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Sebastian Ross
Sebastian Ross

Logging Companies That Buy Trees


Whether you have a few valuable hardwood trees in your yard or several acres of forested land, some companies buy trees for lumber and other purposes such as making pallets. However, the price of trees varies based on several factors, including the type of tree, your location, and demand. To learn how to sell trees, including who you need to contact and how much money you may be able to get for them, see below.




logging companies that buy trees


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Locate and contact local timber buyers or foresters for information about selling hardwood yard trees. Note that, in some states, only licensed timber buyers can buy yard trees because of the potential property damage.


The companies included in our timber buyers list harvest marketable timber from large acreage (8 to 10 acres and larger). For assistance in removing trees from residential lots, contact a local tree service company. Corrections, additions or deletions should be sent to scfc@scfc.gov. South Carolina law does not require buyers of timber to be registered. However, if a timber buyer also offers forest management advice, they must be a South Carolina registered forester or operating under the direct supervision of a South Carolina registered forester.


This list is intended as a marketing guide for woodland owners. While every effort has been made to include all known buyers of timber, some omissions may have occurred. Inclusion in the listing does not constitute an endorsement of any particular buyer, and omissions are unintentional.Selling timber is a major decision that can have far-reaching effects on your forestland. Before you sell you timber, you should review this information: Before You Sell Your Timber. Timber is considered a capital asset, and taxes apply to net gains (gross proceeds minus cost basis). These taxes are considered capital gain taxes when timber is held one year or longer. A consulting forester can help you, along with your accountant, determine your cost basis (timber basis), possibly reducing your tax burden. See TimberTax.org for more information.To help avoid timber theft and fraud, consider the following suggestions on our Your Timber Is Valuable page. Finally, the only way to be sure of the value of your timber is to hire a consulting forester to do a cruise of your woods to determine the number of trees you have in the various product classes. To learn more about using a consulting forester or to locate one near you, please visit our Consulting Foresters page.


Trees require many years of growth to become merchantable timber products. Well-managed pine trees growing in fertile soil could be thinned for pulpwood in as little as 12 to 15 years, and produce sawlogs in 25 to 30 years. On the other hand, oak trees growing on a dry ridge may take 60 to 80 years to reach merchantable size. The value of trees increases tremendously as they mature. Pine sawlogs can be worth five to seven times more per unit volume than pine pulpwood. Thus too much is at stake to sell timber without having an accurate knowledge of products, volumes and values. Landowners should also incorporate environmental protection measures in their timber harvest plan, and have a plan that ensures a new productive forest will be established following the timber harvest.


Though it happens occasionally even with trees that have been harvested from the forest, the presence of metal occurs much more frequently in trees that have been taken from an Urban setting. When a sawmill hits a metal object, the blade on the saw will at the very least have teeth sheared off, rendering this particular blade ineffective at cutting and delaying the mills production cycle because the sawing will have to stop until a fresh blade has been installed. The sheared blade will have to be re-tipped by a professional, adding cost and taking the blade out of production for an extended period of time.


Further, urban trees grow much faster than trees in a thickly wooded area. This results in lumber that is less dense, more porous, and in general of lower quality than a tree whose rate of growth was slower.


Logging companies rarely have the specialized equipment, not to mention proper insurances, to remove trees from an Urban setting. But even if they did, the cost associated with hauling equipment to a location and removing the bulk of an entire tree including its top is usually far greater than the value of the tree.


The most common defects in logs are knots caused by branches; seams caused by disease, lightning, fire scars, frost damage or mechanical injury; holes caused by insects or bird pecking; shake, a lengthwise separation of the wood caused by injury; split; and decay (Figure 2). Another common and unnecessary defect is metal embedded in the wood. Fences are commonly nailed to fence-row trees, making the best part of the trees worthless. Even temporarily nailing into a tree causes serious degrade because a chemical reaction between metal and the tree sap produces a stain that permeates the wood.


Second, logging sometimes requires special equipment and attempting to log using agricultural equipment could extensively damage the equipment and be very hazardous to the operator. Improper cutting, handling or transporting of high-value logs can destroy much of their value. Standing trees may also be damaged and their future value greatly reduced or even completely lost. Harvesting of high-value species, such as black walnut or white oak, should always be left to experienced buyers and professional loggers.


The bids should be opened at the specified time and place. The highest bidder is usually selected unless a reason to exclude that buyer exists. Be cautious about selecting new operators or operators who have not previously logged in the area. A professional forester may offer advice as to the desirability of selecting a particular buyer. Most buyers perform satisfactorily when all of the trees on an area are cut, but only the most experienced and careful buyer should be selected for a timber-stand improvement or selection harvest where valuable trees will be left standing. Although this practice may, on occasion, result in accepting a bid other than the highest, it will protect the future quality and value of your woodland.


Once the timber harvest begins, you and/or your forester need to visit the area frequently to make sure the harvest is proceeding according to the terms of the contract and to discuss questions that might arise. Monitoring the harvest will also allow you to become more familiar with timber harvesting operations, which may be useful in future sales (Figure 3). Remember, active logging sites are dangerous. Approach with caution and only when acknowledged by equipment operators.


Can I sell trees from my yard? Simple economics makes it unlikely that you will be able to sell yard trees. Loggers are in the timber business and there must be value with enough timber volume to offset the considerable costs of bringing heavy equipment, cutting and hauling the logs, paying you for the trees, and still being able to make a profit. Yard trees are more difficult to harvest, typically are of lower quality than woods-grown, and often contain embedded metal which can damage saw blades and other timber processing equipment. In rare cases it might be possible to market the sawlog portion of high value trees, such as black walnut, to local woodworkers or portable sawmill operators. However, finding a willing buyer would require a significant effort on your part. Yard trees can have more value as part of a well maintained landscaped property. If you want a yard tree removed, you should get estimates from several certified tree service companies.


Few people sell saw timber on a regular basis and few of us know the value of the different species of trees, how many board feet actually come from a tree or which trees will be of best value if they are protected for the future. Because of this general lack of knowledge, some logging companies create logging plans that bring in short term cash without consideration for the future of the forest. Six out of seven logging jobs in Connecticut are performed without a professional forester representing the landowner. This is comparable to a person not being represented by an attorney in a court of law. A management plan helps landowners set and achieve goals for their land, i.e., earn cash from saw timber, firewood, maple syrup, or other products, improve the beauty of their forest and improve habitat for wildlife. With professional planning any combination of these goals may be achieved.


Two types of cutting practices to be wary of are Diameter Limit Cutting and Selective Cutting. Diameter-limit cutting involves harvesting all saleable trees above a certain diameter. Selective cutting usually involves removing the largest, most valuable trees while leaving large-diameter, poor-quality, low-value trees or trees that will never reach a large diameter. In each case, most of the trees that remain after the harvest may be genetically inferior, physically defective and/or in poor health. Although a buyer may represent this differently, these trees will rarely become valuable trees and genetically inferior trees may become the primary seed source for future trees.


Selective and diameter limit cutting methods may also select trees which are large enough to be acceptable in saw mill but may just be reaching peak growth. For the next several years these trees would increase in diameter (and board foot) adding significant value to a future harvest. Rather than risking the landowner selling these trees to a competitor at a later date, the logging company may choose to buy the trees while they have opportunity, even though this results in the landowner earning less money.


Thinnings and improvement cuts control stand density, increase tree vigor and favor the development of desirable species for the future forest. They are conducted in the middle stages of forest growth and frequently yield merchantable wood products. Thinning is a method of removing the trees that are not competing well, so the healthier trees will have more room to grow. Improvement cuts remove both poor growing trees and trees of undesirable species in order to maximize the growth of the best trees of the desired species. 041b061a72


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