Forest economics is, today, at best a speciality within the fast expanding field of natural resource economics. Once upon a time – more precisely in the 1850s – German foresters were among the leading researchers in capital theory. Spearheaded by Martin Faustmann and Max Robert Pressler, they made fundamental contributions to capital theory, and to the classical normative problem of when to cut an evenly aged forest stand.1 The solution to this problem is identical with the solution to what is now sometimes referred to, within the applied techniques of operations research, as ‘the chain of replacements problem’.