Selling your trees for extra cash or starting a long-term forestry business requires careful thought on how to get the best value for your timber while protecting your property. Figuring out what types of trees you have and their size is just the first step in determining how much money the stand will fetch. No matter what reasons you have for selling your stand of timber, conducting the transaction as a carefully-researched business deal is key to getting the best price for your trees.
Forest Management Plans
Figuring out whether you want to sell your trees as a one-time transaction or sell trees every year or two for lumber instead is a good starting point. If you plan to harvest your trees for years to come, developing a forest management plan helps you keep damage to the forest at a minimum. Work with a forestry consultant to create your plan –– many state colleges offer forestry consulting free or at a reduced rate.
Know the Law
Before you cut down your trees, find out if any state laws apply to your forest. Some states regulate what type of harvesting equipment can be used to cut down the stand. If the trees are located close to a stream or wetlands area, your state or county may require you to create a plan to protect plants or animals vulnerable in that area.
Your trees’ worth are determined by the species, size and quantity. In addition, local market conditions are key to calculating how much money you’ll get for the stand. Saw mills want the largest trees from which they can produce lumber or veneer. Otherwise, smaller trees may be better used for pulpwood, which reduces the value. Value is determined either by the actual amount of timber harvested or via an agreed-upon lump sum for the trees, no matter how much timber the loggers get out of the stand.
Find a Buyer
Check with several lumber companies and mills in your area to determine what types of trees they buy. The slope, soil wetness and access to the trees all play a part in how much money the lumber company will offer, so invite them to visit your stand to get a fair bid. Check references to learn about other timber harvesting jobs they’ve completed. Talk to other landowners who sold the trees to make sure the logging crew properly cleaned up after harvesting. If you hire a forester to help you create a management plan, ask them for referrals to reputable lumber companies or timber buyers.
Create a Contract
Once you find a buyer, create a contract that outlines the specific trees that need to be cut. Describe any areas that are off-limits, and explain how the loggers access the trees, such as by a dirt road. A solid contract should also explain how slash and debris, such as branches, will be removed. Outline what happens if the loggers damage your property or trees that are not part of the sale.
- Photo Credit sauletas/iStock/Getty Images
How to Sell a Cedar Tree for Wood
While a cedar tree can be a lovely addition to your yard, there are plenty of valid reasons for wanting to get...
How to Sell Black Walnut Lumber
Black walnut is highly valued because its wood is beautiful and easy to work with. Yet many home-grown black walnut trees have...
How to Sell Residential Oak Tree Lumber
While oak trees can be an attractive addition to your yard, they're not for everyone. Large oak trees might shade your entire...
How to Sell Pine Trees
Selling mature pine trees to a lumber company or furniture manufacturer can bring in a nice profit. If you've got five acres...
How to Sell Pine Trees for Lumber
Growing pine trees is a long-term investment; the trees are not fully grown for at least thirty years. Many families choose to...
How to Sell to Sawmills
Sawmills are facilities that turn trees or large logs into boards and planks of wood. Sawmills have been operating for centuries wherever...
Which Trees Are Used for Lumber?
Forest crops are long-term investments, and many of the most valuable trees take 80 to 120 years to fully mature. Most trees...
Companies That Purchase Oak Tree Logs
Every piece of quality oak lumber available for purchase was originally sourced, harvested, aged and processed from a living oak tree. Because...