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Ain't Normal

Started by Magicman, May 18, 2024, 07:16:12 PM

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Magicman

There are topics discussing the drought that we had this past Summer and the resulting tree kills, both by the drought and also by Ips and Southern Pine Beetles.  Thousands of dead trees throughout the entire drought stricken area.  Both Pine and Hardwood.

Now what I am seeing is landowners with dead trees and logs that they were unprepared for.  Most do not have a need for the lumber and many do not have the fund$ to saw them. 

I am explaining almost daily that no, I do not buy nor sell logs or lumber and I have no recommendations where there might be a market.  My "canned" advice is that they have already taken the loss with the trees dying.  Do not spend money that you do not have to saw lumber that you do not have a need for.  

This situation ain't normal.
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

It's Weird being the Same Age as Old People

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

WV Sawmiller


      We all hate to see the logs/lumber go waste but as you mention in some cases you just have to cut your losses. Unless they have or we can suggest an alternative, creative use for the lumber that is all we can do. 

   The only other advice I might give to calls such as you describe is to see if they have a need for some storage sheds, deer blinds, cabins, kids forts or crafts or such as a possible use for the lumber. I wonder if there is a possible opportunity for donations to benevolent organizations that need the lumber. (Churches, Boy Scouts, Homes for the homeless, USPA, etc) This might at least reduce the cost of sawing for tax write offs or at least the good feel of helping others, if they have the funds available for sawing.

  I had a guy contact me last month wanting to sell me some logs where he had cleared some ground. I told him they were not profitable for me to buy and saw them or saw them on shares as transport and handling would cost me more than I could sell them for. He later offered to give them too me and I see them on Craigslist for sale saying they can be sawed on site. I told him he has a short life as these are mostly pine.

    I hate to see them go to waste but I am not going to spend up my retirement sawing for free or on credit that I may never collect, or encouraging them to waste their money either.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2011 4WD F150 Ford Lariat PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Stihl 440 Chainsaw, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once

Larry

One of my wild ideas. :sunny:

A sponsor on the left donates or loans a sawmill to Habitat for Humanity. The sponsor gets great press. The landowner donates logs to Habitat and gets a tax write off. Habitat gets lots of low cost lumber.

Win win? Take the right person to get this off the ground.

Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Magicman

I knew that we would be overwhelmed with logs this year, but I failed to realize the cost impact on landowners.  They are wanting to give them to me but I do not have the need especially if/when they are wanting me to do the harvesting.  Nope, ain't happening and I ain't getting into the lumber selling business. 

I have only sawed two beetle jobs so far and the landowners only recovered the lower two logs.  With an overabundance of logs, there is no need to saw anything but the choice stuff.  I didn't take any lumber pictures but to saw a job with 16 & 18' logs and never see a knotty board is beyond the normal.

I wrote a long paragraph addressing Larry's idea, but there were so many unanswered questions regarding the implementation that I deleted it.  Sounds good but.....
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

It's Weird being the Same Age as Old People

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

WV Sawmiller

@Larry ,

    Where does Habitat for Humanity (Thanks for that - I could not recall the name in my earlier post) come up with the experienced operator for the sponsor donated mill? Does HFH provide the MHE and vehicles to move the logs and lumber?
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2011 4WD F150 Ford Lariat PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Stihl 440 Chainsaw, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once

Southside

Quote from: Magicman on May 18, 2024, 07:16:12 PMThis situation ain't normal.
If you think about it outside of just the logs and lumber it's perfectly normal.  Far too many react in this exact same way when faced with such a situation.  Prices get suppressed when supply out paces demand - what happens in the cattle world when milk or beef prices drop?  Guys go out and produce more milk and more cattle because they are getting less per unit, so they figure they can make up the difference when in reality they are only loosing more, faster.  Big mills saw more lumber when commodity prices drop, right up until the day they are broke anyway.  Throwing good money after bad - been there and done that, it's easy to fall into. 
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.
White Oak Meadows

Magicman

The individual landowners have lost 20 years of timber growth and they are my only concern.  It is not normal for landowners to be knee deep in dead trees that they can't sell and have a lumber source that they don't need nor can afford.

This has nothing to do with timber sales nor lumber prices.  I am one of those landowners who planted in 2005, have watched my trees grow for 18 years that now have zero value.   


Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

It's Weird being the Same Age as Old People

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Southside

And I sympathize and get it.  Three years ago a nasty ice storm rolled through here, pretty much every piece of 20 something year old timber that I had left standing got snapped clean off and turned into junk.  What didn't break bent so much that eventually the root ball came out.  I tried to salvage those, the snapped off stuff I knew better.  Those were a wast of time it turned out.  I watched leave trees that I remembered leaving snap off and die.  Was texting @Wudman while walking some of those areas in complete disgust, so I understand it. 
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.
White Oak Meadows

WV Sawmiller

  My wife will periodically ask me how I handle the value of a tree I harvest and saw and sell off our place. I keep telling her that tree has no value till it is sold. I could cut it and sell the log to myself but then I'd have to report the income on one hand and the cost as an expense on another so basically I'd be taking money out of one pocket and putting it in another. Bigger business with partners and such do things like that but in my case it is not necessary or worth the hassle.

   I doubt the famers had their trees insured and can't collect reimbursement from any insurance company or such. The big pulp, paper and timber companies might have such policies but I bet most small farmers don't and as I understand they can't harvest and sell them to the timber buyers. Some years back it was like that with hogs around here. People were shooting them in the fields as at market they would not sell for enough to pay to transport them and it was just costing money to keep feeding them.

   The big question now just seems to be how to salvage what they can and minimize the loss.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2011 4WD F150 Ford Lariat PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Stihl 440 Chainsaw, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once

Ianab

We have had some cyclones / wind storms knock over large areas of pine forest here. It then becomes a scramble to salvage as much as possible before the logs degrade. But it basically needs a coordinated effort from the logging crews / truckers / mills / export buyers to make it happen.  Basically taking crews off their scheduled harvest jobs from nearby areas, and moving them into the salvage area. In that scenario there isn't a glut of logs, because the overall harvest is still limited by the number of crews. The other trees they were scheduled to harvest just grow another 6 months, so no loss there. Mills still get their supply of logs, although some extra trucking may be involved. 

But it's a big project to put together, not something a small land owner can arrange.

This is a documentary about the salvage operation after cyclone Gabrielle last year. About 3 million tons of logs on the ground.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13bRIFJTCxA
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

SawyerTed

Loss like that is hard to recover.  The loss is multi-fold.   The time the trees grew will never be recovered by a land owner, nor will the loss of use of the land during that period.  Even with drought, the acreage may have produced other crops or otherwise been productive for a large percentage of the time the trees have been growing. 

A landowner is fortunate to get two harvests of planted pine trees in a lifetime.  Most will only see one and that one is gone for many. 

Here pine prices are pretty low due to an abundance of planted pines.  So the financial windfall from harvest isn't all that great.  Pine saw timber stumpage prices are $30-35/ton. Pine pulp is $6/ton.  Not much meat on the bone there.  
Woodmizer LT50, WM BMS 250, WM BMT 250, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher

thecfarm

This is a hard post to read. 
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

jasonb

I am a hobby sawyer that has no time to saw.  Trees are coming down everywhere around here.  It is very hard to drive around and see really good trees(mostly pine) being cut down and hauled to a waste site.

Hopefully I can find some time in the near future to start cutting some of these.
HM122

oldgraysawyer

It's a hard pill to swallow for sure. Where I live got hit with a derecho in 2012 and I took a pretty big hit myself only to get hit again a couple of years ago with another so I completely understand.
DB in WV

Resonator

Some of my relatives had a tornado hit their timber land many years ago. They salvaged the solid logs from what was blown down and built a log cabin style building for their main office, and almost 100 years later it still stands.
Under bark there's boards and beams, somewhere in between.
Cuttin' while its green, through a steady sawdust stream.
I'm chasing the sawdust dream.

Proud owner of a Wood-Mizer 2017 LT28G19

Magicman

There is/will be a 75% cost share program through the ASCS and Marty and I went to the meeting and listened to the presentation.  We quickly saw that it was nothing that would be of any benefit to us in our situation and afterwards the foresters and the loggers were shaking their heads.  It was evident that "our situation" was no different from anyone else's.  There was no logger there that would be willing to move their equipment onto a salvage operation which would be a land clearing job instead of a logging job.
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

It's Weird being the Same Age as Old People

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

handhewn

I have millable P Pine standing (dying) timber so close to my mill I don't need to move my log loader truck (sitting beside the live deck)  to reach them with the cable and they are still not worth milling! Only logs here still worth harvesting are Doug fir, Cedar and nice Oak. I have dying P Pine over four ft. dia. and still not worth sawing. The pines hereabouts mostly grows on the ridge tops while Fir and cedar tend to grow in the canyons which means mostly what I want is harder to harvest as it is down in those canyons. We have lost thousands of our trees and it's getting worse! Does anybody here know if it is a good practice to cut down standing /dying, beetle trees to reduce beetle spread?                    

Magicman

Often by the time you see dead needles, the beetles have done their dirty work.  The newly hatched beetles have flown to adjacent trees where they are continuing their malicious activity of breeding, laying eggs, and killing trees.
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

It's Weird being the Same Age as Old People

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Southside

The Spruce Bud Worm infestation in Maine back in the late '70s through the '80s was similar.  The only solution wast to get way ahead of the bug, wipe out the good timber to create a fire line and work back into the dead timber.  Of course the further back you went, the longer it had been dead, and the less value - if any - it had.  This naturally depressed prices as the market was saturated with fiber.  A number of bio-mass energy plants were built during that time and they consumed a lot of whole tree chips. 
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.
White Oak Meadows

Nealm66

What does the pine look like after it's been milled? I remember over here seeing the stained pine selling for a premium for flooring and wall accents. Maybe let it sit for a bit and stain up and if it had some beetle holes in it it would be worth even more. 

Ianab

I think the stained pine is a bit of a niche market. It's not going to support a million logs, and depending on the climate, the difference between "stained" and compost isn't that great. Florida climate is going to race them toward the "compost" end of the scale. 
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Magicman

I talked with another logger Tuesday.  Overall the sawmills have a glut of logs and are paying next to nothing plus have the loggers on a quota.  This situation is a killer for both the logger and the landowners.  

The irony is that the sawmills are selling their lumber at the same price and the lumberyard lumber is still the same.
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

It's Weird being the Same Age as Old People

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

nopoint

Outfit somewhat local to me has an ad up for kiln dried birch believe it is skip planned to 15/16 at $.60 a brdft. From the pictures it appears to be commercial operation. Can't imagine there is much money to be made at these rates. I've got lumber and logs stacked up and no one seems interested in buying. Guess time to build another shed. 

Magicman

I just walked my "tree extractor" over Marty's place where he has 7 dead Pines to fell.  He also made an estimate to remove 3 dead Pines and 2 Oaks next door.  Those 5 will be take downs.  The Oaks are hollow and I do not need additional firewood, but I do intend to get one 20' log from the largest Pine.  It is 32" DBH with very little taper so at least 28" top end.

With that log plus the logs on Marty's place, he should have enough lumber to build a nice pole barn/shed for his trenching & boring equipment.

We are trying to salvage as much as we can from this "ain't normal" situation.
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

It's Weird being the Same Age as Old People

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

customsawyer

There are these kind of cycles every so often in different areas. In the late '90s it was North GA. and Southern TN. You could ride for miles in any direction and all you could see was the brown pines standing out from the hardwoods. The area took an economic hit for a few years but are back up and running now. I hate to see the waste of all of those trees but that is just the way the things happen sometimes. This is why it is important to do your proper thinnings when it is needed. Even if all you are getting is a couple of bucks for the pulp, your leave trees will be stronger and healthier. They might be able to with stand some of the stress that a drought will put on them. 
Two LT70s, Nyle L200 kiln, 4 head Pinheiro planer, 30" double surface Cantek planer, Lucas dedicated slabber, Slabmizer, and enough rolling stock and chainsaws to keep it all running.
www.thecustomsawyer.com

Nealm66

As we fight the effects of the warmer climate here in the pnw, I question whether thinning is beneficial or not. A thick stand tends to keep the ground temperature cooler. Man, we're definitely having issues with our conifer here as well. Export logs have to either be debarked or shipped quickly as those beetles will be at them 

hardtailjohn

Quote from: Magicman on May 23, 2024, 07:27:11 AMI talked with another logger Tuesday.  Overall the sawmills have a glut of logs and are paying next to nothing plus have the loggers on a quota.  This situation is a killer for both the logger and the landowners. 

The irony is that the sawmills are selling their lumber at the same price and the lumberyard lumber is still the same.
Same here in this area....plus we've had 2 more pretty good sized mills close their doors in the last couple months. You can't give logs away. Not even good fir and larch. I talked to a friend that wanted to do some more thinning on us and he said he wouldn't even be able to pay for the fuel and labor at the rates the remaining mills are offering.
JH
I'm so far behind, I think I'm ahead!

Magicman

It's good to hear from you John, but I hated to read that your timber market is also in the dumpster.  :veryangry:
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

It's Weird being the Same Age as Old People

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

hardtailjohn

We will survive!  I guess it's just "weeding out" a few.  It sure isn't what it used to be...but then, neither am I! ffcool :thumbsup:
I'm so far behind, I think I'm ahead!

Magicman

I came in at noon today.  I did not finish.....just quit for the day.  Showered, ate lunch, and will attempt to be worthless this afternoon.   I earned it 'cause I am only 6 weeks away from my 81st Birthday.  :wacky:
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

It's Weird being the Same Age as Old People

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

snobdds

We had this happen out west in the early 2000's.  The pine Beatle killed million of acres of forest. On my property in the mountains, it was depressing and looking around, a seemingly monumental task to fix.  

However, how do you eat an elephant...one bite at a time.  We decided there is no use dwelling on this and got to work.  I cut down hundreds of trees, chipped thousands of branches and spend hours raking the forest floor. 

We are now 18 years later and the forest is back to it's thriving self.  This taught me a lot.  It turns out the forest was sick and over crowded to the point there wasn't really any wildlife or production of any kind.   After the thinning and sunlight, the forest floor exploded in life and the animals came back. Then in 2020 multiple huge fires went through and took care of all the dead logs.  We are now going on 4 years and again, the animals came back and the forest is alive again.   

Mother nature is always in control.  

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