Black walnut trees

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by scott owen wolfe, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. scott owen wolfe

    scott owen wolfe New Member

    Aug 31, 2003
    What do you think? I have a stand of black walnut trees in northern Indiana. I'm thinking about selling some. I've got three quotes, 60 trees $3000, 20 trees $1100, 60 trees $5000. The trees range in diameter 12-22 inch. Are these quotes reasonable, I somehow feel like I'm getting a bad deal. Any thoughts or advice would be welcome. Forgot to say trees are 40-65 feet tall.
  2. mysticokra

    mysticokra Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2003
    Estillfork, Alabama
    If you have the time to harvest them yourself and cut them into boards you could compare the retail price per board foot compared to the wholesale price they are offering you. The quotes sound very low, assuming decent tree size.

  3. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2002
    Please keep in mind that I know nothing about timber or its sale, but that sure doesn't seem like much money for the trees you are giving up. Is the market down? Are the logs not big enough for veneer milling?
  4. BeckyW

    BeckyW Well-Known Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    We have family in Arkansas and friends in Missouri who both have harvested lumber off their land. Like everything else, the money is in the processing and distribution and the price paid to harvest obscenely low. Our Missouri friend bought his own milling equipment (antique but works fine for his volume) and makes a handsome side income off his own trees. The Arkansas family grumbles and takes it.

    Sometimes if you contact furniture/cabinet manufacturers directly -- especially smaller family-owned ones -- you'll get a much better deal than just a lumber wholesaler.

    Good luck.
  5. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2002
    A 12 inch diameter tree for black walnut isn't worth much.

    The real value is when you have larger diameter trees. The other important metric is the main trunk (not the overall height of the tree) length from the ground to the first bough (branch) and that this length is knot free.

  6. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2003
    Logger's are notorious for ripping people off (not all, but many). Contact a forester (your state should have one) and ask them your questions. You also want to check out contracts and what you should have in yours.

  7. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    May 22, 2003
    Zone 7
    When I am not agmantoo, I am in forest products. I have a tree enterprise and I sell the production from my tree farms. Do as Jena suggested but I doubt that the state forestry people will give you a quote as to the value. However, they willl provide a list of private foresty management individuals. Pay for someone to come and take inventory of your walnut trees. Then you can prepare a request for bids from the various buyers in your area. The professional that did the inventory may also have some contacts. You need to find an end user with a need since you have such an uncommon species. You should recoup the fees plus generate the maximun return using this technique. Never take a bid from a harvester without knowing the quantity of you timber. You only have a once in a life time opportunity to harvest such trees from this tract of land and you need to make the most of it. Capital gains from the harvest are low at this time so the timing is good if the market for walnut is good. I wish that I had some walnut to sell as I am into the cheaper varieties. PS, with this approach you can get paid in advance and not get ripped off by the harvester failing to pay for the last loads he cuts. Get a good understanding, in writing, as to how the property appear after the harvest . You state forester will see to it that the correct harvesting techniques are followed if you will ask him to check during the harvest.