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General Forestry => Sawmills and Milling => Topic started by: 123maxbars on February 07, 2012, 10:27:34 PM

Title: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: 123maxbars on February 07, 2012, 10:27:34 PM
I just purchased 5 acres of land that adjoins my farm. Main reason was for the acerage and not the timber. I am a part time sawyer (rookie) who saws on the weekends and after noons on my LT35 Hydr.  I am a stationary mill and do not do mobile jobs. I am a cop by profession and this is a hobby that easily pays for its self and then some. Anyways most of the lumber I sale is for barns and some woodworkers, but mostly for building, barn siding etc. The land I purchased has around 25 tall straight red/white oak trees. These trees are straight and around 24-30diam. The land is flat but is not cleared off and is over grown forest/woods. Thes trees do have branches on some of the butt logs and some after about 10-15feet from the ground. I hope to fell most of these trees and sale them as barn lumber etc. I have attached a few pictures of them. I have always bought from loggers who bring me clear logs so this will be my first eperience at sawing logs like this. My advice I am looking for is, are these trees worth fooling with? I figured Yes since I am not going for grade but just barn lumber etc. Looking for advice and people who have sawn similar trees/logs. Thanks in advance.  And another reason I didn't mention. Would be nice to tell the wife that we can get some of our money back/if not a little out of the timber from the land.

(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/25380/tree_2%7E0.jpg)

(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/25380/trees_1%7E0.jpg)
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed.
Post by: 123maxbars on February 07, 2012, 10:45:48 PM
(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/25380/tree_3%7E0.jpg)
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed.
Post by: WDH on February 07, 2012, 10:48:47 PM
I saw a lot of oak, and there is a lot of good wood between those limbs knots.  You are going to get some good clear lumber, too, from the butt logs.  The #2 grade knotty stuff I can sell at $1.25 to $1.50 per Board foot to local woodworkers.  Your market may be different, but I like your plan.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed.
Post by: 123maxbars on February 07, 2012, 10:58:03 PM
Thanks WDH. I always value your advice/post on here. I thought so also, I did a rough scale on the trees today and most doyle around 600-800 board feet a tree. Some a little more some a little less. and with 25 of them, I should be good on oak for the next decade, atleast hopefully.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed.
Post by: fat olde elf on February 08, 2012, 02:55:24 AM
Always good to see another criminal justice person on the Forum.  I get more money for white oak than red oak. Trailer beds, etc.  White oak stands up to the weather very well, red oak not so well. You can't get any better advice than that from WDH.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed.
Post by: Bibbyman on February 08, 2012, 03:42:19 AM
Looks like theyd make good shade trees.   I have a couple of big black oaks near our mill Ive graveled under and laid out 6x6s to set lumber on.  Its a wonder how well they shade and shed the lumber stacked under them.  The trouble is, the shade is only seasonal.   And in the fall there are bushes of acorns that fall off them.  I picked up a bundle of lumber the other day and Id bet a bucket full fell out and off it.

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10034/wssnowlogs20061203.JPG)

The trees are on the right side of this picture with lumber stacked under them.  The picture is six years old and Ive since cleared and graveled under the trees and laid down the 6x6s.  There is enough room for me to put the long beams and decking lumber.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed.
Post by: Ron Wenrich on February 08, 2012, 05:37:11 AM
I went to a mill that used shade trees to store their lumber.  It was supposed to be good quality lumber, that was put on sticks.  When I went through it, it was all stained.  There were leaves between the layers.  I don't think it got the needed air flow.

Shade trees are ok for storing logs and short term lumber, but I wouldn't use it for long term lumber storage.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed.
Post by: Kansas on February 08, 2012, 05:48:11 AM
Elfe had the best solution for the white oaks. Trailer decking. Construction companies are more interested in quality and getting stuff when they need it than price. Many of the orders they put in are longer stuff. Those trees fit the bill perfectly.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed.
Post by: Bibbyman on February 08, 2012, 07:39:23 AM
I went to a mill that used shade trees to store their lumber.  It was supposed to be good quality lumber, that was put on sticks.  When I went through it, it was all stained.  There were leaves between the layers.  I don't think it got the needed air flow.

Shade trees are ok for storing logs and short term lumber, but I wouldn't use it for long term lumber storage.

I use it for storing finished orders - waiting on the customer to pick up. Better than setting out in the hot sun when just a day or two an it starts to gray and curl up.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed.
Post by: bandmiller2 on February 08, 2012, 08:15:11 AM
Max,are you going to clear the lot for agriculture or just have a woodlot.?I would only cut the oaks as you have a need for them.Time spent on woods roads is time well spent.Looks to me like ther ideal place for an old tractor and logging arch.If you have any timber framers in your area,may be a good outlet for good quality timbers. Frank C.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed.
Post by: thecfarm on February 08, 2012, 08:25:25 AM
You say red oak,the red oak I have takes a few smarts to bring them down without splitting the butt log. Not a good idea to just put any notch into them and do the back cut. But than you say red/white oak too.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed.
Post by: Okrafarmer on February 08, 2012, 08:54:41 AM
I don't know where you've been getting those premium logs, but you should be able to get quite a few premium boards out of these trees by sawing around the knots on the lower logs. The upper logs will be increasingly pallet-like material, but still have their uses, some of which include low-grade lumber, firewood, pulpwood, or selling as pallet logs to a pallet mill.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed.
Post by: tcsmpsi on February 08, 2012, 09:29:52 AM
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/13641/001_opt.jpg)

With knots    ;D
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed.
Post by: 123maxbars on February 08, 2012, 07:22:04 PM
Max,are you going to clear the lot for agriculture or just have a woodlot.?I would only cut the oaks as you have a need for them.Time spent on woods roads is time well spent.Looks to me like ther ideal place for an old tractor and logging arch.If you have any timber framers in your area,may be a good outlet for good quality timbers. Frank C.

This land is mostly overgrown with brush etc. I plan on clearing it off and maybe running some goats/horses on it and replanting some trees and building a log cabin someday.

I appreciate the responses on here. Some of the trees I will keep but I plaon on milling alot of them to offset some of the purchase price for the land. 
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: 123maxbars on February 22, 2012, 10:47:32 AM
I had a forester/timber buyer come to my woodlot a few weeks ago after making this post. I was just curious on what the offer would be. We spent a few hours walking the land and identifying every tree and what type of use it would bring. After a final tally here is what the lot has

24 Red/White oak trees, straight logs, some knots on the lower parts of some of the trees and average diam of 28in.

4 Ash trees. Straight logs, diam of about 22-28, no knots/limbs up to about 15feet.

4 Poplar trees, good straight logs, diam of 24-30. barn wood, which sells great in my area, and I cant keep enough poplar on hand as it is.

4 Walnut. Small trees, that I do not plan on harvesting anytime soon,

4 Hickory, 20in diam, straight.

I know these are not ideal trees, but in my local market I can sell (over time) all the lumber that I will harvest out of them, and the rest will be pulpwood/firewood. I did hear back from the buyer today who gave me an offer which I was surprised with at the least. He offered me 1k for all of them.  That was about a month ago when he looked at my lot. Since then I sawed up one red oak and was able to sale the two main logs out of the tree for barn lumber for $1.00 a foot which yielded me a profit of $800.00.  No way I will let all these trees go for 1k, i had non intentions of letting anyone harvest them but myself, but I was curious. Anyways, just wanted to update this project I am working on here and see what you guys think about the offer of 1k. Thanks for reading, 

Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: Ron Wenrich on February 22, 2012, 05:58:21 PM
$20/tree.  Sounds a tad bit low, especially for those sizes.  If the oak only had 1 logs, it would still have 434 bf Doyle.  It comes out to about $50/Mbf.  Those trees don't look to be much more than pasture trees and that effects the price.  But, $20/tree is low, at least in my area. 
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: Ianab on February 22, 2012, 06:23:34 PM
Quote
But, $20/tree is low, at least in my area.

Sound's like he didn't really want them?

More work to harvest and process them yourself, but it seems to be the way to go.

Ian
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: Clark on February 22, 2012, 06:33:38 PM
You've got some nice trees on your land there and cutting some of them is probably a good idea.  After all, it's rare that someone stumbles onto a patch of timber that can't be improved in some way and that often times involves cutting the poorer trees.  While it is relatively easy to come up with a figure of what they are worth or how many bd-ft they contain, I would suggest thinking about how much they are worth to you still standing.  Once you cut them you will never see that big of a tree there in your lifetime. 

It seems like your not really sure what you will do with the land down the road 10-20 years.  If you do end up building a cabin I can assure you that several 30" oak nearby will greatly increase it's value and usage.

Clark
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: cutterboy on February 22, 2012, 07:39:12 PM
123maxbars, I have two comments. First, if you own good timber trees and you have a saw mill, and you have proven to yourself that you can sell lumber...... then never sell trees or logs.....saw them up yourself. You'll make 10 times the money and have a good time doing it.

Second, I have never had a problem selling poor quality oak lumber. By poor quality I mean defects in the boards (knots, cracks, etc.) So, go ahead, harvest the trees and sell the lumber if that's what you want to do.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: 123maxbars on February 22, 2012, 07:51:04 PM
That is my plan cutterboy. I have never priced/sold timber from my farm. I was only curious on what type of price i would be offered for it. And it was wayyyyy lower than I imagined. 
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: MotorSeven on February 22, 2012, 08:40:26 PM
Remember, the logger is a middleman(nothing against loggers)...buys them from you then sells them to a mill which generally is another middleman because they mill it then sell it to a finish processer(kiln drying, flooring, planed boards etc) and even then they are not usually the send seller. Anyway, you are skipping a few steps by doing it yourself, so you will see much more $. Once word gets out you will sell all you have pretty quick.
Think about using some of those first trees to build a mill shed and a place to store lumber in the dry...comes in real handy.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: Okrafarmer on February 22, 2012, 10:16:00 PM
$800? Did you mill 800 bf from two logs? Nice logs!  8)
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: WDH on February 22, 2012, 10:17:56 PM
The wholesale (stumpage) market for trees is way lower than the retail value of the lumber, especially more so with hardwood than with pine.  I can sell a good red oak log that weighs one ton as stumpage for about $25 - $30 in my area.  I can saw that log into boards, spend 9 months drying them, put them in the shed, and sell them a few boards at a time over the next year to local woodworkers for $250. 

That is way better if you have the time, the space, and the equipment.  If you had one acre of them or only a few of them like you do, that sawing and selling the lumber is a good strategy.  If you had 200 acres and thousands of them, It could take you several lifetimes to come even close to utilizing them. 

I agree that you would be better to mill them yourself in your situation.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: Ron Wenrich on February 23, 2012, 05:42:13 AM
Let's be fair about prices.  Those trees aren't high quality trees from a market standpoint.  If you have veneer quality red oak, you'll be getting $1.50/bf in the log.  No sawing, no drying, no waiting for a market.  White oak can be higher, and walnut much higher.  Top end on some logs (walnut or cherry) is about $8/bf in really good markets. 

I've bought timber and I've sold timber.  50 trees really isn't enough to whet anybody's appetite for the trees, unless they are high quality.  The buyer went through the hassle of looking at the timber, then gave you a figure that didn't hurt his pocketbook.  He wasn't really interested, in my opinion.

Your $1/bf reflects a marketplace that you could fill, and all your capital and labor inputs.  You can't discount them to $0 when making a comparison.  There has to be worth to your labor and investment.  Same goes for the logger.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: SwampDonkey on February 23, 2012, 06:03:12 AM
Like Ron suggested there is nothing "free" in processing those standing trees into salable lumber even if you own them in your back yard. It might seem free, because the government isn't taxing your labour. But they are taxing the gas, the sale of the saws the parts you busted in working those logs etc, depreciation on everything involved. ;D Let's say you busted a major part that costs $1500 bucks, you better sell some lumber. ;)

You'll probably get a few clears assuming you have some clear faces in the logs, but there will be lots of low grade to when you have open grown trees.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: Okrafarmer on February 23, 2012, 08:52:46 AM
Those may not be the best trees, but there are a lot of clear boards in the lower logs. I saw a lot of "junk" logs and it is amazing the good lumber you can get out of trees like those. Sounds like his primary market doesn't need premium lumber anyway. If he were to keep his best firsts and seconds and airdry them carefully, he could sell them for much more than $1 / bf. Even FAS allows for some minor defects. there are a lot of things that a guy with a little mill can do that wouldn't be worth while for a production mill with lots of overhead.

It is true you do have to consider your time and your expenses when milling this lumber-- if you mill 800 bf and sell it for $800, you have not made $800 profit. But if you work efficiently and keep your costs down, you can certainly make a profit of more than 50%. Depending on your harvesting, moving, and milling capabilities.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: cutterboy on February 23, 2012, 07:36:27 PM
123maxbars, you already have a mill and  already have a chainsaw and other equiptment so your cost will be small to make lumber out of those trees. Of course it will cost a lot of your time.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: stavebuyer on February 24, 2012, 07:44:05 AM
The price offered was probably more than they were actually worth to the man whose time was wasted to come out and "appraise" trees that weren't even seriously being offerred for sale. The trees have little value to a commercial logger. Anyone not already working a job next door would loose a days production and incur several hundred dollars in trucking costs to move and set up to cut 25 trees. The time and expense of moving to and from the job together with the lost production time would very likely exceed the total fair market wholesale value of the logs delivered.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: paul case on February 24, 2012, 09:08:23 AM
Hey Max,
Nice score on buying the wooded lot.
I think you would be ahead to cut them and mill them yourself as it seems to have proven out with the first tree you milled and sold. A few knots doesnt hurt barn lumber and most of those limbs look to be on the small side so those knots wont effect the boards too much. Keep your blade sharp and slow down some going through those knots. It should yeild you some nice lumber.
My grandpa hand cleared his place(now my place) for fire wood and left the bigger nicer oak trees and hickory trees with the thinking, if I ever needed it those would be like money in the bank. They never needed it and now many are dying of old age and are in the 36'' to 48'' at the butt and 30'' to 36'' at 10' range. No one will buy them now because they are too big. I dont like to saw them because they are real heavy and I almost need to split them to be able to saw them. There must be about 75 to 100 of them on about 60 acres. Your trees are just the size I like to saw and they cut out real well.
The logger you talked to may have offered you a fair price given the current situation. In my area anyway there isn't much of a grade market. Those logs would have a fair amount of FAS and 1 com boards in them but with no market they are ties and pallet lumber logs that pays about $.20 bdft doyle for the logs. This is the reason I have a sawmill. I have cut a lot of my timber that is only worththat $.20 and sold the lumber for $.60 and $.80.  PC
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: Okrafarmer on February 25, 2012, 12:35:58 AM
Those logs would have a fair amount of FAS and 1 com boards in them

Glad I'm not the only one who thought so. Yes, they are not ideal logs, but they sure are better than a lot of logs I see. I think there should be a goodly bit of FAS, which might be wasted on barn lumber if you can find a higher market for it. The common lumber and maybe 1-Face should get you the barn lumber price, I reckon. Around here, a lot of people throw their 1-face (F1F) in with their FAS for some reason. You could throw it either way, toward the barn lumber if it makes sense to do so, or in with the FAS premium lumber if you develop a good market for it.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: Ron Wenrich on February 25, 2012, 07:13:42 AM
I'm not seeing "a fair amount of FAS and 1 Com" in those trees.  But, that's just me.  Barn lumber is probably the best alternative for a good deal of the wood.

FAS and F1F are usually put together, since the uses are the same.  In the wholesale end, they usually get made into moldings.  They need the long cutting lengths to get the moldings.  The commons are cut into shorter lengths and made into panels that then go into furniture.  Real short cuttings often go into strip flooring. 

Grading is done by the % of clear cuttings and is based on the size of cutting.  If you're cuttings don't make a 4"x6' or 3"x7', they can't go towards the FAS grade.  It drops down to the 1 Com grade, no matter what the % of clear cuttings you get.  A board with a 2 Com back is a 2 Com, no matter how clear the front. 
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: WDH on February 25, 2012, 07:28:26 AM
Given how those trees grew, you can maximize your grade by keeping the butt log on the short side, say 8 feet or max 10 feet.  For wood workers, 8 foot grade oak boards is not a problem.  For trim or moulding, that is too short, so the length of the butt (best) log should be a function of the intended use.  Try to stay out of the first big limbs in the butt log.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: paul case on February 25, 2012, 09:52:56 AM
I based my opinion of those logs on the fact they look smaller than 24''dbh in the pic. If they are 24'' dbh and you cut 8' or 10' logs the butt log might only have 1 limb, meaning 3 clear sides. 3 clear sides and 20'' was the requirement for grade logs when I was selling logs to a neighbor mill. I have found that to work real well for me too.
I don't know about the grade market in Kentucky or SC but here in OK and SWMO there isn't one. If you can sell that lumber anywhere you are doing good. I have filled orders for trailer flooring and barn lumber with boards that would have been FAS or 1COMM and made better than trying to sell them to a market. I get $.60 for nominal sizes and for full 2'' or thicker I get $.80. PC
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: Okrafarmer on February 25, 2012, 03:38:41 PM
I was basing it on the very small number of limbs showing, and the nice straight trunks. All your FAS and F1F would probably come out of the butt log, and then it would be common lumber for the upper logs.

I was previously getting upset that I was getting so few good boards out of my logs, until I actually read the grading rules and realized that a very high percentage of my boards would grade F1F or FAS. I was setting my sights too high. I was not allowing for any wane whatsoever, for instance. The rules allow for a certain amount of wane.

Some people do want FAS only and not F1F. Sometimes the application may be the same, but FAS is going to be stronger than F1F, typically, and it is also best for applications where you want a defect-free appearance on both sides of the wood. F1F is good for things where the defects will not show on one side. Of course if you don't care whether the defects show or not, you can use common lumber or F1F or whatever.
Title: Re: New Land Purchase with lots of Red oak, advice needed. "UPDATED"
Post by: MHineman on February 26, 2012, 12:53:42 AM
  I agree that those look like pasture trees.  Generally trees that had livestock around them even when it been over 40 years without livestock have problems in the butt logs on a lot of the trees.  You need some experience to see it, but I can generally tell you how long ago the livestock was removed and if it was cattle, hogs, or sheep from just looking at the base of the trees and the species found.
  The logger discounted the value to reduce his risk.  From the pics and your descriptions of sizes, I'd guess a standing value of $1k to $3k is about right.
  You will be able to make better use of the logs, even with issues than the big mills can.
  I do the same thing.  I sell the big logs to big mills and saw the smaller logs myself and market them retail.
  A small logger like myself would likely be more interested a woodlot like yours.  I generally limit myself to timber sales of less than 20,000 bd-ft.  These small sales don't catch much interest of the bigger loggers due to their overhead just moving equipment.