The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Sawmills and Milling => Topic started by: Small Slick on March 15, 2014, 06:34:16 PM

Title: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: Small Slick on March 15, 2014, 06:34:16 PM
I was trying to secure some cost effective logs by calling tree service companies. One guy who has logs to sell told me he had an interested party and he expected to get $1.50 a board foot in the log for black walnut.

That was about two months ago. I figured we were too far apart on price. He called me today and said that sale fell through and wanted to know if I was still looking.

Now he wants $500 for three logs 18" at the small end and I am assuming 8-12' long. I'm thinking he is way high.  I am probably a buyer at $40-$50 each.

Any thoughts.

John
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: redbeard on March 15, 2014, 06:42:47 PM
I would scale the logs on heartwood only"  and offer a quarter of what you think you can sell it for. Just shooting from the hip on this one.
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: POSTON WIDEHEAD on March 15, 2014, 06:52:38 PM
He called you back to tell you his deal fell through……"he called you back"……..that is good.
Turn down his price and give him your offer, and walk away.
He will call you back rather than let the log rot.
IMO, he won't sell them at his price.
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: Brad_S. on March 15, 2014, 07:04:27 PM
He will call you back rather than let the log rot.

In my experience with many of these types of guys, that is not the case...they would rather let it rot than be low balled. It becomes a matter of principle with them. They have no qualms about making firewood out of it even if it is undesireable as such.

Around here, $500 per thousand (50 cents a board foot) was the going rate for a decent quality yard walnut when I was still sawing. Maybe more if it was top quality.

IMO, you can't talk price until you know quantity (bdft) and quality of the logs in question.
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: Magicman on March 15, 2014, 07:38:41 PM
Just because he is selling is not enough reason for you to be buying at a price that is unfavorable to you.  You are not on the hot seat to meet his offer.  Make your offer with a bit of negotiating room and then stick to your guns.  If they rot it is his loss, not yours.
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: drobertson on March 15, 2014, 07:49:45 PM
Unless I am mistaking, the tree guy gets his money for taking them down.  this sounds a little confusing to me.
He knows the value in walnut, so it boils down to what you are willing to pay for it.  I would look for purple stain, and use the metal card for a discount.   Tree service companies know the deal, and are after the buck. I saw this last week, and know this from dealing with them for years,   
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: red oaks lumber on March 15, 2014, 08:10:38 PM
most tree guys around here get paid real well to remove trees, with that in mind i always offer alot less than i might otherwise just because to me he's double dipping at the expense of the customer who got over charged to remove the tree/s. sorry for me its about principle :)
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: Dave Shepard on March 15, 2014, 08:20:45 PM
Tree service logs are almost always suspect for having things more exciting than just wood inside them to saw. Like nails, rocks, horseshoes, large portions of a '49 Chrysler. They need to be cheap to make it worth your risk. I haven't hit hardware in years since the last time I sawed someone's junk yard tree. Actually, May 2011 was the last time I ruined a band on FOIL (foreign object in log) don't be foiled by FOIL! :D
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: BBTom on March 15, 2014, 08:42:50 PM
I just sold 16,000 bdft of walnut logs for about $2/bdft but half of it was from the woods, other half was from a fencerow.  We tried to cut above any fence that may be in the trees.   

I have always been of the opinion that walnut is magnetic.  If any tree in the yard was going to have metal in it, the walnut is the one that does.   

I guess it all depends on what you want to pay for it, and what you can get out of it.  This mill must have some special orders because he is paying top dollar for walnut right now.  I have heard of him paying over $2.50/bdft for a pile, but it could have had some good veneer logs in the pile.  good luck
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: Small Slick on March 15, 2014, 09:07:15 PM
Thanks for the insight. There is no reason for me to buy logs from this fellow. The only reason I was calling him was because I was looking for a low cost source. I have no specific project in mind that requires walnut right now.

That being said I totally understand a business guy trying to maximize his profits; that is a part of being a business man. One does have to weigh the cost of a "no sale" vs the gain in a high margin deal.

I think I will try and come to a business arrangement with him, even if it means we don't do business.

John
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: Okrafarmer on March 15, 2014, 09:08:12 PM
I pay .25 for walnut pallet, .45 for a standard log, .60 for premium, .75 for veneer, and I am the one who decides what grade it is. They can take it or leave it.  If people want more for their logs, they can find someone who will pay it, or let it rot, I'm ok with that. It's different if I have a customer asking for logs. Then I have to go find them. Then I might pay up to $1 for decent logs, if I know I have the order.
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: Peter Drouin on March 15, 2014, 10:13:41 PM
I always go over them with a metal detector and when it makes a beep the price goes in the hole  ;D and it's always scale on the black part not the sap wood.
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: Chop Shop on March 16, 2014, 01:01:02 AM
He already got paid for them.   He is now getting free/extra CASH.

Most tree guys will cut firewood before being "lowballed by a mill guy that gonna get rich off my walnut".


If you really want leverage, trade him a nice arborist saw!


I dont even care about specialty wood, too much hype and to many people think their average maple and walnut is worth GOLD.
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: Cedarman on March 16, 2014, 07:09:51 AM
If someone gives you logs, should you sell the wood for less than someone who paid for logs?
If someone pays you to take some logs, should you sell them for less than someone who paid for logs?
As a customer should you expect someone to sell you something for less than market value  because you know they paid nothing of got paid to take them?
If someone overpaid for logs should you as a customer offer to pay them more than market value because they paid too much?
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: Seaman on March 16, 2014, 08:16:30 AM
I agree with Cedarman on principle, and Okra on price. 18 in is not big enough to bring  big money.
FRank
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: sealark37 on March 16, 2014, 10:09:42 AM
+1 on Okrafarmer.  Why purchase a log that you can't sell for a profit?   Regards, Clark
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: muck on March 16, 2014, 10:25:28 AM
I live in Sacramento (the city of trees) and last week picked up 2 80 foot redwoods from a tree company. This was my first dealing with any tree service. For me solving thair problom (hauling away the logs) was key. I made a connection and the owner put me on his "to call" list.
the lead climber told me its all logistics and timing for the tree company. a large amount of ANY tree that they are cutting that has no where close to be dumped will be cheap or free. I am lucky to be in a city with so many abundant sources.

anyway, back to Black Walnut, as long as Sawyers keep slabbing it out and asking hundreds for a slice the folks with the logs will keep asking for more.


Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: Small Slick on March 16, 2014, 11:52:25 AM
There is no question this guy has a resource I want and I have money he wants. It's simple economics.

I am willing to pay for logs from him he and I just will have to establish a price we both can live with.

John
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: Barney II on March 16, 2014, 12:03:24 PM
Good morning---Why don't you try to figure out what this would bring in firewood prices and offer him that amount plus a small amount for his trouble???
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: RayMO on March 16, 2014, 12:57:09 PM
Always amazing how the value/quality of logs can change so much from the point of buying to the point of reselling the sawn product.
 I mill and log as well and wonder how some millers buy any logs considering how little they often want to pay compaired to the going market price for said logs . Not talking about yard trees as they are risky and most larger mills do not want them at any price.
 Kinda like the .75 cent price mentioned for veneer walnut logs when market price is $3.00 and up , at least here in SW MO .
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: thecfarm on March 16, 2014, 12:59:41 PM
If offered firewood price,he would make more money than sawing,it spliting it into firewood. Than he would still have to deliver the firewood to the customer's home too.
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: shelbycharger400 on March 16, 2014, 01:02:34 PM
yep,  i tried to bite and buy a yard tree yesterday,  had reflectors in it.  You could tell it had a bacteria problem the black ring of death.   all of it was scaled about 832 bd foot.. a few odd lengths,  i bid 50cents delievered  lost it to another that bid 60 and picked up   ::)   
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: thecfarm on March 16, 2014, 01:10:47 PM
I think a member said,he never lost money on a bid he did not get.  ;D
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: stumpy on March 16, 2014, 01:17:18 PM
I rarely pay for logs from tree services.  The economics and risk of quality are the reason. I carry with me a price sheet showing what the hardwood mill pays for logs(delivered to their door). I use that as a guideline for a price.  By the way, they pay between .25 to .75 per board foot for walnut. That's after THEIR grader determines the grade.  Also, they will not take a log if they know it's a yard tree. They also will not pay veneer prices if the log is not fresh cut and will only pay after a third party veneer buyer grades it.
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: BBTom on March 16, 2014, 02:53:37 PM
Stumpy, 

That sounds like the stumpage price for walnut.   

I just sold to a hardwood mill over 30,000 bdft of hard maple @ .80.  Tree length picked up at the landing.
and then the Walnut to a different mill 16,000 bdft @2.00 again it was tree length picked up at the landing.

Might be an old price list? 
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: POSTON WIDEHEAD on March 16, 2014, 03:10:27 PM
I think a member said,he never lost money on a bid he did not get.  ;D

LIKE  smiley_thumbsup
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: Okrafarmer on March 16, 2014, 08:14:10 PM
I rarely pay for logs from tree services.  The economics and risk of quality are the reason. I carry with me a price sheet showing what the hardwood mill pays for logs(delivered to their door). I use that as a guideline for a price.  By the way, they pay between .25 to .75 per board foot for walnut. That's after THEIR grader determines the grade.  Also, they will not take a log if they know it's a yard tree. They also will not pay veneer prices if the log is not fresh cut and will only pay after a third party veneer buyer grades it.

This sounds like the prices from around here, although I doubt you'd get prices that good from the closest sizable hardwood mill. I pay more than they do.
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: Okrafarmer on March 16, 2014, 08:18:49 PM
I just sold to a hardwood mill over 30,000 bdft of hard maple @ .80.  Tree length picked up at the landing.
and then the Walnut to a different mill 16,000 bdft @2.00 again it was tree length picked up at the landing.

You are blessed sir. What I want to know is, what prices are that mill receiving for their green grade lumber when they sell it? I sell my green walnut lumber (#1 common or better) for $5 / bf retail, and $6 if dry. I see planed walnut (1Face and better) in the store going for around $8-9 / bf.
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: Okrafarmer on March 16, 2014, 08:25:06 PM
I agree with Cedarman on principle, and Okra on price. 18 in is not big enough to bring  big money.
FRank
+1 on Okrafarmer.  Why purchase a log that you can't sell for a profit?   Regards, Clark

Good to see I have some regional support here!  ;D

I also agree with Cedarman's post. STUFF of any kind is worth precisely what someone is willing to pay for it. Unless you are a charity, and have other means of support, your job when selling something is to receive the highest price you can manage, divided by the amount of effort it takes to receive that price.

Sales price = maximized $$$ / (time * effort)

Ok, that didn't really make sense as a formula, but it's fun to pretend to be inteligent.
 ;D :P
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: Ron Wenrich on March 16, 2014, 09:28:51 PM
Its nice to think that you'll make a profit on any particular log.  The problem is, even with tons of experience, you will have logs and lumber you will lose money on.  Sometimes its just as good to minimize your loses.  We always had alternative markets for our low quality wood.  Some slipped into the mill, and we milled it.  I'm sure some good logs made it to the lower grade markets. 

If I would have tried selling just to a retail market, I would have been gone quickly.  I've seen a mill go down the tubes just with that thinking, and they got the logs for free.  It all depends on how much volume you can do, and how much inventory you want to carry.  There are carrying costs associated with that.  As well as the cost of selling much smaller lots.  We would sell a trailerload of lumber with a phone call.  Trying to find enough retail customers would require a sales staff, which would cost us production time.  Lots of tradeoffs for that higher dollar value.

Profit = sale price - log costs - mfg costs.  Carrying costs go into the mfg costs.  We always felt that we made more money by moving product than trying to search out for a little better price.  To us, cash flow was very important.  Material that is paid for and sitting on the stump, in the log yard or on the lumber pile does not bring cash flow.  It is capital intensive, and you need to be well financed to pull it off.  I remember watching a wholesaler lose quite a bit of money as the value of oak dropped while he was waiting for it to dry.  Sometimes you make money as a lumber speculator, sometimes you don't. 

In this case, I would suspect that another log buyer looked at the logs and found metal, or it was below par for his markets.  Just a hunch.
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: drobertson on March 17, 2014, 07:46:45 AM
I have used a tree service for buying many times, in fact we are now pretty good friends, he uses a bucket for his work, this past week while in SC my dads neighbor had a twin oak taken down, both were in the 20"dbh, Now if this fellow that was doing the work got the money, I would pay a premium, he did it the ole fashion way, with ropes and pulleys, jibs and whatever else you call them, in the tree for close to four hours, tree spikes and a harness, pretty impressive, they sawed the wood into firewood length down to two clear saw logs, the rest was piled up for Bill,  a very neat job, for $2800.   Not sure where the logs went, they had a picker that loaded and off they went.  I have to think if a guy had a way to load logs, some of which are large, they could be had for cheap. If the clean up is quick and clean. jmo.
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: Philngruvy on March 17, 2014, 07:50:38 AM
Always amazing how the value/quality of logs can change so much from the point of buying to the point of reselling the sawn product.
 

My 2 cents.
Yes, the tree guy was paid up front to take down the tree, but why is it less acceptable for him to make a bonus on the job.  That might be a birthday present for his kid which he may not be able to afford otherwise.
Haggle the price until both parties are happy, happy, happy!  Or walk away feeling good.
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: dboyt on March 17, 2014, 08:42:32 AM
If you have the means to get logs without tearing them up the yards, you have a huge advantage, though you have more time & equipment tied up.  If your time & equipment expense is $100 per hour and it takes two hours to get the log to the mill, it has cost you $200 before paying anything for the log.  I do work some with tree services, but haven't paid them for a log yet.  As far as veneer, I would NEVER sell a yard log to a veneer buyer, even if it passes the metal detector test.  Anything that comes out of a yard is grade lumber.
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: ely on March 17, 2014, 09:40:39 AM
the most I have paid here is .45 cts for walnut. I have heard the old veneer this veneer that story for ever... only thing is there is not a veneer market here. I have known a few folks who put wheels on the walnut logs and went to sw mis. and found out the logs they had were not veneer grade. big expense but no money. :-X
Title: Re: Tree service guy wants serious money for walnut logs!
Post by: 5quarter on March 18, 2014, 10:27:26 AM
As usual, Ron is on the money. Personally, I would never buy logs that I didn't have a market for. When I have bought logs (which is rare), it is to fill an existing order. A note about veneer logs...the two buyers that I know only buy standing timber. There is no market around here for veneer logs that are already down.