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Author Topic: 3 Doug Firs  (Read 1128 times)

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Offline AMBoser

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3 Doug Firs
« on: June 25, 2019, 01:43:29 AM »
We are starting to build a small off-grid cabin and need to take down 3 Douglas Firs to be FireWise. It seems easier to take them down before we start building, but then we have to do something with them when our time and energy is focused on getting a cabin built this summer before the snow comes. It would be preferable to have someone come take these beautiful trees and use them for something good, without costing us a lot of money--ideally without costing us any money.

The trees are 120 ft. tall, 12-14" diameter. It seems a shame to have them go for firewood. We could have other trees taken to make it worthwhile for a forester, but we are looking at a dozen trees maximum--maybe 20 at the most, and even that seems too small a job to not cost us.

We have already had 10 DFs milled into lumber that we used for a barn and will use for a picnic shelter and other non-structural wood on the cabin, so we don't need the lumber ourselves. 

So what would you do with these trees? Take them down and set them aside for future use? (That really just attracts the bark beetles.)  Get over the beauty of the trees and let them go for firewood? Or is there a way we could find someone else with a chainsaw mill (or who wants to borrow ours) who wants the wood?

We would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks in advance.

 
Trying to learn without making a mistake every time.

Offline RPF2509

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Re: 3 Doug Firs
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2019, 11:31:27 AM »
Nice trees but they won't make a load.  Cutting more and getting  a self loading truck could work out depending on the price and if there is road access.  If they need to go, cutting before the cabin is built is a wise choice.  If felled and slabbed they could sit a bit before being used / sold.  Leaving the bark on is what will degrade them quickly.  A portable mill would be a good solution if available.  Give away the wood in exchange for removing the material.  Whatever is cut will be construction grade so it could be a tough choice between the lumber yard and the work required to get them milled.

Offline AMBoser

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Re: 3 Doug Firs
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2019, 02:04:30 AM »
Thank you for your input, RPF2509, specially about the bark. How many trees would be a load? We certainly could use some thinning. We had wanted to do that after building the cabin, but maybe it's worth doing some of it now.
Trying to learn without making a mistake every time.

Offline Tasha

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Re: 3 Doug Firs
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2019, 03:12:57 AM »
Don't know exactly where you are on the west side but lumber is lumber. 
Find someone who has a mill and have them saw them up for you and store the lumber under cover, stickered, and then you will have lumber when a project comes up.  Projects always come up.

As an alternative just give the logs away to someone with a mill.  As you state if you are not going to make anything on them and don't want them to end up firewood let someone else use them for lumber if you don't have the use.

Offline AMBoser

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Re: 3 Doug Firs
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2019, 10:26:03 AM »
Tasha, thanks for your input. We already have a pile of stickered lumbered that we are trying to use up, so I'd rather have these be available for someone else's projects.  :) The trees are between Snoqualmie Pass and Easton a couple miles down a forest service road. We'd be happy to give them to a mill if they wanted to come and get them. Just not sure how to find that someone. Maybe I should change my post to: free Doug Firs 2 1/2 miles off I-90 to someone who will come get them and mill them into lumber.   ???
Trying to learn without making a mistake every time.

Offline RPF2509

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Re: 3 Doug Firs
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2019, 12:09:00 PM »
A log truck will carry about 20, 33' logs in the 14 - 20" range.  Obviously the bigger the diameter, the fewer logs it takes to make a load.  4 -5000 board feet is another typical load though Washington with its extra axle would allow more.  A self loader cannot carry as much due to the weight of the loading arm.  If you have a county extension agent, they may have info on loggers, load limits etc.  I'm not as familiar with Washington rules.

Offline AMBoser

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Re: 3 Doug Firs
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2019, 11:29:26 PM »
Thanks, that's helpful information.  8)
Trying to learn without making a mistake every time.

Offline ID4ster

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Re: 3 Doug Firs
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2019, 03:02:48 PM »
How many acres do you have in total and when was it last harvested? The 3 trees by themselves aren't anywhere near enough to manufacture a load. In order to get logging equipment in there you'd have to have enough volume to justify bringing equipment in and out and that is going to take several log loads to do that. 

If you only want to cut the 3 trees at this time I'd look at bringing in a portable sawmill and manufacturing the lumber onsite. Either give it to the sawmill owner or pay them for their time and keep the lumber for yourself. Even though you have plenty you can always use more. Cut it into dimensions you don't have now and you'll find a use for them in the future.

A few points that you need to look out for:

1) You'll want to have someone that knows how to fall timber correctly if you don't have that expertise for yourself. It's too easy to destroy that timber if it's dropped over a stump or another downed tree. Also you'll have a liability problem if you just let anyone off the street do the falling. I know plenty of people that can run a sawmill with the best of them but I'd never trust them to trip out any timber for me. 

2) If you do a timber sale the Washington DNR will require you to apply for a permit to do the harvest. This permit application takes some time to fill out and will require at t least a 30 day review before it's approved. The USFS will not let you use their roads for free. If you want to haul any timber out of your property you'll need to pay some fees to the US treasury for the right to do so. Check with the local Ranger district first.

It's possible to get the trees down but probably not for free if you only want the 3 to go at this time. Good luck and don't be afraid to ask more questions.

BH/7RF 

Bob Hassoldt
Seven Ridges Forestry
Kendrick, Idaho
Want to improve your woodlot the fastest way? Start thinning, believe me it needs it.

Offline AMBoser

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Re: 3 Doug Firs
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2019, 10:44:37 PM »
Thank you ID4ster. We have 10 acres and it was last logged 30 years ago. There is plenty of thinning that needs to be done, so that could potentially be a logging job that's worthwhile for someone. It's good to know in advance that there will be permits required and $$ to the Forest Service. I appreciate all the input from this forum.
Trying to learn without making a mistake every time.


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