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Measure and Sell Your Trees

Determine a Tree or Forest's Volume and Value


Trees and forests have exact values determined by both volumes and the price of wood at any given time.  Here are guidelines that will help you determine how much wood you have and what you need to do to get the very best price for your standing timber.

1. Making a Timber Sale

Young couple measuring height of tree in forest, woman on step ladder
Martin Barraud/ Stone/ Getty Images

For many tree growers, a timber sale happens only two or three times in their entire life. They may take twenty or thirty years growing a crop only to lose much of its value because of one or two mistakes at the time of sale. Mistakes in selling timber can cost dearly. Learn how to make a timber sale.

2. Preparing a Timber Sale Contract

Creating a timber sale contract should give you comfort and reduced anxiety over that next timber sale. A timber contract is created to put both logger and timber owner on notice and is a reminder of their obligations. Learn how to develop a timber sale contract.

3. Understanding Wood Volumes

Measuring wood is part science and part experience. You use many different units depending on the forest product you are trying to grow. Very seldom do you know either the exact volume or the exact price you will receive. Learn more about wood volumes and how to get a best estimate on how much wood you have.

4. Understanding the Timber Market

Ronald D. Wenrich, sawmill management consultant, explains the timber market and the factors that influence the value of trees and forests. You would be wise to invest some time in learning about how the timber market works and how you can take advantage of the system.

5. Understanding Timber Tax

Congress has provided timberland owners with some favorable tax provisions. Here are five tips designed to help you make the most of these provisions and avoid paying unnecessary income tax or making costly mistakes. Learn more about your federal timber tax obligation.

6. How to Estimate Your Timber Volume

The first essential step toward selling timber or timberland is an inventory. It is a necessary step which enables the seller to set a realistic price on both the wood and the land. The inventory and methods used to determine volumes are also used between sales to make silvicultural and management decisions. Here is the equipment you need, the cruising procedure and how to calculate the cruise.

7. Free Tree Inventory Spreadsheet

Here is a handy template that can help you inventory your forest. The spreadsheet was designed by forester Bruce Springer and is a quick and easy way to generate general forest inventory data. It was created with simplicity in mind and can be used by either a tree owner or a forester.

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