to help determine whether the risk and return profile aligns with their portfolio objectives when considering an allocation to timberland.