Selling Timber: What the Landowner Needs to Know
stacked logs

Landowners can struggle to get the best price for their timber. With the help of the right forest management company,  you can take the right steps to get the best price. Here is what landowners need to know about selling timber.

stacked logsFind a Professional Forester

Selling timber as a landowner is not always a piece of cake. Therefore, when you’re getting ready for this task, it’s crucial to partner with a professional forester with experience and expertise in helping landowners conduct successful timber sales. 

Many landowners assume it’s not necessary to hire a professional forester. But in fact, seeking a professional forester’s help selling timber is just as important as seeking a doctor’s help for long-term health, or a bank manager’s assistance in getting approved for a loan. 

Types of Foresters

Landowners have the choice to work with two kinds of foresters, including public and private foresters.

Public Foresters

Public foresters are assigned to landowners by their respective states or country. In other words, these forestry services are hired by the government. They specialize in helping landowners develop forest management plans and other similar services. However, a drawback of working with public foresters is that their expertise level can be limited, which may hinder their ability to assist you as a landowner trying to sell timber.

Private Foresters

Private foresters are significantly more responsive and experienced than public authorities. They partner with landowners to provide timber selling services by ensuring that they can get the best value for their product. They understand the task of making timber more valuable. As a result, the amount of money you invest in working with a private forest management company will result in better returns from your timber sale.

old stacked wood logsHow Professional foresters Can Help

Professional foresters can play a significant role during the process of selling timber. Here are some services they can provide. 

  • Identifying the most appropriate trees to harvest now given the objectives of the landowner
  • Helping landowners understand the value of their trees as they consider a timber harvest all while  considering their future economic value.
  • Developing a precise and clear inventory of the products to be sold.
  • Create an effective marketing strategy to sell timber at the best possible price.
  • Supervise harvest activities to guarantee maximum quality at all times.

Create a Forest Management Plan

While it’s not necessary to have a forest management plan during a timber sale, it’s an ideal thing to do for better sales and profits. One of the biggest benefits of developing this plan is that it’ll equip you to identify the objectives of having a woodland and what to expect from your harvesting activities.

As a result, you’ll have a much clearer vision of what you want to do with your land and how you can employ harvesting as a tool for meeting your desired outcome.

Selecting the Trees to Sell

Conducting a timber sale isn’t as simple as it sounds. It requires landowners to look at their woodland closely and determine what they should sell. This process is often undertaken with the advice of a qualified forester who helps landowners select the right trees to be harvested.

Remember that the trees you choose should meet your management and harvesting goals in the long run. Furthermore, the trees you select to sell should contribute to your forest’s overall health. 

Once you’ve selected the trees to be harvested and timber to be sold, you can work with your forester to mark them and make tree identification easy.  

Methods of Selling Timber

Now that you’ve identified the trees to sell and have calculated their merchantable volume, the next step is to decide which method to use when selling your timber. There are two primary mechanisms of selling timber:

  • Sell the cut product by harvesting timber on your own. This includes the sale of logs, veneers, poles, and pulpwood.
  • Sell standing trees to a high quality, independent harvesting contractor who would work under the supervision of your forester.

Entering a Contract With a Buyer

Entering a contract with a buyer includes establishing a written contract indicating the conditions and terms of the deal between the buyer and the seller. Remember to mention the buyer’s limitations in the contract before they sign it.

If you need a reliable, professional Forester for your harvest project, please consider Tall Pines Forest Management.  We’re one of the best forest management companies in Maine and have helped organize and manage many harvest operations with our harvest operation oversight services. We also offer a wide range of forest management services in Maine, like timber appraisals, forest management plans, and even consulting on tax management plans and Carbon offsets.  Give us a call today to learn more.


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