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Making That Important Timber Sale



Timber growers should have some idea of what kind of timber they have to sale and the associated volumes . A forester can inventory timber and provide an estimate of volumes available for harvest. Potential buyers are more likely to be interested if they know what kind and how much timber is being offered for sale. This report can then be used to estimate a fair price you can expect for your sale.

Timing is important in getting the best price for wood. The best time to sell, obviously, is when demand for timber is up and prices are at a peak. This is easier said than done but you do need to be aware of current stumpage prices and market conditions in your particular local market.

With the exception of a specific disaster (from pests, weather, fire), you should not be rushed into a sale. Trees, unlike other farm products, can be stored on the stump during poor marketing conditions. One constant that history confirms is that timber values eventually go up.

Use the following "know" factors when sizing up your sale:

- Know the demand for and type of product you grow: The best prices are paid when demand is high and demand may differ as the potential product differs.

- Know the species for sale: Some tree species command higher prices than others. This is due to high demand or limited quantities of some species, or their special qualities.

- Know the quality of timber: Quality affects timber values just as it does any other product.

- Know the volume for sale: Logging requires the use of heavy equipment and numbers of men and large costs associated with this. Larger volumes for sale generally equate to higher stumpage prices because of the greater logging efficiency and reduced costs.

- Know distance from market: Transportation of forest products is expensive. Local mills should be able to pay higher prices for your products than more distant mills.

- Know size of trees: Generally, the larger trees bring the best prices. Large sawlogs and poles are worth more than small ones.

It is important to know as much about the trees you are selling as it is to know the value of the next house or car you sell. Attention to the above factors make for a better sale. The more you know, the better prepared for a sale you will be.

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