Enhancing carbon sequestration is crucial to mitigate rising global levels of greenhouse gases, and for developing countries, carbon sequestration may also provide economic benefits via international carbon trading schemes. This study aimed to determine the optimal management strategy for tropical planted forests when timber and carbon sequestration are valued. The survey data were collected from 291 household foresters, who were growing Eucalyptus urophylla and Acacia mangium in Yen Bai Province, Vietnam. The regression exercise suggests that financial status was negatively correlated with forest management practices, and ethnicity and financial status were correlated with carbon sequestration management. The survey results suggest that the mean rotation age employed by household foresters is five years. However, the optimization modelling suggests that the optimal rotation age for maximizing net present value is greater than nine years. The differences between current practices and optimal practices therefore favour a role for government policy interventions.