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Author Topic: How to crack an egg  (Read 5927 times)

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Offline flatrock

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How to crack an egg
« on: February 05, 2007, 06:20:28 PM »
I have a tract of land which has 250 acres of mixed hardwood timber.  Most of it average quality.  However, there is a 40 acre section in a large hollow which I have been told is excellent quality up to & including veneer.  In the future I am planning to use a consulting forester and come up with a harvest plan.  One strategy I have been kicking around was hiring a consulting forester to evaluate the property & specifically identify those trees that should qualify as veneer and take bids on a contract for those higher quality trees only.  With the remaining lesser quality trees we plan to harvest I had envisioned working on a share arrangement with someone with a portable sawmill and take my share in green rough cut lumber.  The ideal being I would make more money on the lower quality stuff after the conversion versus just selling it by bid or on the share as straight logs.  Having said all that I have a couple of questions and would appreciate any thoughts or ideals.

1) How many board feet of select, prime, & prime plus grade logs does to take to generate interest of out of state buyers.  Primary species Northern & southern red oak, white oak, black oak & white ash.

2) I know every veneer mill has different spec but what would a general red oak veneer log spec look like for min. log length & diameter inside bark.

3)  What is a typical share arrangement for portable sawmill contract 50/50, or something different.

Im in a region (the Arkansas Ozarks) that generally people say all its good for is cutting ties however I also know alot of the better looking logs get trucked north to Missouri  & other states where they are sold for considerably more than the local markets.  Again, Im a neophyte and would greatly appreciate any thoughts or comments on any of this. Thanks.

Offline LeeB

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Re: How to crack an egg
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2007, 06:33:43 PM »
Welcome flatrock. Where you be in Northern Arkansas? I can't help you with 1 & 2, never sold any logs. I sometimes cut on shares 50/50, you bring the logs to me and do the tailing. LeeB
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Offline flatrock

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Re: How to crack an egg
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2007, 07:12:03 PM »
Thanks LeeB I'll keep that in mind.  Im in southern Sharp county.

Offline LeeB

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Re: How to crack an egg
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2007, 07:40:42 PM »
I'll have to look that up. I'm in Marion county. Haven't been in Arkansas long enough to learn the counties yet. LeeB
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Offline Phorester

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Re: How to crack an egg
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2007, 08:08:28 PM »
First question from me as a Forester, why do you want to cut trees? 

Ideally, a timber sale should be used to accomplish some land ownership goal or forest management goal.  With this much land you are in an ideal situation to do some good forest management here.

The idea of cutting all the veneer first and then cutting the lower quality will be a true highgrading of your timber - taking out the highest grade trees and leaving the worst. For longterm land ownership, this is about the worst way to sell timber.  At the very least, I'd say offer all the timber together.  Buyers will be willing to pay more for the lower grades if they will also be bidding on the high value trees. And taking out only the best trees at once may turn off some buyers when you offer only the lower grade trees in the next cutting.  If you want'em to take the bad, you have to let them have some of the good with'em.

Your specific questions can best be answered by a local Consulting Forester or maybe your County Forester with the State of Arkansas.

I think your best decision would be to first, decide on what you want from this woodland in the long run - increased future timber value, wildlife, recreation, fishing, etc.  With 250 acres I expect you could do a lot of things to make it better for all sorts of ownership objectives. If cutting trees plays into meeting one or more of your ownership objectives, then do a timber sale with that in mind.  As has been stated before on this Board, what trees are left after a timber cut is more important than what is taken out.

Talk to a Forester first, one who has no interest in buying your timber.  In other words, a management forester, not a procurement forester. Even talk to more than one, and get their input on what you have in mind.  State Foresters in most States offer "free" advice - you're already paying their salary so use'em - Consulting Foresters work for a fee.  If there is a Landowner Assistance Program with a local forest industry, their program might also fit your needs.  These Foresters generally work for a landowner at no charge, but you have to sign up for their company program.
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Offline LT40HDD51

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Re: How to crack an egg
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2007, 08:28:30 PM »
I've done a bit of cutting for shares, usually 50/50. But if there's high grade wood in question, like clear hardwoods, maybe real nice clear pine or spruce... I'd think the mill would get a bit less then 50%. If I cut 2000' of nice red oak for you, and got 500 feet of clear/#1 and 500 feet of #2 and 3 for my half/three quarters of a days work, thats really good pay fer yours truly  ;D Usually we'd just dicker a bit back and fourth and come to an agreement, all depends on the logs of course. But if there's a lot of real good stuff and you have a need for the lumber (or can sell it), just get someone to cut it by the hour or by the foot IMO...
The name's Ian. Been a sawyer for 6 years professionally, Dad bought his first mill in '84, I was 2 years old :). Factory trained service tech. as well... Happy to help any way I can...

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: How to crack an egg
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2007, 09:22:14 PM »
Ditto! to Phorester's advice. Take the "worst first".
~Ron

Offline WDH

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Re: How to crack an egg
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2007, 11:10:03 PM »
You talked about selling the high grade and then have the lower grade cut on half 50/50 with a portable sawmiller so that you could take your share as green lumber with the intent that the green lumber would be worth more than selling the low grade trees as timber.  That would probably be true, but do you realize how much handling and space is required to dry and store thousands of board feet of lumber?  If you cut very many acres at all, you are talking about quite a logistical undertaking to take care of that much green lumber if you plan to dry it yourself.  If you plan to sell it green, you better have all the buyers lined up beforehand because it you don't sticker the green lumber properly, it can go bad pretty quick, especially if it is hot like it can get in Arkansas.
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Offline flatrock

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Re: How to crack an egg
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2007, 07:24:28 AM »
Thanks all for the excellent feedback its exactly what I wanted.  With regard to the highgrading it is unusual for red oak in this part of the world to have a long life & remain marketable.  Red oak borer is a huge problem and they seem to target the bigger trees so in my mind if I make that choice to retain a large diameter red oak it will be for acorn production and really not for a future cut.  Of course once the borers get to work the timber value is zero and it hastens the tree's demise so there goes the wildlife value.  Also, I did not mention this but I plan on having harvest free areas and I do want to retain so many trees per acre simply for acrorn production.  Another concern is oak regeneration.  I do not know why oaks dont grow from acorns but in this part of the world from my limited experience stump sprouts is the primary way we get new trees.  An alternate scenario I had envisoned was simply harvesting a third of the property in 2 acre clear cuts evenly distributed across the property .  My thinking was this would move it to a more uneven age forest and the openingis would promote the oak regeneration.  Again I appreciate all the input.  Any decison I make will be with input from both local state foresters as well as a hired consulting forester.  Thank you all your comments.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: How to crack an egg
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2007, 09:40:08 AM »
Before you go off the deep end about oak borer, maybe you want to read up on it a bit.

Oak borer link

Apparently I've been in this borer area for quite some time.  But, I have never heard anyone go nuts over harvesting oak before the borer gets to it.  Its not that big of deal, at least in my area.

I've often heard guys talking about forest management as if its farming.  Well, how many farmers would go out and put their best milkers up for market?  Afterall, that would allow the runts to have more pasture, and they could become better milkers.  Maybe not as good as the milkers you sold, but better than what they had been.  And those runts get to be the parent stock of the next herd.

But, that's how many landowners manager their timber.  Sell the milkers, leave the runts.

Cutting 2 acre clearcuts will give you an uneven-aged stands when they're all taken into account.  But, you will still have a stand of 2 acre even-aged forests.  That's OK, as long as you know what you're getting. 

I would prefer to see a bigger area treated at one time.  You should be removing trees of all age and size classes.  In some areas small openings should be put in.  They would be between 1/4 - 1/2 acre plots and should be placed where an area has a good deal of poor quality growing stock.  In the balance of the stand, thinnings should occur where stand density stays fully stocked. 

The thing about cutting on shares is that you need to know something about marketing.  I have found very few landowners to be knowledgeable enough about lumber markets to make this a paying proposition.  Do you cut dimension stock?  Who will you sell it to?  Who buys grade lumber and how much do they need?  What happens if you can't sell all the lumber?
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Offline Brian Beauchamp

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Re: How to crack an egg
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2007, 09:55:32 AM »
The hardwood market in your area is a little depressed right now, but everywhere else surrounding you...SW Arkansas, N Missouri, E Kansas, W Kentucky...it is really booming from what I've seen. In NE Oklahoma, a current client had a buyer from Kentucky make him an offer on his timber...someone that is about 7 highway hours away. Some of those buyers would almost definitely be willing to come down if they think it is worth it, but a good consultant will be able to put your timber in front of most all of the potentially willing buyers...and help you come up with a better harvest plan than what you have.

Always cut the worst first...the better is left to get bigger and regenerate the forest. Also, when you sell some of the best along with the stuff you want to get rid of, the price of the lower quality stuff is driven up...as I believe someone else stated as well.

Offline Brian Beauchamp

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Re: How to crack an egg
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2007, 10:03:21 AM »
Before you go off the deep end about oak borer, maybe you want to read up on it a bit.

Ron is correct about the oak borer, it is not that big of a problem...just a link in a chain of things causing oak decline in the Ozarks...high-grading being one of those causes, along with drought, 'over-mature' trees...anything that stresses the trees. I think if you have some harvests to improve stand composition and reduce stocking (and, thus, stress), you will see a significant change in your forest and it will start acting 'healthy' again...vigorous growth, regeneration from seed, etc.

Offline WDH

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Re: How to crack an egg
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2007, 10:22:12 AM »
As far as regenerating oak goes, oak needs partial shade to regenerate.  The overstory does not have to be 100% oak, but obviously oak should be a significant component to provide acorns for seed.  If you clearcut 2 acre patches, you will get some oak back, but not as much as if you do a thinning or light shelterwood cut.  The beauty of a thinning is that you can remove undesireable trees and lower value species and at the same time create favorable conditions for oak regeneration.   You are also upgrading the future stand.  Once the oak regeneration is established, then you can begin taking out the larger, higher quality oaks that you left as a seed source.

One real pet peeve of mine when people thin hardwood is that they cut the best and leave the worst.  This is backwards of what should be done.  Sometimes larger/wolfier trees are left while the younger growing stock is cut for pulp.  DON'T DO THIS.  Imagine a stand where there is a component of trees that are 8 to 12" in diameter that are of desireable species (oak for example).  You have already spent 20 to 30 years to grow these trees and they are just beginning to get big enough to become sawtimber.  Then what happens?  In the so-called regeneration cut or thinning, the logger cuts these trees for pulp.  Guess what?  You have just set youself back 20 years.  This is your future crop.  Don't cut it right at the time it is beginning to increase in value.  Managing hardwood takes a lot of skill, so be choosey when selecting a consultant forester.  Pine and hardwood are totally different animals!
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Offline Brian Beauchamp

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Re: How to crack an egg
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2007, 10:33:08 AM »
Exactly as WDH said. If you are not clear on what we mean by best vs. worst, we are talking about form, age and health mostly, not exactly diameters and heights...or at least, I am.  :)

Offline flatrock

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Re: How to crack an egg
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2007, 07:34:04 PM »
Thanks for all the excellent posts.  Its alot of good information and reinforces to me how little I know.  I had spoken to a state forester about northern red oak and his opinion was that it was generally short lived in this area due to the rocky cherty infertile soil and 18" dbh was as long as you should hold it.  However, I think the 40 acre hollow is an excellent area and I know it has a much better soil site index than most of the surrounding land. The trees are alot taller there on an east slope and the crowns are not touching so I dont think I would want to touch anything there for as long as possible.  Like several of you mentioned dont mess with the good growers.  I appreciate everyone's posts and as I mentioned I will get professional help from a registered consulting forester prior to any harvest.  Thanks again for all your input and comments.

Offline tonich

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Re: How to crack an egg
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2007, 09:48:08 AM »
----------
This will about finish the discussion. WDH has explained it pretty well!

My 3 cents:
-   Second, go shelterwood instead of clearcut! This is what oak seedlings like!
-   Thin mainly from the above – oaks are light demanding, thus the tallest trees do not have the straightest stems!
-   Concentrate the future tree growth on the best stems!


Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: How to crack an egg
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2007, 06:35:00 PM »
For years here the loggers tactics involved assuring the owner his timber would be dead because the bud worm was coming to eat it. There were many areas it did indeed attack fir and spruce, but there were also areas that had no evidence at all of bud worm. The logger was looking as mature trees with dollar signs in his eyes and was very good at convincing the owner he should have it clear cut, or loose it. After all the government was spraying thousands of acres of forest to beat back the bud worm. It was easy to get his point across. They haven't sprayed for bud worm here since 1993.
Move'n on.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: How to crack an egg
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2007, 06:51:04 PM »
Ditto to what WDH said after harvest tree selection. Up here you would set yourself back 60 years to get a 8" forest grown hardwood tree again. Have a look at that white ash tree with the end grain I posted, and white ash grows faster than hard maple and yellow birch. Well here it is, count the rings. ;D



Similar growth for 3-1/4" from pith, grew slighter faster in the first 20 years. 6-1/2 inch tree at 80 years, but that was the width of the board. I think it was 25 inches on the stump.
Move'n on.

Online beenthere

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Re: How to crack an egg
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2007, 07:00:46 PM »
Would be nice to see a scale in the pic SD.  Any chance?
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: How to crack an egg
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2007, 07:31:50 PM »
2 " wide beenthere, the scale is at the bottom in red letter. Hard to see because of the contrasting I used. If your sitting in front of an LCD screen it can be hard to see also, might have to sit up closer. Appears similar to the ASCII art below. The first 1-1/4" coming from the pith is out of view and to the left of the 2. In other words, the scale is backwards. There are a few more rings to the right of the "0". ;)

___________________________________
2 |  |  |  |  |  |  |  1  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  0
-----------------------------------------
Move'n on.


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