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Author Topic: Helping my Grandpa do research on Walnut Trees.  (Read 769 times)

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Offline cdrake118

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Helping my Grandpa do research on Walnut Trees.
« on: December 13, 2017, 03:35:26 PM »
Hi everyone. Hopefully this is an appropriate forum to ask my questions.  I apologize if not.  My grandpa doesn't have internet so I am trying to help him with some questions.

He has some land in Northeast Georgia with about 80 Black Walnut trees that he believes are close to 100 years old.  I believe they are around 36 inches in diameter, and close to 100ft tall. He tells me they are high quality, straight trees. He is wondering what the value of the trees might be?  He drove up to a lumbar yard and they told him they could be worth up to $8000 per thousand board ft.  Is that realistic?

He has also asked me a lot of questions around walnut tree stumps.  He believes they can be valuable for use in making gun stocks, I haven't been able to find much information, and the information I did find seemed to suggest it can be more hassle than it is worth to work with the stumps.  Is he on to something?  He seems pretty convinced that the stumps are valuable.

Thanks Everyone.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Helping my Grandpa do research on Walnut Trees.
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2017, 08:25:04 PM »
$2000-4000 per thousand board feet is more realistic  for the whole batch.  Some super perfect logs may bring better but ive never heard of $8k/mbf for any type of wood.   PM nativewolf, top walnut is what he does.
Revelation 3:20

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Helping my Grandpa do research on Walnut Trees.
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2017, 09:08:03 PM »
Hi, welcome to the forum! 

My favorite topic. Walnut...I'll drive everyone crazy.

So, the right answer is maybe....8/bdft but that is the top price period.  That would be some kind of special tree in GA, you are a way out of typical high value walnut world (PA over to IL and then down to MO is the highest and best price). 

I have a thread on Walnut, search for it and give it a read.  Needs an update. 

Walnut is all about grade and the grade is difficult to put a value on from a computer screen.  I'd drop by and tell you but that's a bit of a drive for me, others are closer to you in GA, some really great posters here are from GA.  Maybe the day after Christmas, I'll be down in N TN for a few days. 

Basically you have to understand if you have clear trunks or not, does the stem taper quickly?  etc.  Even small blind knots reduce grade, they leave a little swirly sign in the bark instead of perfectly vertical stripe/blocks. 

Pricing that is more typical would be $2.5-5/bdft for nice logs.  $8/bdft would be nearly perfect 16' veneer logs with large diameters in the small end of the log, measured from inside the bark. 

Now the good news, if you want to make gun stocks you want the wood the mills don't.  You want the crotch and believe me, 1 walnut tree of that size is going to have lots of crotch wood.  Let me take a picture of some large crotch wood and you can see it in my gallery.  So, rather than messing with stumps go for the crotch's.  They will have the flame appearance you want  and the mills won't pay anything for it.  Word of caution.  Make sure to understand the comprises you make in cutting logs and leaving crotch for gunstock.  You want a crotch at least 3' long but that means the log length may be impacted.  You'd never find a way to cut all the crotch wood for stocks from 80 trees, you'll be swamped. 

Cutting a walnut log is tricky, not something to do yourself.  First, walnut cracks on impact, you can easily easily bust a long crack right down the center of a walnut log reducing a veneer grade to a simple saw log (from $5 to $2/bdft). 

Secondly, knowing where to cut a walnut is tree once it is down is tricky, my thread has some points but I really started it to show people a bit about what I've been learning over the last couple of years.  Walnut logs can be cut upon 2 markets and have 5 price grade and pricing varies within grade.  Cutting 1 log impacts the rest of the tree.  Very tricky.  I still make mistakes.  I rarely fell my own walnuts, I have someone I trust do it for me, we've only cracked 1 in the last 6 months.  I do mark my own logs though, still make an error there once in a while and sometimes the logs just don't have the extra 6" you need. 

Just my long distance estimate but if he really has 80 in that diameter (be still my beating heart) and of that height, and they are not fence line trees, and they have no shake, and they are forest grown, then he has from $60-100k in trees at the buyer's site.  A fair split would be 60% of that price to him and the logger getting 40% for cutting and transporting.  You'd get the walnut crotchs and so on. 

Send me a PM and we can setup time for a call, post what pictures you have (add to your gallery- search the forum to find out how to do this-not hard just not ..intuitive).  Obviously I love to talk about walnut and this is the time to sell.
Liking Walnut

Offline samandothers

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Re: Helping my Grandpa do research on Walnut Trees.
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2017, 07:52:58 AM »

Nativewolf, thanks for the continued education!

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Helping my Grandpa do research on Walnut Trees.
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2017, 10:47:56 AM »
Great info NW

Back in the day every revolver had a walnut, cherry or mahogany grip.  My father (then later my brother and i) worked at smith and wesson.  When they started making the switch from inhouse wooden grips to outsourced wood and polymer, vast amounts of blank wood went in the can.

Lets just say that when i was a kid we had a coal stove that ran exclusively on some very expensive wood that i wish i had today.
Revelation 3:20

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