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To Sell or Not to Sell

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Published on: May. 22, 2012

want to sell your trees?

 If you decide your woods need a timber harvest, and the timber is sellable, the next aspect to consider is how the timber should be sold. There are two basic ways that timber can be sold. The first is a lump sum sale where a given number of marked and measured trees are sold to a buyer for a given price as bid by the buyer. This is the most commonly suggested way to conduct a timber sale so that the buyer and the seller know exactly what is expected of them.

The second way to sell timber is on a shares basis, or sale by unit. This type of sale means that either the landowner will receive a certain price per board foot sold (A board foot is the standard measurement of wood volume.), or they will receive a given percentage of the income generated from their trees being sold to a lumber mill. The buyer and seller of the timber agree on a price or percentage up front that they feel is fair for the trees being removed from the woods. The income is generally based on the tickets received from the lumber mill when logs are delivered. This method is recommended when there is something unknown about the trees being sold, such as storm-damaged trees, poor quality trees or when the sale is risky for the buyer. No matter what kind of method you use to sell your trees, you should always use a written contract and agree upon specifically indicated trees to be included in the sale.

Qualities of a Good Timber Harvest

Cutting trees is the most valuable tool in a forester’s toolbox to improve forest health and vigor; however, if done improperly, it can degrade the woods and take many generations to recover. Harvesting trees will always look messy for a few years afterward, even if it’s done right. But there are things to watch for to indicate excessive and unnecessary damage. It will likely rain sometime during a logging operation. This is not a problem if logging roads and trails are properly planned and built. Continuing logging operations when the ground is very soft can result in large ruts and erosion. Generally, ruts more than 6- to 8-inches deep means that the ground is too soft for operations. Another common issue is damage to trees that are not

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