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Author Topic: value of my sugar maples  (Read 8281 times)

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Offline ceobeaver

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value of my sugar maples
« on: September 06, 2005, 11:21:11 AM »
I have three heavily wooded acres on which reside what I think are sugar maple trees.  From what I read, they are pretty desireable trees, but knowing absolutely nothing about trees or forrestry, I feel I am at a bit of a disadvantage when trying to figure their worth.  They are all full grown trees between 50-75 ft. tall.  Trunks are between 18-30 inches.  We are located in south eastern PA. 

Can anyone tell me roughly what I can expect per tree?  I apologize for the greenhorn question, but I'm hoping some folks that know more than me might be able to lend a helping hand. 

Thanks!

Beaver

Offline Jeff

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Re: value of my sugar maples
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2005, 11:57:59 AM »
A forester working for you can tell you. They can also tell you the health of your forest and the best way of managing it. Not sure how you came to the determination that they are "full grown trees". Northern Hardwoods should be treated as an invetment account. Harvest the interest and never the principal.  A forester working for you can tell you about these things and more. They can determine if your woodlot is in need of a harvest or if you should wait, they can explain the tax implications of having a harvest and suddenly having all this capital gains income. A forester working for you with your goals in mind will pay for himself in the added value you will eventually get from those trees by using him (or her).  If anyone here gives you a value on those trees without standing with you in that woodlot it is no more then a wild guess. You can make wild guesses yourself.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: value of my sugar maples
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2005, 12:25:25 PM »
I should add that even though its just 3 acres, I still concider it a forest, unless of course, its your yard.
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Commercial circle sawmill sawyer in a past life.
Ezekiel 22:30

Offline GlennCz

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Re: value of my sugar maples
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2005, 05:40:50 PM »
are you sure they are sugar maples as opposed to soft mapel which is red maple?  PLug sugar and red maple into google and look at the leave pictures. 

Offline GlennCz

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Re: value of my sugar maples
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2005, 08:51:35 PM »
Beaver, the worth of your trees depends on the species and size of the ones you would take out.  I have taken out 16 loads(as of today) and the sawmill is paying approximately $80 per tree.  I am getting 60% of that and the logger gets 40%.(except for 80/20 on a very few pieces of veneer that we cut).  If you have hard maple, and they are big and straight, then you have a valuable tree, and would be getting probably $125 or likely more per decent tree from sawmill.(but split with logger or mill to cut)  My $80 per tree, includes alot of soft maple, and soft maple is getting about 1/2 what hard maple is.  Also I am trying to cut out less valuable, poorly growing trees right onw.  There may be many trees that look big and valuable at first glance, but a trained eye might see all kinds of problems so that it isn't even worth cutting down. 

Offline Gunny

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Re: value of my sugar maples
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2005, 05:45:51 PM »
Beav:

Be careful not to present yourself like that guy who once approached a slick businessman with: "I have all this shiny yellow metal laying all over my stream bed and was wondering if you'd like to buy it all from me cheap." 

When you ask what the value of the tree(s) is/are, do you mean to ask what a logger will pay you to cut it down and take it away?  Or do you mean to ask what it might be worth if you took it down, had it grade-sawn (a fellow with a portable sawmill will come fright to your land to do the job), dried it, and/or made it into any number of kinds of arts/crafts, etc.? 

The first option is my last--based on about 35 years experience in the trade.  The 2nd option is my preferred (always), since the far greatest "value" of any natural resource--apart from the aesthetics of leaving it alone in its most immediate setting--is in its ultimate "value-added" state.  Even a diamond is worth relatively little until it has received some TLC. 

I suppose the final answer will be determined by your need for immediate gratification (a quick cash sale) or by your willingness to continue to ask questions and ponder options.  It is, after all, your own private stream bed of shiny metal.

Offline ceobeaver

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Re: value of my sugar maples
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2005, 03:10:58 PM »
Thanks for all your helpful replies.  To answer your question, Gunny, I am in no particular hurry to get the trees cut down, and I'm not looking for a quick cash out.  I am thinking of building a house on the property, but right now it is dense woods.  In order to offset the cost of grading, building, etc, some people have advised me that the trees within that lot *may* be worth something. 

I've been told by some sources, which I suspected based on my google research, that they are sugar maples, but for all I know, they might be soft maple.  This is why I can to the Pros... I don't want to ask a logger down to take a look if A) it is a waste of his time, or B) I can't hold my own in a conversation. 

Again, I appreciate all of your input. 

Beaver

Offline ceobeaver

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Re: value of my sugar maples
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2005, 03:25:09 PM »
Just as another addition... I would certainly prefer the 2nd option on your list of options, Gunney, but unfortunately I don't know where to begin.  I consider myself a do-it-yourselfer, but not even I am crazy enough to think I can cut down a 60 ft tree.

Do you think I should call a local logger and have them evaluate the land?  Would a saw mill operator be the more appropriate person to call?  If I were able to get someone to take them down and cut them up, who then would be interested in purchasing a more refined product? 

I'll continue to check this board along with some google research and some phone calls... I will let you know how I make out if we decide to do anything... again...Thanks for your help

Beav

Offline Jeff

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Re: value of my sugar maples
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2005, 04:02:42 PM »
Personal opinion but backed by lots of experience, the best person to ask is NOT a logger and NOT a sawmill.  If you are asking loggers and sawmills you should be clear that you are asking MANY.  The loggers and sawmills are looking for timber resources for the lowest cost and the highest value.  You wont be wasting thier time, dont even give that a consideration. They are seeking folks like you to try to get wood as cheap as they can. Its just part of doing business. Sure, many will try to be fair, but fair aint nessesarily economically a two way street.

If you dont want to use a forester and know what trees you have to have come out, then for goodness sake, mark the ones to be removed and let  potential buyers that you are shopping them around. Be aware that just getting quoted a good price is only a small part of a timber harvest. What is left behind is just as important as what is taken.
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Commercial circle sawmill sawyer in a past life.
Ezekiel 22:30

Offline SkidrowJoe

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Re: value of my sugar maples
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2005, 10:32:56 PM »
Hey Beaver,

The value of your trees are dependent upon many aspects, species, market, log condition, etc. 

If your trees are hard maple they are either Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) or Black Maple (Acer nigrum), which in the current market in PA is highly sout after.

If your trees are soft maple they are either Red Maple (Acer rubrum) or Silver Maple (Acer Saccharinum), which currently hold a decent price but not as much as hard maple.

The price per tree is dependent on the species, size, and condition of log, the logs of your trees will be graded, F 1, 2, 3, and Veneer, and will be assigned a Board Foot value.  IE, a log may be 500 bd. ft and a grade 1= a certain $$.

Remember trees are worth the most money when sound, straight, and long w/o branching, the Butt log.

Common Conditions that decrease the value of  butt logs include; unsound logs, branching, past mechincal or insect attacks, tree leaning, etc.

Also remember when harvesting trees to leave a few health mature trees to parent the next generation, but this is dependent upon your management practices.

Just some basics I hope this helps.
The stumps of today are the ceilings of tomorrow.

Offline Jeff

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Re: value of my sugar maples
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2005, 10:38:05 PM »
Great first Post there SkidrowJoe! Welcome to the Forestry Forum. Tell us a little about yourself eh? Sounds like you may have some forestry background?
Just call me the midget doctor.
Forestry Forum Founder and Chief Cook and Bottle Washer.

Commercial circle sawmill sawyer in a past life.
Ezekiel 22:30

Offline SkidrowJoe

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Re: value of my sugar maples
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2005, 10:53:27 PM »
Thanks Jeff,

I am a student at Penn State, actually new to forest management.

I run a small tree service in the summer, Cert. Arborist, and go to school the other nine months.

But, have some experience in logging, worked with a logger one summer.  Most of my knowledge I acquired the old fashion way by going out and doing the work.  I just laugh when I see other kids in school that take Forestry because they just like to be outdoors, thats fine but there is a little more work than just being outdoors.
The stumps of today are the ceilings of tomorrow.

Offline Jeff

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Re: value of my sugar maples
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2005, 10:55:57 PM »
Well, again welcome. Glad to meet you and glad you found us. :) Ron Wenrich, one of our admins is a graduate of Penn State.
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Commercial circle sawmill sawyer in a past life.
Ezekiel 22:30

Offline GlennCz

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Re: value of my sugar maples
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2005, 08:02:07 AM »
Ok, if you are a do it yourselfer.

#1 - Find out wether they are sugar or red maple, ( or something else)
#2 - Learn how to measure the volume of the tree, check this page
http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/forestry/420-085/420-085.html
do a google search for "measure standing timber"

Don't get mixed up like i did. Don't use this scale, it is for trees on the ground, they are now called logs.  Timber is standing, logs are down.
http://www.penn-sylvan.com/HTML/doyle-scale.html

#3 - You know what and how much you have, now how much is it worth? 

There is  timber market report for Pennsylvania, however it is not showing up right now.
http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/econ/data/prices/

Do you have a local sawmill?  Run over there and get a price sheet.  Then take that price sheet into the woods, measure DBH, and start thinking about what grade a tree might be.  (mostly dependent on DBH but # of clear sides, or smooth sides without defects also comes into play)

Do all kind of searches on google, like "selling standing timber", etc


Learn the basics of how much volume is in a tree, what the grade might be, and what the sawmill is paying. Now this is not easy stuff and if you make a stab at it you are likely to be very far off, but you have to go through the process of learning and figuring things out.  Now for 3 acres, you might only have a a few loads of woods, a few thousand dollars if you only take out the junk, which is what I recommend. 

Now loggers and all kinds of other people will want you to cut ALL your valuable trees down.  Learn for yourself which ones are good and valuable.  You will "meet" quite a few trees that you never knew even existed and you will hopefully gain an appreciation of what a forest is and what it is the way it is.  Look at most forests as you drive down the road, they are JUNK, because the loggers or owners cut out all the good stuff and left the junk, and it will be that way maybe forever more, even if the junk is clearcutted, years later the good seeds are gone.  (junk ie. beech, birch, scrub etc).


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