Selling Walnut Timber

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Published on: Jan. 18, 2013

trunk, or has limbs within 9 feet of ground level, it no longer qualifies as high-grade veneer.

The second problem with most field-grown black walnut trees is the number of defects on the tree. Any blemishes on a tree are considered defects. Each defect reduces the value of the tree. High value black walnut trees typically have large diameters, are straight, and have no defects for a long way up the trunk. One hit with the brush hog will take the tree out of the most valuable veneer category. The wound created by the injury causes the tree to produce callous wood in an effort to seal the wound.

That is a defect. Livestock around field-grown walnut trees also produce defects. Not only can they cause direct damage to the trunk, but their hooves can break the feeder roots of the trees and cause a stain in the wood. Other common defects are bird peck and cat face. Bird peck is, as the name implies, caused by sapsuckers or other woodpeckers making small holes in the trunk. Cat face generally results from a limb dying. The tree  creates callous wood around that old limb site that resembles a cat’s face.

To learn more about caring for young walnut trees to get the best timber prices, go to

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

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