In terms of topography, the region is diverse consisting of valleys and plateaus giving way to the steeper areas of the Appalachian Mountains. The hardwood timber resource is diverse in both species and value and heavily dependent on past land uses.
Timber markets in Appalachia are highly variable and heavily dependent on hardwood logs of various species and grade. Log export markets are also a primary outlet, particularly in northern Appalachia, for high quality species. Investments in northern Appalachia are typically focused on prime quality sawtimber of high demand species such as hard maple and cherry as a major driver for returns. Southern Appalachia investments are driven more by total volume and species diversity. The value difference between the northern and southern areas of this region are significant and depend on many variables.