Thank you for your question and let me see if I can help you out with some basic suggestions:
1). The soils (texture, pH, fertility, drainage, landscape position, land-use history, etc.) should almost always dictate the species to be planted on site. Is the site more conducive to growing conifers (e.g., southern yellow pine spp.), or is the site more conducive to growing hardwoods (oak spp., pecan, black walnut, yellow-poplar, etc.)? A professional forester will need to assist you with this simple task.
2). Fast-growing southern yellow pine species may allow you to realize your investment window more quickly than planting select hardwood species. You may be able to capitalize on your investment sooner by realizing periodic returns from commercial thinnings via a pine planting – as compared to a traditional, stand of select hardwood species.
3). Can you realize your investment strategy “sooner” by purchasing an existing stand of timber? This strategy may allow you to recoup your investment more quickly…
4). Contact a professional consulting forester or a local Georgia Forestry Commission forester who can work directly with you to achieve your specific short- and long-term goals. Professional forestry assistance will prove invaluable to you and your husband throughout this process – I cannot emphasize this fact enough!!!
Best of luck!