Income from Private Logging

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by SkizzlePig, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. SkizzlePig

    SkizzlePig Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone have any idea what I should expect to receive for 20 acres of Pine trees if I have a private company come and log it?

    We're in Oregon ... and the trees are mostly pine. Any idea?

    For those who are keeping track, my wife and I don't *yet* have our property, but we're weighing the benefits of having a company come and log parts of the property once we do buy.
     
  2. Old Vet

    Old Vet In Remembrance

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    There is no lelling what you can get from 20 acres of timber. You may get $0 dollars up to $100 K. The only way to do this is to have the trees crused. This tells you how many board feet of lumber you have. Then all you need to do is progect that as to what the price you will sell for.
     

  3. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Supporter

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    This varies tremendously because there are so many variables. What exact species are they? How thick are the trees. How tall are they. How free of stubs are they? How old are they. Do they have heart rot? How hard are they going to be harvest and get to a mill? What is the local market like?

    Might be $500 per acre. Might be $50,000 per acre. I've gotten thousands of dollars for single trees (veneer maple) and $10 for others (pulp).

    Best thing to do is get an _independent_ forester to look over the trees and give you an estimate of what is there. Then get at least two bids from logging companies or pay to log, haul and scale at the mill. That is how we generally do it since we do sustainable harvest all the time and each load is different. In your case you may have a plantation or such that is more uniform.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Ol'Reb

    Ol'Reb aka Mr T-Bone

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    Here's what we do... First we do up a bid invitaion letter, (see sample below). Then we send it to every timber company within 100 miles. Most will not be interested but many will. They understand that this is a sealed bid deal... On the bid opening date, many of the loggers will show up for it and wee what the others bid. We sold timber off of 40 acres year before last this way, we had bids come in ranging from $75,000 up to the winner of $143,000. We also sold timber off of 17 acre last year the same way. It works good for us.

    Sample letter---
    June 1, 2006

    NOTICE OF TIMBER SALE.

    I, xxxxx x. xxxxx would like to solicit bids for the purchase of all merchantable timber on the tract listed below.


    TRACT LOCATION.

    The tract is located in the northwest corner of section xx township xx north, range x west, xxxxxxxx xxxxxxx Louisiana. This tract is located directly behind the residence at xxxx HWY xx West, xxxxxx, Louisiana. A Map is enclosed. The boundary lines will be marked with blue paint or blue flagging.


    TIMBER TO BE SOLD.

    All merchantable timber except as marked with pink flagging.


    Method Of Sale.

    The sale will be awarded on the basis of lump sum, sealed bids.
    Bids will be opened at 10:00a.m., Friday July 7th at xxx HWY xx, xxxxxx, Louisiana 71xxx. This is the home of xxx and xxxxxx xxxxxx. The home is directly in front of the timber for sale. Please mail or deliver bids to the address above and mark the envelope “Timber Sale”. Our phone # is xxx-xxx-xxxx. Or the cell # is xxx-xxx-xxxx.

    If you have any questions please call.


    SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

    1. The owner reserves the right to accept or reject any and all bids.

    2. The harvesting operations shall be conducted in a manner that complies with Forestry Best Management Practices.

    3. The successful bidder shall have 18 months to remove the designated timber.

    Thank you. We look forward to hearing from you.
     
  5. DocM

    DocM Well-Known Member

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    Have an independent cruiser come in and give you a ballpark figure
     
  6. mdharris68

    mdharris68 Well-Known Member

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    Here is one of the timber cruising companies in Beaverton, Oregon. My brother in law is the owners son in law. They are honest hardworking people with a good reputation in the timber consulting business. If you get bids from actual loggers, they are going to tell you what they will give you for the timber, but not tell you what it is atually worth. These consultants don't have an interest in reselling the logs so they will tell you what you have in terms of value.


    Atterbury Consultants, Inc.
    Oregon Office (headquarters):
    3800 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Suite 145
    Beaverton, Oregon 97005
    Phone: 503/646-5393 • Fax: 503/644-1683
     
  7. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

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    I agree that you should get a forester. If you hire him (a certain percentage of the final sale), you will get someone who can accurately estimate the board feet of each species, talk with you about your long term goals for the land so that you take out only the trees that you want to meet those goals, prepare a contract, send out bid notices to reputable loggers, check in regularly to see they are doing what they bid on, and verify that the land is left in a tidy shape at the end (this should be specifically included in the contract).
    You may think that you don't want to spend money on a forester, but it'll more than pay for itself as you'll get more in the bid amounts (much more than covering just his fee), plus you'll get a contract stipulating all the other important things regarding clean-up, insurance, etc. The forester is interested in the forest and your goals, while SOME loggers are interested mainly in their take from it and will do a poor job to get the most for themselves. It is a conflict of interest. Do yourself a favor and have a forester handle it for you.
     
  8. TnAndy

    TnAndy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Doesn't matter what they are actually worth unless you plan to log it yourself.

    Then you're going to find out how much equipment costs and the fact that workman's comp insurance on any help you have is about 50 cents added to every dollar you pay in wages. In other words, the logger has costs unknown to you.

    What DOES matter is how much you can get a logger to pay you for it.

    Ol'Reb's route is the way to go even if you don't do a 'formal' bid procedure like he lays out. DEFINITELY get at least several bids on the timber AND let each of them know you are doing so.

    Neighbor lady of mine had about 80 acres logged some years ago.....they 'gave' her $3,000. I guarantee ya the first load of veneer ash that came out of there was worth well in excess of that.....followed by a few hundred more loads. They robbed her quite legally.

    Another guy I know called me one day with a question similar to yours....he had 15 acres and wanted to know how much he ought to expect.....some logger had offered him 17k. Told him without seeing it, any answer was simply a wild guess.....get several bids. He called back a few weeks later and said "MAN...were you right.....best bid I got was $85,000 !! " Lot of difference, huh ? ( He had some really huge red oaks in there, I later went down and looked at it )

    I have about 90 acres of timber on my place, but I would NEVER consider letting anyone come log it....it's way to valuable to me as a resource. Buy yourself a small bandmill and small tractor to skid with, and you'll get many, many times the value of having it logged in the form of usable lumber. I built my house, shop, several barns, sheds, and 3 rental houses over the course of 25 years....and have yet to put much of a dent in the timber here.
     
  9. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Contact the state forester for your area. Likely they will come out and do an initial timber cruise for you for free. They can also likely provide a list of loggers they have worked with in the past.

    Also be aware of what you want done vs what the contract says. If it says all timber they may well clear cut and then haul off what they don't want to make timber out of as woodchips or pulp. Selective cutting specifies what can be cut, such as no trees less than 12" in diameter at dead breast height (or at stump). In some case an individual marks only those trees to be cut.

    Your state forester is paid for, in part, by you for their services.
     
  10. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    Listen to Tn Andy and follow Ol rebs advice.
     
  11. swollen tongue

    swollen tongue Well-Known Member

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    All timber in the northwest is valued by the 1000 board feet, the price for the week, in the local newspaper, delivered to the mill. white pine, ponderosa pine,red cedar, tammarack, doug fir, etc. all have different values. get some loggers that do this kind of work, we used to pay around 50% of the total value of the logs to the logger to cut it, skid it, and haul it to the mill. The state has a fee for cleaning up the slash too. This was in North Idaho. There is some good money to be had in trees.
     
  12. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    FYI around here in MT the 1000 board feet thing has gone to the wayside as mills now pay by the ton. Unfortunately this still leaves the mill getting twice the wood they pay for simply because they converted board feet to tons and did not yet address the fact that milling equipment has become so precise and the blades so much thinner that there is almost double the wood in a single log compared to 20 years ago. Also just to give you an idea....we recently had 40 acres of lodgepole mostly and some fir logged of our place. Up a pretty steep hillside for some of it. We did not clear cut but took everything marketable in size. We were pretty heavily forested with growth since the last logging effort in the mid 70's. We were paid about 27000.00 for the wood which was a good fair price in 2005. Hope that helps. sis
     
  13. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Get an independant logger with a good reputation (ask for references). If you have a saw mill do it, they can rip you off. For example, they may tell you they will give you a certain percent, but we know of some people that will not count all the lumber. That way they can outbid honest loggers and still pay you less than the others would have. My dad can look at timber and tell how much it will cut. He's very acurate, it's pretty amazing really. However we are in Arkansas :) .

    If you get a good logger (and just have them take the big trees only), you will be very happy you did it, it won't look much different, you'll have a few trails cut out and money in your pocket. You get a bad one you can have trash everywhere, tops laying here and there, ruts in your roads, and less money than you should have.
     
  14. swollen tongue

    swollen tongue Well-Known Member

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    yea, there are crooks in everything now adays.........I've seen ten acres of timber gross $20,000. Do it yourself.
     
  15. BeeFree

    BeeFree Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Right now in my area of MO the pine market isn't doing too well. Loggers are waiting for the price to come up before they cut what they have bought.
     
  16. e.alleg

    e.alleg Well-Known Member

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    pine isn't very valuable around here either. it is good for making rosin for violinists, boil the sap and market it at $9 for a little bit.
     
  17. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    We had an unexpected bill we needed to get paid off quickly. My husband cut a load of cedar, negotiated and sold it to a saw mill. When the check for the logs came it was half of what it should have been. Steve called the mill. They claimed the load scaled half of what it was. Steve went to the mill and spoke with the scaler. Turns out he isn't a licensed scaler and the mill lacked a license or two. Steve is a state licensed forester and scaler. He's also a wood buyer for a paper mill. He knew exactly what was on that truck and what it was worth. He called the state in to investigate and the mill was shut down.
     
  18. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Reminds me of the TV ad for the folks who will buy your old gold jewelry. You send it to them and they send you a check. Apparently no appraisal (other than on their own), no offer - just what they want to pay you for it.

    When someone brings in a load of logs how does the mill make anywhere near an accurate estimate of how many board feet of what type of wood is on it?
     
  19. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

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    Sawmills throughout the world are notorious for participating in the fraudulent practices described by MaineFarmMom, although sawmills usually don't steal quite this badly (50%). Stealing at this rate usually sets off alarm bells. Typically, they only steal around 10 - 20%.
    The events described by MaineFarmMom are unusual, as most log sellers lack the credentials to question the scaling/grading practices used by sawmills. And, lets face it, what are the chances of getting paid by a sawmill that has been shut down?


    The typical scenairio goes something like this.
    Joe Jones arranges with the Hardly Able Sawmill to sell a semi truckload of logs that Joe will harvest from his own property. Joe is well versed in the logging business, having sold logs to various sawmills for 20 years.
    Hardly Able gives him a sliding scale of what payment will be for the logs. For example, top grade #1 white pine will be paid $450 per thousand board feet. #2 white pine will be paid $300 per thousand board feet #3 white pine will be paid $250 per thousand board feet.

    Joe harvests the trees, grades/scales them in a conservative manner, allowing leeway for grade/scale and writes down his numbers. Joe has 1000 board feet of #1 logs ($450), 1500 board feet of #2 logs ($450) and 2500 board feet of #3 logs ($750) for a total of $1650. He arranges for Loggers Transport Company to haul the logs to the sawmill and pays $200 in trucking costs.

    A week later, a check arrives from Hardly Able in the amount of $1400. The scale tickets (which show an accounting of the grade & scale for each log) are included. The grade & scale from the sawmill is far lower than his numbers. He calls up the sawmill and they basically say "Take it or leave it".

    Joe has already invested $200 in trucking costs to get his logs to the mill. What usually happens is the seller of the logs bites the bullet and takes the loss.

    Welcome to the world of logging.


    The best method for selling logs is this:
    Harvest your logs during the coldest month of the year, that way there is no danger of logs staining or degrading.
    Sort your logs according to species and grade. You might have 16 different piles of logs.
    Example pile of pine pulp pile of pine bolts pile of pine sawlogs
    pile of oak pulp pile of oak bolts pile of oak sawlogs pile of oak veneer
    Sell off the pulp & bolts to anyone you can. There isn't a great deal of profit in these grades. The real money is in the sawlogs/veneer.
    Arrange to have a log buyer come to your property and give you a price for your sawlogs & veneer. You'll have to be a little bit dodgy on this, as most log buyers don't want to waste their time unless they come away with a purchase.
    Then have another 4 or 5 log buyers do the same thing, giving you a price.

    A friend of mine harvested some high grade maple logs on his 40 in this manner. He had 5 log/veneer buyers give him quotes. Prices went from $73,000 up to $112,000. He was paid for the logs before they left his property.

    The lesson is this: maintain control over your logs. If they leave your property before you're paid for them, you no longer have control over them.
     
  20. SkizzlePig

    SkizzlePig Well-Known Member

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    Won't these problems with a sawmill be fixed by getting a sealed bid quote from a logger, much like Ol'Reb suggests? That way, the land owner could care less what the sawmill does. Or do you still have to be warying of the sawmill stealing from you?