In order to profit from trees, you must have vacant land to plant them on, according to Fox Business News. This is long-term investment as it takes up to 15 years for trees to harvest. With bulk seeds costing around 6 cents per seedling and yielding $3,000 per acre, you can expect a 10 to 13 percent return on land. If you don't own land to plant trees on, an easy alternative is investing in a timber exchange-traded fund.
There are several options for investing in timber, including direct investment, but these options are generally too expensive for retail investors, explains Investopedia. Timber ETFs are less costly and trade on public exchanges just like a stock. Claymore Securities launched the first global timber ETF, the Claymore/Clear Global Timber Index ETF, in 2007. CUT's portfolio includes companies that own or manage forested land and profit from the sale of wood-based products. You might also consider a number of individual timber stocks as potential investments, including Deltic Timber Corp, Plum Creek Timber and Rayonier. An investment in timber is a great way to diversify a portfolio and hedge inflation risk, and returns are generally equal to or better than other asset classes.