Hardwood veneer logs comprise less than 1% of the eastern hardwood forest resource in the United States; yet the typical range for veneer log prices is 2‐10 times greater than that of grade 1 sawlogs. In this article we examine attributes and defects known to affect the value of veneer logs and shed light on forest management considerations that affect veneer log production. Veneer attribute data were collected for black cherry (Prunus serotina Ehrh.), black walnut (Juglans nigra L.), northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.), sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.), and white oak (Quercus alba L.). Social judgment theory was used to assess veneer attributes and defects. Color (hue and consistency) and rings (density and texture) are the drivers in veneer log selection, and the results are also indicated by a “Species by Color” interaction and a “Species by Rings” interaction. Other cues are important but do not appear to drive log selection. Hardwood forest management practices, in which partial cuttings are performed, can affect the potential product value of face veneer quality residual stems by changing the rate of diameter growth.