Under the timber-use appraisal, different timberland types will have different appraised values. Each county appraisal district determines timberland classification by two criteria as required in the Manual for the Appraisal of Timberland (PDF, 3MB): forest types (pine, hardwood, or mixed) and soil types (I, II, III, or IV). Thus the 12 types of land are: Pine I, II, III, IV, Hardwood I, II, III, IV, or Mixed I, II, III, and IV.
Soil type I is most productive and IV the least productive. Soil types normally are determined based on Natural Resource Conservation Service soil survey.
Forest types are determined this way: a tract will be classified as pine if “pine and other softwood make up more than two-thirds of the trees free to grow.” Stands where hardwoods are more than two-thirds of the trees free to grow are classified as hardwood type. When both softwood and hardwood each make up more than one-third of the trees but neither predominates, that area will be classified as mixed.
Within the same forest type, the appraised value goes down from I through IV. Between different timber types, for example, Pine II may be higher or lower than Mixed I, depending on the local conditions. If your tract is classified as Mixed II, a neighboring tract with the same type of soil classification but with a pine forest will be classified as Pine II. Obviously it helps to know your timberland classification.
Hypothetical Example: Timber Use vs. Market Value