Thursday, November 24, 2016

Selling your Timber to a Reputable Log Buyer

SELLING YOUR TIMBER - If you are fortunate enough to have several walnut trees on your property that have reached their economic and physiological maturity, then it’s time to sell them. With a little planning, this task does not have to be a stressful event. The easiest way to get top dollar for your trees and be satisfied with the process and outcome is to hire a consulting forester to assist you. Consulting foresters are professional foresters who work for themselves or a private company. For a fee, usually a percentage of what the sale brings, they can handle the sale and protect your interests during the harvest. You can find someone to assist you at the Missouri Consulting Foresters Association website at

If you decide to handle the timber sale, a little work before you cut will help ensure that you receive the most from your trees. First, you need to decide which trees need to be harvested. Mark, count, and measure the trees so you know exactly what you are selling. Guides to help you measure and grade walnut logs can be found in MDC’s publication Forest Management for Missouri Landowners, available at, on the University of Missouri Extension website at, by contacting an MDC forester, or by calling your regional office to have one mailed to you. Once you know what you are selling, you can estimate the value of that timber in the Missouri Timber Price Trends. This publication, found on the MDC website at, or available from your regional office, provides the prices given for timber based on species, grade, location, and season. This will give you an idea of what your timber is worth — similar to looking up the Kelley Blue Book value if you were selling a car.

FIND A LOGGER Now you need to find a Log Buyer to purchase and harvest your trees. A list of potential bidders is available by contacting your local MDC forester or consulting forester. Local foresters often have experience working with the loggers in your area. Master loggers are available in Missouri. Master Loggers are professional, trained, and meet the highest standards placed on the industry. There are also many loggers that have completed Professional Timber Harvester Training (PTH). Loggers that have completed the PTH training have the knowledge necessary to safely harvest your trees while taking care of the residual forest and soil. Your local forester or the Missouri Forest Products Association website,, has a list of both Master Loggers and PTH trained loggers.

Sending out a request for bids to prospective loggers will let them know that you have trees to sell. The bid sheet should include your contact information, the location, details about the estimated number, size, and grade of the trees, and the deadline to receive their bid. Samples of bid sheets and contracts are available in the previously mentioned Forest Management for Missouri Landowners publication. Competition generally results in increased revenue. You should solicit bids from several potential bidders. A list of loggers who work in your area can be obtained through your local MDC forester.

Higher volumes and quality usually result in more interested bidders. Most perspective bidders will want to come look at the trees for sale (a good reason to have them marked) before they submit a bid for your trees. Meet with them so you get an idea of which loggers you feel comfortable with, ask for — and check — references. Make sure you both understand what is expected during the harvest process. This will help you make the final decision of who you want harvesting your trees.

Economics may limit the number of loggers interested in bidding. Loggers must consider distance, time, equipment costs, value of the wood, and any risks they may be taking. Risk is one of the reasons a tree near a home generally can’t be sold. Within city limits a city business license is often required (which a logger probably does not have). The large amount of risk associated with harvesting the tree seldom outweighs the profit. Even if the tree is worth a few hundred dollars, it may not be worth the risk if the tree might damage a house or powerline. The potential for the tree to have metal, or some other blade-damaging item, in it also increases in trees located near a house. For more information about log buyers please visit

Saturday, November 5, 2016

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