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Bl Cherry Timber Market

Started by GlennCz, July 22, 2005, 04:56:47 PM

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I am looking at the Timber Market repot for Black cherry

and I see that cherry, according to this report, has lost alot of value from Jan-Mar 04 to Jan-Mar 05.  Doe this give me an accurate picture of what is happening?? 

Is it true that the price of cherry is down in the summer?  Except vaneer prices are stable?

Is it true that it it better to cut starting Oct, prices are better then, in general? 

Is there a dramatic price fluctuations for what the mills will pay? 


This is where to get a better history of PA. prices:

I use this for a reference, usually behind by a quarter.


That is the same report, just a different http:. 

I guess what I want to know is this a bad season to cut in. I know that in the summer some logs are prone to spoil somewhat if backed in hot sun too long.  But that won't be an issue here.  A veneer buyer told me he doesn't want hard maple veneer in summer.  I was told that timber prices go up in the fall and I should wait until then to cut, is that true?  or is it just a small  difference.  - Thanks, Glenn...

Ron Wenrich

A lot depends on the job.  If your timber is hard to get to, or there is a lot of road building, then the fall prices won' t matter.  Prices may go up, or they may go down.  If you're trying to sell on market highs, then you must be pretty good at picking stock highs and lows. 

Cherry prices have dropped since the huge spike a few years back.  That spike was caused by a shifting of Europe from rainforest woods.  Mahogany was a favored wood for the furniture market.  When that wasn't available, they started to use cherry.  At the same time, the markets in this country went from open porous woods to diffuse porous woods.  The oak market remained constant and the maple and cherry market took off. 

Who made money in these markets?  Timber buyers that had stumpage bought.  The market surged while they had it under contract.  Landowners who were sitting on timber also made money, but only if they liquidated their stands, which many have done.  The surge for the big buck has actually dropped the market prices off of those very lofty highs.

If you want a barometer of hardwood markets, look at the housing market.  Normally, hardwood prices follow the housing market by about 6 months.  That's when things like cabinets, furniture and other trim things are added to an ongoing house.  When the housing market drops, hardwood markets will either stagnate or drop.  Right now, oak markets aren't that strong.

Veneer markets usually get better during the fall and winter seasons.  But, that has more to do with the logger than the landowner.  You will be selling your timber with a contract that may span 1-2 years.  The logger will be taking the market risk at that time, not you.  The cool month markets are more due to log holding than consumer demand. 

Cutting during the cool months are better for cherry, since it eliminates the peach borer problem associated with gum streaks.  That's good from a landowner aspect. 
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.


Thanks for your thoughful reply Ron, I have a lot to learn about the timber business.  I have started with Practical lesson #1 today, my woodcutter and I marked our timber and he began cutting it.  So we have a bunch of logs on the ground that are easy to measure and I can go from there.   Some of the logs didn't seem as big down as they measured up!

I think I the right guy I need to do my cutting AND work with me on the silviculture aspect, and the deal seems fair.(i have checked out the forester bid sale and the mill sale.).  Fortunately I have a nice piece to work with and I am going to take it in small steps at a time so I don't regret any of my decisions. 


just for the record, remenber whene u scale log,mesure them acros the center in the smaller way(if not perfet circle) under the bark.. ;)    JD
canadien forest ranger

Ron Wenrich

Are you working with a forester?  Remember, there are no laws in PA that makes someone a forester.  Anyone can call themselves a forester. 

I worry about people who go out and just start marking timber.  Too many times the thinking is bucks and not the future forest.  You can seriously deplete your stand.  If you are inexperienced, you can make a ton of mistakes.  Do you have an inventory or a management plan?  You should have them before you go out marking. 

If you want something that is fairly reliable, measure those trees before you cut them down.  You can get a diameter tape and measure the diameter at breast height (dbh).  If you have a 14" tree at dbh, you will never have a tree that is larger than that at 8'. 
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

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