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Author Topic: Newbie Question  (Read 840 times)

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Offline Timmyv555

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Newbie Question
« on: December 25, 2017, 01:05:28 AM »
I currently acquired a property in Northern California with 20 ponderosa pine trees on it.  Varying in size from 20 to 36 inches in diameter and some of the trees appear to be 100 feet tall.  These trees are as tall as some of the coastal redwood trees.  They are massive.  I am trying to assess any value in these trees.  Since I am not a forester or plugged into that industry I am hoping someone on this site could help me.  I ultimately would like someone to take the trees down and just give them the lumber.

1). In your experience and knowledge going off of what I described above, do you think this is a possibility?
2) Since we are not talking about acres of forest land here, how would I go about on my own trying to find someone help me?

I think you get the jest of it. 

Look forward to any and all advice.  And in advance this isnt my business and Im just trying to find some answers so please be nice.  I really have no expectations other than trying to figure out how to have someone remove the trees for free and let them sell the logs to recoup cost of taking them down.  If Im able to get a few free boards.  Awesome,  but getting them removed would ultimately be my goal.  Thanks for reading

Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: Newbie Question
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2017, 09:33:07 AM »
Welcome aboard, I cannot help you, but some one will be along shortly.  Sounds like the trees should be sold rather than giving them away.
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Online Southside logger

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Re: Newbie Question
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2017, 10:19:26 AM »
Welcome to the Forum.  Are your trees near houses or other structures / power lines / etc or are they simply in an un-developed area?  Can someone get heavy equipment up to them to be able to handle the logs?  Is your land on a steep slope or rather flat?  What part of Northern Cali?  San Francisco is a long way from Weed.  Just trying to get an idea of the what and where to help point a direction.  Oh - and since it is California - can you harvest those trees or will you have to jump through 100 layers of permitting?
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Offline clearcut

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Re: Newbie Question
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2017, 08:19:13 PM »
Welcome to the Forum.

In California, you can cut any trees that you like on your rural property if you use the wood yourself or leave it to rot. Trees within certain planning (Tahoe), municipal, or some county boundaries may need a permit for removal.

Legally, if you sell, barter, or trade the trees (trade cutting them for the lumber) you need a Timber Harvest Plan (THP), Non-Industrial Timber Management Plan(NTMP), or an exemption to one of these. Most of these exemptions require a Registered Professional Forester (RPF) to create the plan, and a Licensed Timber Operator (LTO) to execute it. There is an exemption for fuel reduction within 150' of permitted structures that has other considerations but does not require an RPF.

It will be challenging to do legally.

Your local CalFire office will have more information, or:

     http://calfire.ca.gov/resource_mgt/resource_mgt_forestpractice




Offline Timmyv555

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Re: Newbie Question
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2017, 12:03:45 AM »
Hi guys.  The ponderosa pines are located an hour outside San Francisco in Sonoma County.  They are about 100 feet from a structure, but heavy equipment could be brought up close to trees.  There are no electrical lines close and since the trees are not redwoods I was told by a PRMD County Office I do not need to pull permits.  There is enough lumber on these trees to frame a small castle.  Lol.  I just have no idea how to tap into the right people to get rid of the and somehow capitalize on it a little.  Not interested in getting rich on it.  If I could just have someone take them down for free and keep the wood I would consider it a win.  If one of you could help me game plan how to actually make so money that would be even better

Online mike_belben

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Re: Newbie Question
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2017, 02:38:10 AM »
 Big timber 100 feet from a structure.  You want it taken down by someone competent with experience, equipment and insurance.   It MAY be possible to find a little guy with a pickup truck and a sawmill that wants the wood for his projects but i suggest you give up any hopes of getting paid.

If you call a tree company its probably many thousands in fees.  California is one of the absolute most expensive states for anyone with trucks and equipment.  And theres no shortage of paying customers in line ahead of you.  I get asked to do this type of stuff alot and almost always decline.  Theres very rarely enough money in the wood for me to make minimum wage on the hours.
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Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Newbie Question
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2017, 12:01:07 PM »
Hi Timmyv555, welcome to the forum!

You're right to recognize the value those trees have, but it may be a challenge getting that value to a willing buyer.  But just how valuable are they?  Probably lower than you think.  It may be helpful to quantify how much wood you've actually got.  Figuring timber volumes is something between art and science, so my crude estimating will probably offend both camps.  If you go to the little red toolbox image on the bottom of the left column of this page, you'll see the link for the Forestry Forum Toolbox.

The third link goes to the volume of a tree calculator.  Input the diameter at breast height, the number of logs (I guessed at 4, you might get 5 on some) and species taper, then calculate.  There's a lot of ways to be wrong in this calculation, but you'll be close.  By my estimates a 20" tree may yield around 500 board-feet and a 36" tree may yield up to 2000 bf.  If the average per tree is one thousand board-feet (1 mbf), you may have a total of 20 mbf on the property.  A little higher if you more trees with large diameter and lower volume for more small trees.

How much is that worth?  Lumber markets are very regional, and prices vary based on the species, amount of competition, etc.  California has a handy worksheet to do the valuation for you, available here.  It looks like your timber is valued at most at $190 per mbf.  There are however deductions based on logging method employed and the size of the harvest.  My guess is that for a tractor-based harvest of 20 mbf in your area, the state would value it at $40 per mbf.  If your harvest exceeds 25 mbf then it would jump up to $90 per mbf.

It's possible I grabbed that tax worksheet by the wrong end and have completely mis-interpreted how to value your timber.  Have a go at it and see what you come up with.

EDIT: I did mess up, I misread the table for Green Timber.  Prices are based on average volume per log, I was thinking of average volume per tree.  For a log with a volume less than 300 bf the price drops to $150/mbf.  Assuming a saw log length of 16', that means any log diameter less than 21" will have the lower value.  Overall there would be many logs over 300 bf and many less than 300 bf.  And you'd likely have logs under 15" diameter, which means lower value still because their volume is under 150 bf.  Bottom line, you're probably looking at a value (for tax purposes) of at most $1,000 and probably much less.  If you're looking for a silver lining, at least you'd be exempt from property tax on the harvest.
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Offline sandhills

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Re: Newbie Question
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2017, 02:14:01 PM »
Welcome to the forum Timmyv555, may I ask why you're removing them, for development?  I guarantee you came to the right place for good advice so stick around, sorry I'm no help but these folks are.


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