Eden Square Sugarbush is an exceptional potential sugarbush opportunity with attractive species composition, productive soils, secure access and solid potential for asset appreciation from the timber resource.
Investment highlights include:
· Species composition dominated by sugar maple (54%);
· Middle-aged, fully-stocked overstory, well-positioned for asset appreciation;
· Excellent access with power roadside;
· Sugarbush opportunity with ±52,400 potential taps from stems 9” and greater on east-facing slopes with good sap-flow conditions to power and access locations;
· Average tap/acre of 54, with many areas holding 80-100 taps/acre.
The forest lies in the northern Vermont town of Eden, along the east side of the Lowell Mountain Range. This is a mountainous, rural area populated by small hamlets, working forests and scattered homesteads.
Locally, along Square Road, there are only three homes, with the last residence hosting a local business, Eden Ethical Dogsledding and Lodge - www.edendogsledding.com.
The small town of Eden is situated 4 miles to the west along Route 100, where Lake Eden is a local landmark, attracting many summer residents. Route 100 is the main transportation corridor through the area, offering ideal access to regional and cross-border forest product manufacturing facilities. This north-south route provides access to Newport (26 miles to the north) and Morrisville (17 miles to the south), the two largest communities in the region. Montreal, Quebec is 90 miles to the north, while Boston is 3.75 hours to the southeast.
The property offers comprehensive, excellent access from multiple points, enabling all future forest management activities. Two segments of frontage (1,870’ and 535’) exist along the town-maintained portion of Square Road where electric power is available. Both frontage segments have established driveways with a 1,900’ winter road heading westerly into the land as seen on the property map links to the right.
Access is also provided by ±500’ of frontage along Albany Road (not maintained in the winter), where a small field exists on the west side of the road. This field is likely the best option for a sugarhouse site due to sapflow direction. Beyond this point, a right-of-way provides truck access to the land’s northern basin.
The property’s terrain is variable, with moderate to steep slopes occupying most of the land with the exception of gentle slopes closer to the road frontage. Once the terrain begins to rise, soils become well drained and host the property’s greatest concentration of maple, and highest potential for sugarbush opportunity. Soil drainage is often not optimal on the level terrain. Generally, conditions for forest operations are very good, with the exception of some steep slopes leading to the top of the Lowell Range.
All of the streams that run through the land originate nearby from the top of the watershed and thus run low during dry summer months.
Elevation ranges from 2,314’ ASL (above sea level) along the ridgeline of the Lowell Mountain Range to 1,472’ ASL along the road frontage.
Timber data in this report are based on a monumented and comprehensive timber inventory conducted in May 2016 by the ownership’s forest consultant, M.D. Forestland Consulting, LLC. 234 inventory points were sampled (1 plot per 4.1 commercial acres), covering a 420’ x 420’ grid and using a 15-factor prism. Sampling statistics are ±9.1% standard error for sawlog products and ±5.5% for all cordwood products at the 95% confidence interval, figures well within industry standards. After applying growth for 2016, 2017 and 2018, using regional FIA data averages, the timber data reveal a total sawlog volume of 3,541 MBF International ¼” scale (3.6 MBF/commercial acre) with 16,686 pulpwood cords (17.2 cords/commercial acre). Combined total commercial per acre volume is 24.5 cords, modestly above the regional average. Stumpage values were assigned to the volumes in May of 2019, producing a property-wide Capital Timber Value (CTV) of $907,100 ($934/total acre).
A species composition dominated by hardwoods prevails, with hardwoods at 95% and softwoods at 5% of total volume. Species composition for all products combined offers a favorable mix and is led by sugar maple (53%), followed by yellow birch (22%), red maple (6%), American beech (6%), white ash (5%) and spruce/fir (4%), with other common hardwoods and softwoods comprising the balance. The sawlog volume breakdown consists largely of sugar maple (56%) and yellow birch (22%). This species composition is well suited to a long-term timber investment and/or sugarbush, with solid markets regionally and into Quebec for the products growing on the land. The relatively low beech component is the result of active forest management occurring over 20 years.
Average diameter for all products combined is 11.5”, while the average sawlog diameter is nearly 13.0”.
The property offers an exceptional potential sugarbush opportunity, given the high maple stocking, slope factor, access and proximity to electric power. The timber data indicate a total potential tap count of 52,445 taps, with roughly 92% of the taps from sugar maple and the balance from red maple. Trees 9” and greater were considered, providing an average of 54 taps/acre. Also, the timber data indicate that an additional 44,000± taps may become available in the coming decades from the maple resource within the 5-8” diameter class.
The conservation easement on the property will be held by the Vermont Land Trust (VLT), a Vermont-based organization and one of the most respected conservation organizations in the nation. A working forest “partnership” with VLT offers the new owner predictability and cooperation, given the long history and solid reputation this land trust has established regarding the easement lands under its jurisdiction.
A principal objective of the easement’s commercial acreage is to maintain, grow and harvest forest resources and products on a sustainable basis. The terms of the easement prevent subdivision and future development of any kind; however, forestry and sugarbush operations, and construction of associated support infrastructure, are permitted.
Easement highlights include:
· Most sustainable and traditional forestry and sugarbush activities are permitted to support the long-term stewardship of the protected property;
· The entire property is open to non-vehicular public recreation and hunting;
· Silvicultural activities are limited to sustainable levels, with target diameters set for each species;
· Surface Water Protection Zones (SWPZs) permit limited harvesting/sugaring with special consideration to maintaining water quality;
· One camp structure of 800 square feet is permitted.
The maps provided to the right designate the SWPZs. Copies of the easement are available upon request.