Selling logs...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Unregistered-1427815803, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. There are some decent sized pines on some property I own. I am curious about how much they would fetch if I allowed a logging company to take them. How many trees are required for it to even be worthwhile for a logging company to come? I did an inventory and there are about 25 pines that are 20 inches in diameter at breast height. Is that sufficient? There are also plenty of old hardwoods but i'd rather not get rid of them. Can anyone offer me some insight into how all this works? (oh, I'm in South Carolina if that info makes a difference.) Thanks in advance.
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    May 22, 2003
    Zone 7
    Since most logging is performed with dedicated large equipment the majority of the loggers here in NC want a minimum of 5 acres with trees as large as yours in order to justify moving the machinery. Smaller trees will require not less than 10 and preferrably 20 acres to move. Try to locate a person with one of the bandsaw sawmills needing a few logs and attempt to sell to him. I doubt that you will get more than $180 per thousand board feet for the trees. You may find that it is best to use them yourself.

  3. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

    Dec 13, 2003
    Floyd County, VA
    I cleared a quarter acre in Washington a year or so ago and got about $2000 toward the rest of the clearing on the land. Leveling a building place and piling up the brush and stumps cost me $1000 more over what I got out of the trees. Two truckloads of good wood and one of mixed wood. This was Cedar and fir. I could have gotten more, but the trees where not high quality - they want straight trees, no rot in the middle (lot's of mine were diseased in places) and the fewer branches the better. They cut them in 40 foot lengths, I think so if the tree is 20 inches in diameter and straight 80 feet up then you get two logs out of it. Other wise you get waste. They also took a load of misc alder and maple, again only the straight logs for other misc uses.

    I had three logging companies come out and they will give you a bid on what your trees are worth for free to give you an idea. They will also point out everthing undesirable about them. ;-) One of mine was "school marm" - had a fork 30 feet up rendering a large part of it unusable. Another one had too big a but end compared to the rest of the tree - they cut that off and left it.

    The other problem was what was left - if you have them pull the stumps and all of the brush left over makes a huge pile. Where I was it was not permissible to burn except for a 4 by 4 pile so it all had to be hauled out which cost me another $3,000.

  4. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2003
    Loggers are notorious for ripping people off.

    Call your state forester and see if they can help you get an inventory. They ought to be able to give you a clue to see if it's worth cutting. If you decide to cut, hire a forester to do the sale.

    That is the smart way to do things, from what I understand. Of course, here in the midwest we have lots of hardwoods and some very valuable trees. The amount someone can get ripped off for is pretty high.

  5. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    Northern Wisconsin
    The facts of life on small logging jobs is this: Loggers figure it costs $200 each way to move a piece of doesn't matter if its their own truck/trailer or someone elses.
    This money comes right off the top. Its figured in.

    Your county or state forester will give you free advice on what you may expect to receive from a logger in regards to stumpage and approx how many 1000 board feet of timber you have.

    Yes, it definitely is worthwhile for a logger to get 25 pine trees of the dimensions you described.
    These may even be "log cabin logs", which command premium prices.

    As others have pointed out, many loggers are notoriously unscrupulous. I have known loggers that indeed bragged about how badly they screwed landowners.

    Do your homework. You'll only be able to sell these mature trees once in your lifetime. Don't be hasty and give the nod to the first smooth talking logger that tells you what you want to hear.

    Check out full scribe log home builders in your area. They are ALWAYS looking for cabin logs. Tell them you have 25 trees and ask them to take a look and give you a price. Don't expect them to call them at 9:00 am and have them show up at 10:30 am. Call as many full log home builders in your area and get prices.
    Keep in mind these things often take months.

    If you can sell even 1/2 of the trees as cabin logs, you'll probably be money ahead to harvest them with this in mind. If you know someone with a big enough tractor/bulldozer, etc, fall the trees yourself and hire them to skid out the trees to one central location where a log truck can get them. Be certain there is more than ample room for a log truck to turn around.
  6. arley

    arley Member

    Apr 26, 2003
    Depending on where you are located, there may be small scale operations that do quality work. Sometimes jobs can be done with horses or smaller scale equipment that doesn't leave such an inpact on the land. We logged our 60 acres a while back with a conventional operation, and they did a fairly decent job. This was because there was a contract. THis is extremely important, as everything is spelled out, and there is no misunderstanding or grey areas. As the other person said, contact the state or fed forester in your area. However, even they can be misleading as to what the worth may be, as they are often times geared up fro clearcut sales on a very large scale. Someone in our area selectively harvested a oak forest, and the number between what was taken and what the forester thought wouold come out were so far off the mark it was unbelieveable. Don't Forget the Contract!!
  7. Balancedmom2003

    Balancedmom2003 Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2003
    I have 3 acres of land and I am thinking of getting the timber cut also. But as everyone else mentions, loggers are there to look after themselves and forget the poor saps they just ripped off. Not only that, they leave the place in a terrible mess.

    I got the Jan/Feb issue of Countryside and on page 42 you can pay for the plans to build your own homemade band sawmill. It says "$3 for 17 introductory pages on two mills and one video. " It sounds like it might eventually end up costing more than the $3 but I will buy it anyway.

    I will use the timber I have in my own home.. I have quite a few long needle pines that are as you described. I am going out this weekend to get somewhat of a count on what I have.

    If you are willing to put the time and effort into harvesting your own and using them yourself it will be well worth your effort. I have seen the messes that these timber companies leave and I don't appreciate it. It would cost more to fix what they messed up than what they will be willing to pay you in the first place. I don't cotton to the idea of someone ripping me off and messing up the place to boot. That is just my opinion.

    I do have a slight advantage in the help of my father, he cut what is known as "pulp wood" with his dad from the time he was able to handle a saw on up until he was old enough to get a job driving a rig. I will have his expertise in the felling of the trees. ;)

    I would listen to what other folks had to say about where to get help determining how much timber $ you have.

    Hope I have not ruffled any feathers of loggers out there.

    Good luck with whatever you decide!

    SHELBY Well-Known Member

    Mar 9, 2003
    okay you got me Ruffled Feathers.....

    There are many reputable loggers and yes there also happens to be many fly by nighters as my hubby calls them. The one point I would like to make is that many of the loggers can lose money on timber, not just the land owners. With the prices and the fact that you might think that the tree is good and straight and they gave you the best price they could give you and once they cut it they find out that it is hollow. It has happened..and happens quite often especially when the stump diameter is high. Ask the logger for references if they are reputable then they will give them to you. The problem with state forester's coming in and giving you a price is that they don't have to take the risk of losing money on the deal so what do they care if the tree is hollow..There are alot of factors that go into giving someone a price on timber. I also agree though about getting a contract and put in everything you want done including clean up, (tree tops, ruts, etc...)Another way you can do it is get a split on the value of the timber that way you know how much money they are getting and how much you are getting. They have to show you the paperwork from the sawmill or timber outfit that they sold it too.. It will show you footage, type of timber, and quality....
  9. swamptiger

    swamptiger Active Member

    Oct 15, 2002
    northern mn
    The best thing to do with a small quantity such as what you have is to locate someone who has a portable sawmill, and see if he will come and saw the wood on shares. He might even do the logging for you...
  10. Dawndra

    Dawndra I'm back

    Feb 27, 2003
    Spoon River Country Illinois
    It's a nightmare! We've been trying to sell about 30 logs that are already cut for about 2 months now! We cant get the buyers to come out & even look at them!!!

    if you don't have a whole bunch of logs... they don't wanna talk to you... at least around here.
  11. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2003
    Carthage, Texas
    All of those trees might make one load on a logging truck. So finding a logger with large equipment to come out and cut your wood is probably unreasonable. Even a small logger would hesitate, unless he's hungry. We have one very small independent logger, and even he requires a certain amount of loads to make it worth moving his equipment out to the woods.

    Gatewood (price of timber delivered to a buyer, either sawmill or timber broker) value on such a load of logs would be small. If a logger does cut it and hauls it, your looking at maybe 600 to 700$. Minus his costs. I had 90 acres thinned this spring, and I was getting around 300$/load. Some larger trees would have doubled that amount.

    If you cut them, haul them to the mill yourself, you'll see all the profit. Remember you'll have a huge mess, no matter who cuts the wood...stumps, limbs, ruts. Whenever a tree dies on my place, I cut it, haul it to the bandsaw mill, and get lumber cut, either paying 20c/ft, or cut on halves.

    good luck...
  12. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    May 11, 2002
    There is a lot of inbreeding and in-laws between logging families in some areas, resulting in a fairly controlled market. An old trick is for three or more of them to get together to rig bids. The first would bid almost nothing. Second would come in a tad higher. Third would come in significantly higher, but still at well below actual market value. Hey, you got three bids and one was far better than the others... They take turns on who gets to bid the highest.

    Ken S. in WC TN
  13. pumpkinlady

    pumpkinlady Well-Known Member

    Sep 3, 2003
    NW PA
    When we had our placed logged we did have several people come out and give us a proposal. They were all so different. So we hired a broker to get bids for us. They handled everything from lining up bids to making sure the loggers left our land in the condition they promised to leave it in. All we had to do was to choose who we wanted from the summited bids and to collect our check when the work was done. The firm that handle this, got us almost 2/3's more money than anyone we contacted, even after their fee.