The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:

iDRY Vacuum Kilns


Forestry Forum
Sponsored by:


TimberKing Sawmills



Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Norwood Industries Inc.




Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades

Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

Michigan Firewood, your BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

FARMA


Baker Products

ECHO-Bearcat

iDRY Wood Lumber Vacuum Drying for everyon

Nyle Kiln Dry Systems

Tally-I/O




Author Topic: Paying for yard trees  (Read 30703 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Daren

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1122
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Central Illinois
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
    • nelsonwoodworks
Paying for yard trees
« on: June 12, 2007, 08:09:20 AM »
My policy is not to do it. I know this has been debated other places on the forum, but this is the best place to discuss it. I cannot say I have never flipped someone a few bucks for their time/gas if the log was delivered (most often a 12 pack works), or if they bring me a real beauty I may be a little more generous. But I don't scale and pay like that.

Once you start paying for logs...you stop getting them for free  ::). Simple as that. If I was a bigger operation and had to do 10,000 bft a month to keep up with demand I would be buying from a logger, not scrounging yard trees. As a small timer, I get what I can for free/cheap, saw what I get, sell what I saw.

When I get a call and someone has one down they want picked up and they start talking $ in the front yard..."Well, my brother in law said walnut was worth a fortune blah blah". I make them a proposition. I explain that yes walnut (for example) does bring a decent amount for quality lumber, and I can help them "get rich" selling their yard tree. All they have to do is pay my labor for hauling it to the mill (if they cannot deliver, most can't or they would not have called) I explain I get $.35 bft to saw and $.35 bft to kiln dry, I do a quick scale and give them a ballpark for that work. I tell them that since it is coming from a yard, on all yard trees I charge $20 per blade ruined by foreign objects. All they have to do once I saw it for them is store and market it. If they are willing to invest just a couple hundred dollars in my services, they could easy at least double maybe triple that investment....once they get the wood sold. Finding someone to buy it should only take a couple ads in the paper.But there is no guarantee really I have a shed full of wood for sale right now, some of it has been around longer than I had figured.

I am not trying to sound like a hateful guy/shady businessman/general jerk, that is just the way I deal with the people who storm out of the house with $$$ signs in their eyes. I usually drive off with a free log...or I just drive off. There is alot of labor and equipment involved in turning a tree into a marketable product, some people don't realize it until you explain it to them.

The other side of that coin is using your mill to get free logs. Share cutting is one way, I do it frequently. Another way I use my mill is just donate lumber/labor to the right people. I already mentioned in another post I spent a day sawing lumber for the shop class for free. A few weeks ago I spent the day sawing a load of cedar logs that the township road commissioner had dropped off. When he came after the lumber and the bill...he just got the lumber. I would not take his money, he has already payed me 100X over in free delivered logs. One tree alone was a curly maple, 1000 bft I sold for $15-$17.50 bft. I never know when he is going to show up with a load of good hardwood, he is a wood guy and knows burls and such too. One more example, an excavation contractor who I knew did a ton of tree clearing came by needing some white oak for trailer decking. They had a couple trailers that had soft spot/broken boards. I loaded up 10-12 nice planks for them and told them "Just remember where I am when you have some nice logs to get rid of" and didn't give them a bill...within a month semi loads like the ones in the pictures started showing up. Some of the walnuts were 36" and clear. That was 3 (?) years ago I gave them $200 worth of wood, they still show up pretty regular with semi loads. The one red oak in the picture was a load in itself. The picture is deceiving, but behind it you can see my 16' fishing boat. That was a heck of a log and it was CURLY (unfortunately it had plenty of shake too, so it did not yield so much, but still a big free log).

Kind of a long post, I just thought I would open a discussion.

 

Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Offline WDH

  • Forester
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 29296
  • Age: 65
  • Location: Perry, GA
  • Gender: Male
  • April 1998 - August 2008
    • Share Post
    • hamsleyhardwood.com
Re: Paying for yard trees
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2007, 08:38:17 AM »
Daren, I like your business plan.  Treating people right always builds a positive emotional bank account that pays out in the end.  Those are some nice logs ;D.
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Daren

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1122
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Central Illinois
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
    • nelsonwoodworks
Re: Paying for yard trees
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2007, 09:15:20 AM »
Another way I get a few logs that I forgot to mention was from firewood cutters. I sort all my mill slab/stuff I buck and cut the good hardwood into firewood size. I keep a big pile of cherry/hickory/ash/oak/hard maple...cut and seasoned. Firewood cutters know if they get ahold of a good log they can bring it to me and I will swap. I take the fresh cut log for the mill, and load them an equal trailer of dry wood with my skidsteer. It sounds like alot of work on my end, but it really isn't considering some of the really nice logs I have gotten in swap. I would have to do something with the slab anyway, the guy bringing me the fresh log saves my labor finding/fetching it. Usually the logs are bigger than they want to tackle trying to split so they make nice sawlogs.
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Offline Chris Burchfield

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1036
  • Age: 61
  • Location: 7882 Macon Rd. Cordova TN. 38018
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Paying for yard trees
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2007, 08:36:22 PM »
Memorial Day Weekend, I did my first job. Kinda get my foot in the door kind of deal. Not going full time till after April 31,08 when I retire. Not to be confused with retread. Nothing but blades and fuel on this job costing me time (I'm thinking advertisement.) The deal is I wanted the opportunity to show board product. I still have under a hundred hours on my mill. The well established builder/developer was very pleased with the product I ginned out. He want's to utilize materials off the site into the homeowner's structure. My intentent is go saw and get materials utilized into the future home owner's structures. The satisfied customer provided my name to an aquaintance who has three cedars that have been topped clearing for a satallite signal. The trees are now standing logs. They look to be 18 - 20" in diameter @ breast height and 20+ feet in height each. The owner will fell the trees, all I have to do is go get them. I do not and have not paid for logs yet. Hope I don't have to in the future.
Woodmizer LT40SH W/Command Control; 51HP Cat, Memphis TN.

Offline metalspinner

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3519
  • Location: Maryville, TN
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Paying for yard trees
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2007, 10:04:03 PM »
There are times I'm tempted to pony up some coin.  Just today I got a call on a 36" white oak.  He was under the impression that I bought logs.  After I kindly said that the person who mentioned that to him was mistaken I went on to describe what I do.  In a nutshell, I will go get it free of charge if it meets my standards - low they may be. ;D  He wants to call around to see if he can find someone to pay him big bucks.  I mentioned to him to feel free to give me a call any time if he wants my help with the log removal.

Now, if it's a nice big cherry or walnut those temptations to reach for my wallet are almost irresistable... :'(
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline DanG

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 13493
  • Age: 73
  • Location: Chattahoochee, Florida USA
  • Gender: Male
  • DanG, The Official ForestryForum Cussword
    • Share Post
Re: Paying for yard trees
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2007, 10:52:35 PM »
I don't see anything wrong with paying for yard trees, if they are worth it.  The problem is, they usually aren't.  However, I have and will pay a little bit for a really nice log or two.  Once in a while, I will pay for a yardful of logs if I happen to need what they have.  A far more common scenario, though, is that I won't even haul the logs off for free.  Most of the people that call wouldn't know a good log if you beat their britches with it.
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
"Beat not thy sword into a plowshare, rather beat the sword of thine enemy into a plowshare."

Offline Cedarman

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 6125
  • Age: 72
  • Location: Marengo In
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
    • Cedarusa
Re: Paying for yard trees
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2007, 06:54:28 AM »
Daren, that is the spiel with the logic that I have needed for years.  I deal mostly in cedars, not only do they want me to buy their yard cedars, they want the limbs stacked or removed.  Usually, I just walk away.

The other day a nice lady stopped by the mill and wanted me to buy about 20 cedars in her backyard.  I asked about metal and she said only one had metal from a clothes line.  Since is was just a few miles away, I visited her place.  Took my metal detector along.  As she walked with me, scanned the trees and found metal in 15 of those trees.  Explained that if someone logged the trees and bucked them to 8 feet and brought them to the mill, I would buy all the logs that did not have metal.  These were tall trees, so there would be at least 2 or 3 logs above the butt log.  2 trees were near her new swimming pool and dropping needles.  She wanted them gone.
I don't even want to do this type of job for free.

Cedar trees are right up there with walnut for metal in the logs.

Daren, sounds like your business acumen is real sharp.
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.

Offline Daren

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1122
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Central Illinois
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
    • nelsonwoodworks
Re: Paying for yard trees
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2007, 07:11:08 AM »
He wants to call around to see if he can find someone to pay him big bucks.  I mentioned to him to feel free to give me a call any time if he wants my help with the log removal.


I get those, some people do get lucky and find someone who will pay for the log, good for them. Others will call around or put an ad in the paper and when no one shows any more interest than I did they will let it set and rot before they call me back  :'(.I do some talking to the people who do get them sold. Most often they tell me it is to a woodworker (for less than they thought I should pay) who takes it to a mill for himself. For example the woodworker might have given the guy $.25 bft for an oak log and paid another $.60 to have it sawn/dried. That woodworker has $.85 bft in his lumber, a little cheaper than just buying it without the overhead of a sawmill like I have. Rarely if ever do they say they sold to a mill (sometimes a pallet company). I'm sure I have milled logs I walked away from for just the kinda woodworkers I mentioned.

 I charge $.35 to saw/dry, that is $.05...$.15 (yes $.15) more than some locals charge. I don't base my price on my competition, I base it on the quality of my work. I see alot of 4/4 coming from other mills that is 4/4 somewhere on the board, but 5/6 on one end and 6/4 in the middle  :D. I still make money on the scroungy ones I pass on when I get to saw them.
  Most of the people that call wouldn't know a good log if you beat their britches with it.

 

Like this DanG ? I had a guy who wanted me to share cut this log (for reference it is maybe 16" after the butt swell) rotten and still had a squirrel feeder nailed to it  ::). He had no way to move it, he had dragged it through the yard with his car. So he wanted me to haul it to the mill and wanted a "share" of the lumber  eh eh, I didn't even see any lumber in it.


Now, if it's a nice big cherry or walnut those temptations to reach for my wallet are almost irresistable... :'(

I never said I had not stuck my hand in my pocket, but it was like I said for their time/gas for bringing it to me and sometimes a little extra if it is something I want or need. I think it comes with having a mill for a little while, when I first started I was overeager to saw and would expend labor chasing logs. Sometimes I spent as much time driving past junk logs that I got calls about than milling. Now with the right connections decent logs just show up. I guess maybe part of it is the fact we are talking yard trees, sure some of them may be nice but there are plenty more where they came from. My pockets are only so deep, I just have to do what I think is best in that respect. For me a logger is just a phone call away if I wanted to pay for logs...and the phone rings 10 (?) times a week with "free" logs on the other end. We all know what we mean by free, just an investment in chainsaws, trailers, skidsteer, sawmill, labor, gas, insurance....for around $20,000 if a guy wants to start small he can get "free" logs.  :D :D
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Offline WDH

  • Forester
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 29296
  • Age: 65
  • Location: Perry, GA
  • Gender: Male
  • April 1998 - August 2008
    • Share Post
    • hamsleyhardwood.com
Re: Paying for yard trees
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2007, 09:52:59 AM »
We all know what we mean by free, just an investment in chainsaws, trailers, skidsteer, sawmill, labor, gas, insurance....for around $20,000 if a guy wants to start small he can get "free" logs.  :D :D

Never more truthfully said ;).
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Phorester

  • Forester
  • *
  • Posts: 1600
  • Location: Winchester, Virginia
  • Gender: Male
  • Can't have a healthy forest without cutting trees.
    • Share Post
    • About Forestry Forum Host
Re: Paying for yard trees
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2007, 10:09:00 AM »

"He had no way to move it, he had dragged it through the yard with his car."

I wouldn't buy his car either.
About.Forestry.Com forum host. Ya'll come: http://forestry.about.com/mpboards.htm

Offline Squirrell_Boy

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 89
  • Age: 60
  • Location: NW Illinois Mississippi River
  • Gender: Male
  • Squirrells help grow forests!
    • Share Post
Re: Paying for yard trees
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2007, 02:58:23 AM »
Free is certainly a relative term when you have mucho money in equipment, insurance, GAS at 3+ a gallon, the wear and tear on your equipment (and body), land, stacking, storing and drying, marketing and selling, computers and photographic stuff, waste wood and sawdust, yada, yada, yada...

Then there can be the lovely weather 90+ with humidity or freezing your bum off. Steep slopes are fun too.

I just love when something unexpected breaks down too. Then there is the occasional nail or crazy piece of something in the log cutting. Changing blades and digging out iron is almost as painful as a lover rejecting you. Ouch!

Not to mention all of the time you spent learning and planning, but isn't it great when you cut some good stuff!

Sometimes i will cut up some of the bigger limbs to assist with waste removal and invite the homeowner to carry some of the pieces to a spot for stacking. They soon find out what 50 or 60 pounds a cubic foot means.

Daren you are right on.
"Of course we don't know what we're doing. That's why they call it research." Albert Einstein

Offline Ironwood

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 4552
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Near Pittsburgh,Pa
  • Gender: Male
  • I need to edit my profile!
    • Share Post
    • http://www.branchandburl.com
Re: Paying for yard trees
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2007, 09:17:13 PM »
Good thread all around. Just posting to get it on my updated topics list. I am with you Daren. Reid
There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

Offline Dodgy Loner

  • Forester
  • *
  • Posts: 3141
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Fernandina Beach, FL
  • Gender: Male
  • It's an anagram for "dendrology" and in no way a reflection of my personality
    • Share Post
    • My Blog: A Riving Home
Re: Paying for yard trees
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2007, 09:36:43 PM »
I've enjoyed reading your stories about clueless homeowners :D.  It makes me realize how lucky I've been in acquiring trees.  I'm just a woodworker, not a sawyer, but I've never had to buy a bit of wood because I've all of it sawn from random trees that I've acquired.  My experience with yard trees has been the exact opposite than the ones mentioned here.  

In February, I had a guy mention that he had a cherry tree die on his property, and he offered it to me for free.  I asked him how big it was; he said that he wasn't sure what the diameter was, but the length was probably 16'.  He wasn't far away, so that weekend I took my trailer to his place, and the log turned out to be 24' long and 18" on the butt end, arrow-straight and with very little taper.  I got two beautiful 10' logs out of it, and the rest I sawed up for bowl blanks.

Then in May this year, a fellow at my church asked if I could use a birch log.  I asked him how big it was, and he said that it was probably 2' in diameter and had a clear section of 20'.  I eagerly accepted his offer, and when I went to get it, the log turned out to be about 32" DBH with a 19' clear section.  I got two perfectly clear logs, one of them 29" on the small end and 10' long, the other 24" on the small end and 9' long.  I also got two lower quality logs higher up on the tree.

A week later, that fellow's brother offered me a cedar tree, but said that it wasn't very big.  I might be able to get some bowls from it, he said.  I went to pick it up, and found a cedar log 24" on the large end and 10' long.  I decided to saw it into lumber.  

Needless to say, it has been a good spring :).
"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." -John Ruskin

Any idiot can write a woodworking blog. Here's mine.

Offline LeeB

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 8009
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Yellville Arkansas
  • Gender: Male
  • proud to be a TEXAN in Arkansas
    • Share Post
Re: Paying for yard trees
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2007, 12:03:01 AM »
The only yard tree I ever paid for was "free". I had to cut it down and haul it away. It was a great big mulbery. After paying for materials and fixing the fence I trashed, renting a backhoe to load it with and every thing else involved I paid a little over$250 for it. Turned out to be mostly junk after I opened it up. At least it kept it from falling on an old mans house. I don't even talk to 'em about free trees any more.
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline mdvaden

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 131
  • Location: Oregon
  • A Tree Guy
    • Share Post
    • M. D. Vaden of Oregon
Re: Paying for yard trees
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2007, 02:12:30 AM »
The local Applegate Valley guy who mills lumber, says that he's not to thrilled in this area about landscape trees. Sounds like there is more nails and wire than typical up north in the west Portland suburbs.

Anyway, he uses a metal detector on the logs first.

Any of you folks use metal detectors on logs?

By the way, if anyone want to see Applegate Valley, I just added videos to the my page for it...

Applegate Valley

The paragliders and scenery happen to be almost over his operation, which is in the video corner, but not detectable. The main trees are Douglas fir, sugar pine, ponderosa pine and incense cedar around here.

Offline Kcwoodbutcher

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 573
  • Age: 66
  • Location: Grandview Mo
  • Gender: Male
  • Startin' to get the hang of it
    • Share Post
Re: Paying for yard trees
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2007, 02:28:46 PM »
On more than one occasion I've looked at trees that the homeowner either wanted to sell or just wanted it removed for free. These were nice trees but first, I never pay for a tree, there are just too many free ones available, and second they are usually located where dropping them could cause damage to a house,fence,or power lines. I tell them to get a bid from a tree service for removal and then ask for another bid if they leave the trunk section lay. The second bid is usually several hundred dollars less. I'll show up after the tree service is finished and remove the trunk section with the homeowners thanks.
My job is to do everything nobody else felt like doing today

Offline Nora

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 23
  • Location: Missoula, Montana
  • Gender: Female
  • A computer geek in forestry
    • Share Post
    • Smallwood News
Re: Paying for yard trees
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2007, 05:55:11 PM »
This topic always gives me a smile! Why is our own stuff always worth more that we are willing to pay for someone else's?

I was talking to a fellow here in Missoula who represents EKO Compost. He says that folks expect them to pay for yard clippings and leaf piles! They get mad at a very reasonable tipping fee - until they try to take it to a landfill. Then they come back!

Offline urbanlumberinc

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 223
  • Location: Denver, CO, USA
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Paying for yard trees
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2007, 11:06:13 PM »
Alright, I gotta chime in here.  First, there aint no such thing as a free log.  Okay, maybee if a log happened to fall out of the sky and land on the mill, ready to cut.  Anyhow, I think back at all of the logs I have gotten my hands on my one method or another and I can honestly call all of them free, in that I never paid cash for any of the logs themselves.  The cost was in the time, manpower, and machinery needed to move logs.   

Offline Dodgy Loner

  • Forester
  • *
  • Posts: 3141
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Fernandina Beach, FL
  • Gender: Male
  • It's an anagram for "dendrology" and in no way a reflection of my personality
    • Share Post
    • My Blog: A Riving Home
Re: Paying for yard trees
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2007, 12:23:50 AM »
I have an abundance of time, manpower, and machinery, but I am severely lacking in $$$.  So I'll take all the "free" logs I can get my hands on, and be proud to turn a tree that would otherwise end up as firewood or mulch into something beautiful :).  My attitude towards yard tree acquisition is probably somewhat gilded by the fact that I have no burden to make money from my efforts.
"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." -John Ruskin

Any idiot can write a woodworking blog. Here's mine.

Offline metalspinner

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3519
  • Location: Maryville, TN
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Paying for yard trees
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2007, 09:21:33 AM »
Quote
My attitude towards yard tree acquisition is probably somewhat gilded by the fact that I have no burden to make money from my efforts.

Quote
For me a logger is just a phone call away if I wanted to pay for logs...

These two comments are so important that I thought they should be said one more time. ;)

I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.


Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via pinterest Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via tumblr Share via twitter

xx
Yard trees, (not what one would think)

Started by drobertson on Sawmills and Milling

8 Replies
1396 Views
Last post August 28, 2013, 12:21:55 PM
by drobertson
xx
Yard trees

Started by etat on Ask The Forester

82 Replies
16374 Views
Last post August 22, 2005, 12:35:22 AM
by Woodcarver
xx
Had some Ash yard trees milled

Started by newcomtd on Sawmills and Milling

7 Replies
1091 Views
Last post October 27, 2014, 04:20:56 PM
by Beavertooth
xx
So you think you have seen metal in yard trees ?

Started by Daren on General Board

16 Replies
4477 Views
Last post August 04, 2007, 11:44:16 AM
by Paschale
 


Powered by EzPortal