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Author Topic: Walnut question from an amateur  (Read 4589 times)

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Offline Greenhorn

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Walnut question from an amateur
« on: January 06, 2011, 11:05:37 AM »
Guys, my name pretty much says it all.  I have no experience marketing walnut (or any wood really).  I have my own property in Madison County, Iowa that I am considering logging some walnut off of.  I would prefer to log it myself and feel I have it covered to get the logs to a good, accessible landing.  My experience so far is limited to the sale of several thousands of dollars worth of hedge (osage orange) posts over the years, logging some of my native cherry myself which I had milled and made into cabinets and of course firewood - mostly for personal use.

Some general questions:

-What min. dbh size tree should I consider logging?
-I could use some general bucking guidelines or should I just cut the branches off the tree and drag it up in one piece?
-There are probably some butt logs that have say 6'-8'  clear of any branches - would these be worth looking into for veneer?
- Does anyone have contacts for buyers in the south-central Iowa that would bid?  I'm guessing I would cut enough for one truck load and then go from there.

Thanks in advance for any guidance, I'm probably just scratching the surface of my questions so far.  
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Offline WDH

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Re: Walnut question from an amateur
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2011, 11:14:59 AM »
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 beenthere

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Re: Walnut question from an amateur
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2011, 11:18:22 AM »
welcome to the forum

I'd suggest searching for a forester that can help you make some decisions as well as have a list of walnut buyers. There are mills sawing walnut...one comes to mind near Grundy Center, IA.

The last thing I would do is buck the logs not knowing where to buck. That is best left to the buyers or the sawyers who can make the best decision.
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Offline Greenhorn

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Re: Walnut question from an amateur
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2011, 11:24:58 AM »
I'd suggest searching for a forester that can help you make some decisions as well as have a list of walnut buyers. There are mills sawing walnut...one comes to mind near Grundy Center, IA. 

The last thing I would do is buck the logs not knowing where to buck. That is best left to the buyers or the sawyers who can make the best decision

I'm thinking the forester is a good idea.  I just wondered if it would be a waste of their time on such a small volume.

Thanks for the the help.   
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Offline Greenhorn

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Re: Walnut question from an amateur
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2011, 11:25:46 AM »
Check out this thread - I've been studying it.

Thanks.
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Offline Shotgun

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Re: Walnut question from an amateur
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2011, 11:45:38 AM »
Greetings Greenhorn,

It would be helpful if you would use the quote feature when you are quoting someone's post.  It's a heck of a lot easier to read and understand. And it's easy to use. If that doesn't trip your fancy, then you might at least indicate that it's a quote that you are using. Just a suggestion.

This is a great place that you've found. Make it easier for the folks to assist you.

Foresters will likely save you money in the long run.

Good luck.

Norm
Joined The Forestry Forum 5 days before 9/11.

Offline beenthere

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Re: Walnut question from an amateur
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2011, 01:17:15 PM »
............
I'm thinking the forester is a good idea.  I just wondered if it would be a waste of their time on such a small volume.

Thanks for the the help.  

Greenhorn
Here is one site when googling Iowa Walnut buyer
List some names and contacts in Iowa if you scroll down.

http://www.extension.iastate.edu/valueaddedag/info/blackwalnuts.htm

There are good publications that will give you some ideas and information that these contacts can lead you to.  Paul Wray is but one that I know of who likely would be glad to help.
And shotgun gave some good pointers too. :)
south central Wisconsin
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Offline CX3

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Re: Walnut question from an amateur
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2011, 11:41:52 PM »
Hello Greenhorn and welcome to the board. 

I would be glad to help but so far you have asked some really loaded questions
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Offline Greenhorn

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Re: Walnut question from an amateur
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2011, 10:11:41 AM »
Thanks for the advice given so far.  I'm going to call my DNR District Forester and see what he has to say.

Didn't mean to ask loaded questions - just looking for some general guidance and advice
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Walnut question from an amateur
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2011, 11:14:14 AM »
They were good questions, and hope you can fill us in on what the DNR DF has to say.
At one time, the walnut buyers knew about every walnut tree in their territory. :)
Not sure if that is still the case, but the DF is a place to start.

Dropping by some of the walnut processing operations might be another, and where you can see the logs that they are buying, and what they are not.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline Norm

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Re: Walnut question from an amateur
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2011, 11:31:21 AM »
Not sure what you asked could be construed as loaded questions, seemed pretty general to me.

Use the county forester to get an idea of what you have and then see if you want to even mess with it. I do some logging myself but on high value walnut I have a pro come in and help me with the felling. Walnut is tricky to do and barber chairs more than most hardwoods we have in Iowa.

If you don't have a pressing need I'd suggest to leave them until the markets recover. Walnut has come back in price but still off it's highs.

As for the mill in Grundy Center I do not sell to them.

Online Jeff

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Re: Walnut question from an amateur
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2011, 11:48:58 AM »
All good questions and welcome to the Forestry Forum Greenhorn.

CX3 perhaps you meant  "broad questions"? Meaning that the questions don't have an easy answer that fits every situation?



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Offline CX3

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Re: Walnut question from an amateur
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2011, 11:58:41 PM »
Jeff- that is exactly what I meant.  You guys are just like my wife, listen to what I mean not what I say :D
John 3:16
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Offline Greenhorn

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Re: Walnut question from an amateur
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2011, 01:05:02 PM »
Thanks to everyone for the advice given so far.  My deer hunting is over for the year, so I will see if I can get the District Forester out once we get rid of some of this snow.  I'm hoping he gives me some advice on which trees to harvest and will also ask him for some TSI advice to see if I can keep the growth going. 

I like the idea on checking out some of the walnut mills - that sounds like my kind of a road trip.   I'll have to start paying attention to the walnut market as well.  No real pressing need for the income off the property, but it will sure make the place look better to my wife!

Thanks again to everyone for the advice - I'll post what I learn from the Forester.     
What a life!

Offline Greenhorn

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Re: Walnut question from an amateur
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2011, 04:23:07 PM »
It's been awhile, but I was able to get on the books with the DNR forester and he made it out this week.  It was pretty educational and I think it was worth the time (and wait).

Highlights:

I have some decent walnut, but nothing huge.  The forester thought the farm had been logged approx 30 years ago.  His advice, which I am going to take, is to let the walnuts have another 10 years of growth before logging anything.  He thought most of the trees would be saw log material with a couple that might have the potential to be veneer trees.  Some income potential there, but it will wait which is fine.

I have more Oaks than I thought - bur and black - but they are all very small.  The biggest being maybe 20' tall.  Again, probably logged hard in the past and then hammered for firewood over the years.   A few are getting competition from neighboring junk trees, which I am going to eliminate.  

I have some patches on the sidehills of almost pure elm, mostly siberian with a little american and red.  Probably 3-5 acres total of the elm monoculture. These areas are useless for anything, including wildlife, and was something I wanted to talk to the forester about.  We are going to look into a complete clearing of these areas, maybe burn it and then replant bareroot seedlings.  We had talked about white oak, for the wildlife value, but I am open to other ideas as far as species go.  

I hate to sound impatient, but I don't know if I want to wait for the oaks to mature.  Any suggestions for other species to seed either in place of or along with the oaks?   Wildlife value would be the primary objective, but something with some commercial value or use would be good too.            
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Offline flibob

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Re: Walnut question from an amateur
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2011, 05:04:51 PM »
I wouldn't give up on the elm.  There is a guy in town that builds beautiful elm furniture.  Elm is different but I think unique.   Somebody wants it.
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Offline CX3

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Re: Walnut question from an amateur
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2011, 11:34:28 PM »
Id give up on the tiny trees and start selling deer hunts
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Walnut question from an amateur
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2011, 07:46:26 AM »
Good idea getting a Forester there. You mentioned hauling trees out by sawing the limbs out or not. Depends on how big the limbs are. I have some good size limbs on some trees. Meaning the limbs will dig into the ground and really make a mess,like a plow would. Some of my trees are smaller and the limbs will just kinda bend back and won't dig up the ground as bad. The weight of the tree will make a difference on the plowing affect too. The type of soil will too.The first few times won't be bad,but keep skidding on the same trail and it will start to tell. I have a steep hill that I have to come down,so I have to be careful with the skidding. Don't want the top of the hill to wash out to the bottom. You may not have much of a problem, because your trees are kinda small. I have cut off the main part of the tree and just hauled the top out,limbs and all.Also I've had to put the chain in a different place to turn the log so a certain limb would not dig so much.What are you using to get the trees out with? If you have the money a trailer with a loader would solve all of the above problems. No need to try to haul out 2 cords at a time. A few more trips is safer and easier. I also cut any limbs into short pieces, 2-3 feet so it will lie on the ground and rot. I usually take my limbs down to about 2 inches for firewood. I just saw the limbs up into short sections right on the tree. Yes,it may take longer,but I can drive through my brush with my tractor in a few years. You could pile the brush up for the animals,but you may get some that you do not want. My land is not the best,rocky and rough,so a brush pile might be in the way.
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