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Author Topic: Purchasing black cherry  (Read 25495 times)

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Offline Osric

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Purchasing black cherry
« on: November 26, 2007, 02:00:23 PM »
Someone has offered to sell me 4 black cherry logs for $260.  Here is what I know about them so far:

"there is a nine footer with a 13" diameter, a ten footer with a 13" dia., a ten footer with a 14" dia., and a twelve with 14"."

He claims they are straight without limbs coming off them, came from a home site (although he didn't mention whether they were yard trees or trees that were cleared to build the home).

The sizes work well for my mill (18" max), so that is a plus and I haven't actually seen them yet, much less checked with the metal detector to see if there is anything in them.  But assuming that the logs are as good as he is suggesting, is $260 a fair price for these logs?  I've never bought logs before, but could use some cherry in the next couple years for some furniture projects. 

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Offline Furby

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Re: Purchasing black cherry
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2007, 02:48:26 PM »
Most probly he is giving you the measurement of the big end of the log from outside the bark edge to outside the bark edge.
That would mean the logs themselves are really much smaller as you normally measure inside the bark and on the smallest end.

Giving him the benefit of the doubt and using his numbers, doyle scale totals the four logs at 281 board feet.
At those sizes, on that scale and his price, you are paying about 92.5 cents a board foot.

Another thing is what length they are actually cut.
If they are right on 9',10' and 12', then they are too short and should be scaled a foot shorter to 8',9' and 11'.

I'll let someone else tell you if it's a good price, but I personally wouldn't buy them for that price.
The red tool box on the left side of your page has some tools to help you figure board feet and such if you need them. :)

Offline flip

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Re: Purchasing black cherry
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2007, 03:22:33 PM »
Tell him you won't charge him to remove them from where they are and you'll call it "even".  Tell him fiddy bucks and you'll bring him a few boards.  I would pass on that unless you REALLY need cherry. 
Timberking B-20, Hydraulics make me board quick

Offline Larry

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Re: Purchasing black cherry
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2007, 05:07:26 PM »
Its a full time job keeping me and myself solvent, so my comments are worth what ya paid for em.  I suspect if he was a logger he would already have them sold...if hes not a logger he is fishing...trying to make a little more than what firewood would bring him.  A low ball offer might just work.

Few things to look at before you decide to bring that cherry home.  A lot of people dont like cherry sapwood so I would pay close attention to the sapwood ring.  Your already going to buy a lot of sap just because the logs are small.  But small logs are a plus when sawing on doyle as the overrun is going to be a lot...you should get a lot more than the 281 BF Furby calculated.  Cherry also has a unique defect...gum pockets.  Not sure what causes it but trees from one area will have a lot while trees 20 miles away might not have much.  Ive also seen cherry with doty hearts...dont know if that is common or not.  And than you have all the other defects common in logs...bird peck, shake, splits, and who knows what else.

Sometimes ya just gotta pay your money and take your chances...and if you make a mistake chalk it up to your education.
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

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Offline metalspinner

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Re: Purchasing black cherry
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2007, 06:16:40 PM »
I addition to what the other have mentioned...

Many people do not know the differance between diameter and circumferance. ::)  Don't get your hopes up.  If he measured correctly, expect lots of sap.

Quote
He claims they are straight

In my area, the crookedest tree in the woods is cherry.  Never saw a truly straight one. :-\
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline Brad_S.

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Re: Purchasing black cherry
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2007, 07:41:01 PM »
He claims they are straight without limbs coming off them, came from a home site
This is another yellow flag. It may not have limbs coming off it now, but it may have 10 years ago. They may be covered with "cat faces" where there were once limbs and are now overgrown. To the untrained eye, the log may look clear but one slabbing cut will reveal the knots lying beneath. This is especially true of "home site" trees as they had plenty of space to spread out in versus a woods grown tree which will give cleaner stems.
Make sure it's black cherry and not a choke cherry.
Buck a board foot for cherry isn't too bad if they are all he says they are but they are pretty small. If in doubt, I usually offer what an equal amount of firewood would cost. It's getting harder and harder to get the suggestion flip offered to work as firewood prices rise. Some people will turn them into firewood out of spite if they feel they were low-balled.
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." J. Lennon

Offline Ironwood

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Re: Purchasing black cherry
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2007, 09:31:59 PM »
That is ALOT of money  for small logs. Cherry can have alot of hidden problems. I recently bought a MONSTER double cherry yard tree. Looked awsome clear and nice. I paid $275 for it. Was it worth it, so so. The logs were generous but had some funky grain issues (blotches). If i had to do it again I would have passed. When I say "paid" I paid my buddy and his tree service guys to take it down, the owner gave it to me. I will attach some pics. These were the lowers. There were many more in the range you are talking above these. 

 

 Ironwood
There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

Offline Ironwood

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Re: Purchasing black cherry
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2007, 09:55:11 PM »
One other fun story, buddy calls me. Add in the paper he says, "41" diameter cherry for sale"  So, next few days when I get a chance drive 30 miles to look at the monster, try 41" in CIRCUMFERENCE. DUH.  I ended up with them, but simple High School Geometery  would tell you the answer. Nice guy, but HELLO!

               Ironwood
There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

Offline Dale Hatfield

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Re: Purchasing black cherry
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2007, 06:37:26 AM »
Im starting a small lot clearance today that i allowed the homeowner 500 off of total bill for the cherry logs. Their are 7 trees 3 of which are only fire wood. I wouldnt have allowed anything if we didnt have a boom truck to load the logs with. Toatal bill was 1300 bucks and in the end im sure that I prolly allowed to much for the logs.
Ill let ya know how we fair in the end
Dale
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Offline Osric

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Re: Purchasing black cherry
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2007, 04:19:03 PM »

Make sure it's black cherry and not a choke cherry.

Any easy way of telling the difference?  Don't think I've ever even heard of "choke cherry."

Offline Kelvin

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Re: Purchasing black cherry
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2007, 05:38:44 PM »
choke cherry looks like an oranmental cherry or fruit tree cherry.  Large plates kinda looks like a birch in a way.  You can tell them apart easy.  The ones in the photo above are black cherry.  However both woods are sold together and i can't tell a difference in them when i've had them side by side.  Don't know if there are any drawbacks, but you often don't see them as large as a black cherry.

As for buying them only seeing them will tell.  I would only pay for butt logs.  Often on tree, even growing in the woods, after you get above 16' you are going to have lower grade lumber.  I pay $.50 for decent cherry logs and would go up to $1 only on nice logs like the ones in the photos above.  Those look amazing, though like the post said, you never know whats inside.  Around me they tend to grow in flood plains and have rotten hearts which isn't too bad.  You also have scrap metal issues near homes, so you can mentaly tack on some for wrecked blades.

I would tell him what you are willing to pay, which is ligitimit and most people respect that.  I would offer $.50 for the tally of any logs below branches, certainly no uppers, and then if any "uppers" looked all right, i would pay $.25 a bd ft for them.  This can be a learning experience.  Once you buy them and saw them you will see what you actually end up with as far as usuable lumber and then next time no what to walk away from.  Heck, its real cheap tution in the school of lumber making.  At least you aren't sitting in some stuffy class while someone blabbers at you.  Small diameter logs are also agravating and don't yeild much for the time spent, especially wide sap band cherry logs.  When you make a square inside the useable heart wood that 12" diameter tree will be like a 9" oak tree, and i don't know to many people who would pay anything for a 9" anything.  However somepeople use the sap, and i have some cherry sap lumber that is 100% pure sap.  Really weird.  Looks like white cherry.  Kinda cool.  Couldn't saw off all that wood and chuck it.  At least its better than poplar for cabinet parts.

You can do like Daren has mentioned.  Say, "okay.  Heres what i'll pay, but if you think is worth a lot more i'll take the logs saw them for you and you can dry them and try sell them in the paper and make all the money!  "  I like that one.  It really lets them decide if they want to really make the big money like us rich guys.  Ha!!  You'll make a lot more sawing those logs for him then sawing them for yourself after buying them!
Good luck.
KP

Offline Dale Hatfield

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Re: Purchasing black cherry
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2007, 09:20:26 PM »
Ok so  the trees are down  yards clean logs hauled and sold. How did it work out well.
I allowed 500 for the cherry logs from 7 trees 3 which were small 1 had no but log  it forked at the ground. So in one day felled chipped and stacked logs by hand and by use of a Big dolly. Truck came in loaded em up hauled em to the mill. Their were 31 sellable logs down to 10 inches and i pushed it down to 8.   they paid 761 for the logs. So I made 261 over what i thought they would bring. Plus the 30 mins load time 45 mins drive to the mill and back. so in the end  was it worth it?
Dale
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Offline Dana

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Re: Purchasing black cherry
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2007, 07:21:54 AM »
If it wasn't worth doing, you probably wouldn't have done it right? ;D
Grass-fed beef farmer, part time sawyer

Offline rebocardo

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Re: Purchasing black cherry
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2007, 08:32:29 AM »
> I've never bought logs before

Neither have I, I have people pay me to take them away. When I had my mill I used to split the wood with the owner or sell it back for $0.50 a foot once cut.

Are they all from one tree? Or are they from four little stunted back yard trees with nails, hooks, and telephone/120v staples up the side?
 
I would offer $1 a linear foot or $50 max. If they are so valuable then offer to split it 70 (you) /30 (him), let him pick his 1st ten boards, and he can sell his own lumber and make a real killing  ;)

I would pay $260 only AFTER I cut them. If these trees were wind damaged or pushed over with a dozer, the chances are they are good for nothing else other then firewood or bbq wood.

Example:

He basically wants $6 a linear foot, cut a log, junk? Push it to the side, have him take it for firewood, deduct (# of feet x $6)  from the $260.

Offline Osric

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Re: Purchasing black cherry
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2007, 08:50:53 AM »
just thought I'd throw in an update out there.

I sent him an email back saying that I'd pay $150 IF they were in the condition he stated (which was very nice) AND if my metal dectector didn't pick up anything.

I haven't heard back from him since, so either he found another buyer, he thinks I'm trying to lowball him, or may be looking at having the wood cut himself.  Maybe after they sit on the ground for 6 months, he'll give me a call back.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Purchasing black cherry
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2007, 10:28:40 AM »
Hmmm choke cherry is just a shrub. What Kelvin is describing sounds to me like what we call cherry birch or black birch, since he's describing a birch like bark. Choke cherry wouldn't get much bigger than 6 inches on the butt and most are about an inch.




This is what black cherry bark looks like up here. South of here it looks a lot like maple.  ::)


I had one orchard grown cherry with 54 growth rings on the stump and each ring was almost 4/10" wide. 17" butt @ 54 years. It was nice lumber to and surprisingly stable for fast grown.
Move'n on.

Offline Kelvin

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Re: Purchasing black cherry
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2007, 01:27:04 PM »
Aha!  Choke cherries get to be about 14" or so around here in central michigan and they can be sawn for lumber.  I've cut 'em and sold them.  I don't know, maybe they were the biggest ones ever recorded and i just didn't know, but tis true!  This is why i can tell you the lumber is almost impossible to tell apart.  I've got them on my property at about 8" right now, but i've sawn bigger ones.  They are a more scrubby tree than black cherry, but no i'm not mistaking them for any birches.  I've just saying the plates wrap around the tree paper like, instead of black cherry that have little flaky bark.  They look like a fruit tree bark or ornamental cherries you see planted around homes.  As far as giving people prices, i'm starting to suspect that people are having me drive out to look at their trees b/c they are planning on making a deal with someone else and they don't care about wasting my day looking at them.  Contractors of all types get this kind of treatment.  I don't know how to ask ahead of time if they really are intending on selling me the logs.  THis is happening more and more recently.  Homeowners love to pull this one.
KP

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Purchasing black cherry
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2007, 02:06:37 PM »
And they aren't pin (fire) cherry?






I gotta see these 14" choke cherries.  Cause they grow in southern Ontario and they ain't no where that big.

Ya see I tell ya's that snow line is a big influence. ;D
Move'n on.

Offline Osric

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Re: Purchasing black cherry
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2007, 03:41:04 PM »
Aha!  Choke cherries get to be about 14" or so around here in central michigan and they can be sawn for lumber.  I've cut 'em and sold them.  I don't know, maybe they were the biggest ones ever recorded and i just didn't know, but tis true!  This is why i can tell you the lumber is almost impossible to tell apart.  I've got them on my property at about 8" right now, but i've sawn bigger ones.  They are a more scrubby tree than black cherry, but no i'm not mistaking them for any birches.  I've just saying the plates wrap around the tree paper like, instead of black cherry that have little flaky bark.  They look like a fruit tree bark or ornamental cherries you see planted around homes.  As far as giving people prices, i'm starting to suspect that people are having me drive out to look at their trees b/c they are planning on making a deal with someone else and they don't care about wasting my day looking at them.  Contractors of all types get this kind of treatment.  I don't know how to ask ahead of time if they really are intending on selling me the logs.  THis is happening more and more recently.  Homeowners love to pull this one.
KP


I used to do computer onsite work out of my house.  One thing that I started doing was charging a $25 "consulting fee" when I was asked to go out to a site.  If they used me for the service, that money was put towards the final bill.  If they didn't use me, at least I has some money in my pocket.  Your time is probably more valuable than mine was 20 years ago, so you migh want to charge a higher fee, but it is worth considering if you are wasting a lot of time doing estimates for free.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Purchasing black cherry
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2007, 04:21:06 PM »
I agree. It's not like you are working off the dole for some government agency. It costs time and money to go somewhere that may or may not be fruitful. If it's fruitful, then consider giving a credit on the deal. I'd charge $75 for these go looksie trips and I'd get names, numbers and addresses before I walked out the kitchen door. Might be harsh, but your not getting a subsidy so there has to be some sort of compensation from somewhere. I can guarantee ya, that little fee would be a lot less than trying to factor something into the purchase price that compensates for the 10 wasted trips you made to get one good deal. ;)

If it was a small amount of logs and I owned them, I'd say you can have them if you want them no strings attached. I wouldn't ask ya to clean up the brush neither. If they were valuable to me, I'd haul them to the mill myself and not waste anyone's time. Don't cost any more to run one log at a time through the mill whether my name is on them or there are 15 guys logs marked out there in a pile. Scale them on delivery and write me a cheque and I'm off. Am I wrong? ;D
Move'n on.


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