Getting professional assistance with timber sales can greatly increase the price of your timber and ensure you are satisfied with the outcome of the sale, and quality of the work that is done. Assisting land owners with the sale of their timber is one of the most important services I offer.
What is my timber worth?
I am often asked, "How much is my woods worth?" Well, unfortunately it's just not that easy. There are four very important factors that play into the price of standing timber. They are species (what kind of tree is it), size, quality, and access.
The kind of trees you are selling makes a huge difference in price. Some trees such as white oak and black walnut are worth much more money than other species such as Sycamore or Beech. Knowing the trees you have, and which ones are going to be harvested, and properly advertising those trees for sale, is a major factor in the price to be paid for the trees.
The size of the trees for sale can also make a big difference in what price will be paid for the tree. Generally, trees that have a larger diameter (more volume) and taller stems are worth more. However, sometimes trees can become too large and begin to decay from the inside out. This is why harvesting trees at the optimal size is ideal and will increase the amount of money you can expect from them. Also, a larger tract (more acres) of timber will be worth more than a smaller tract of timber with the same timber type.
The quality of any given tree is a determining factor directly related to the price of the tree. A larger white oak tree that if full of knots or defects may be worth less money than a smaller white oak tree with no knots or defects. There are generally 3 quality classes trees are lumped into. Veneer, Saw log, or Pallet. Veneer quality trees are worth the most with saw log being a middle grade price and pallet grade logs are usually worth the least.
Access to the property is often overlooked as a determining factor on price. Being able to access the property and get the logs out of the woods can affect the price buyers are willing to pay. The better the access to the property you have the better the price you can expect for your timber.
Timber Sale Process Step-by-Step
Step 1) Initial Consultation: This allows me to determine what your objectives are for the property so I can tailor a timber harvest prescription to obtain those objectives. I also will look at your timber and property to determine if your trees are ready for a harvest and what price you could reasonably expect for your timber
Step 2) Timber Marking: I will then begin marking the trees which are to be harvested. Each tree for sale will be clearly marked in paint and a record of each tree's species and volume (size) will be kept. This allows you to see which trees will be harvested prior to any harvesting begins.
Step 3) Comprise a timber sale bid sheet: Once all the trees have been marked and tallied, I will comprise a timber sale bid sheet. This bid sheet has all the essential information that potential timber buyers want to know about your timber. It includes the species, volume, quality, and access to the property. There will also be a date which the sale is going to be held. Generally, this is a sealed bid sale. This bid sheet is sent out to potential timber buyers in the area. Potential timber buyers then give a sealed bid for the timber.
Step 4) Bid Sale: On the specific date and time the timber will be sold. Once all the bids are in, I will contact you and we will decide together which bid will be accepted.
Step 5) Timber Sale Contract: Once the sale is over, I will provide a timber sale contract between you, myself, and the timber buyer (usually a 2-year contract). This outlines all the expectations of the timber harvesting process and allows for any special considerations to be added. At this time you will be a minimum down payment (usually 30% of the entire bid)
Step 6) Full payment: After 6 months or before any trees are cut down, you will receive the balance (usually 70%) of the payment owed to you.
Step 7) Timber harvesting begins: I will then monitor the harvest process to ensure all parties involved stay within the confines of the timber sale contract. This includes post-harvest clean up, ensuring the property is left in the best condition possible after the timber harvest is completed.