IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Binomial Tree Approach to Valuing Fixed Rotation Forests and Flexible Rotation Forests Under a Mean Reverting Timber Price Process


  • Tee, James
  • Scarpa, Riccardo
  • Marsh, Dan
  • Guthrie, Graeme


NPV and LEV are established and common approaches to valuing single rotation and infinite rotation forests respectively, when the rotation age is fixed in advanced. More recently, Real Options approaches have been employed to value single and infinite rotation forests with a flexible harvest age. Under a stochastic timber price process, it has been shown that the valuation of a flexible rotation forest is equal or higher than that of a fixed rotation forest, because a flexible harvest regime delays the harvest if the timber price is not favourable, whereas a fixed harvest regime would proceed to harvest regardless of the price. Often, valuation of fixed and flexible rotation ages are compared using 2 different methods – NPV (or LEV) and Real Options. The latter tends to have higher data requirements, employ different assumptions and is much more complex to estimate. Because of these differences, it may be difficult to isolate the cause of the increased valuation. In this work, we apply a relatively simple Binomial Tree method from Guthrie (2009) to value both fixed rotation and flexible rotation forests. This method uses the same data, with the same assumptions for both valuations. By holding everything equal, the difference in valuation is solely attributable to the fixed versus flexible harvesting decisions. Original results for both single and infinite rotations are presented using New Zealand Radiata Pine data. Under a mean reverting timber price process, the Binomial Tree approach offers useful insights on the increased valuation due to flexible harvest decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Tee, James & Scarpa, Riccardo & Marsh, Dan & Guthrie, Graeme, 2010. "A Binomial Tree Approach to Valuing Fixed Rotation Forests and Flexible Rotation Forests Under a Mean Reverting Timber Price Process," 2010 Conference, August 26-27, 2010, Nelson, New Zealand 96836, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:nzar10:96836

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Clarke, Harry R. & Reed, William J., 1989. "The tree-cutting problem in a stochastic environment : The case of age-dependent growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 569-595, October.
    2. Pindyck, Robert S., 1993. "Investments of uncertain cost," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 53-76, August.
    3. Manley, Bruce & Niquidet, Kurt, 2010. "What is the relevance of option pricing for forest valuation in New Zealand?," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 299-307, April.
    4. Margaret Insley & Kimberly Rollins, 2005. "On Solving the Multirotational Timber Harvesting Problem with Stochastic Prices: A Linear Complementarity Formulation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(3), pages 735-755.
    5. Viitala, Esa-Jussi, 2006. "An early contribution of Martin Faustmann to natural resource economics," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 131-144, June.
    6. Guthrie, Graeme, 2009. "Real Options in Theory and Practice," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195380637, June.
    7. Cox, John C. & Ross, Stephen A. & Rubinstein, Mark, 1979. "Option pricing: A simplified approach," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 229-263, September.
    8. Insley, Margaret, 2002. "A Real Options Approach to the Valuation of a Forestry Investment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 471-492, November.
    9. Eduardo S. Schwartz & Lenos Trigeorgis (ed.), 2004. "Real Options and Investment under Uncertainty: Classical Readings and Recent Contributions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262693186, July.
    10. Reed, William J & Clarke, Harry R, 1990. "Harvest Decisions and Asset Valuation for Biological Resources Exhibiting Size-Dependent Stochastic Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(1), pages 147-169, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:nzar10:96836. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.