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Timber harvest  RSS feed

 
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Need advice on thinning my timber in Western wash mainly Doug fir. is 60/40 an average split,logger wants 60 and he takes all pulp .60 percent of stand is large enough to send to stud mill, the reminder is pulp.stand is 26 yrs old 150 plus acres also could not get estimate on my total income.also would cut to avarage 18 ft radius
 
 
garden master
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Hi Sean, what does "cut to an 18' radius" mean?  Sorry, I know less than you about if that's a fair deal and/or your likely income.  Hopefully this bumps your thread up though and we'll get you an answer...
 
gardener
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Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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If he can't give you an estimate, in writing, then he's probably not worth doing business with. 
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Welcome to Permies, Sean!

I don't want to turn you off of the endeavor all together, but is there a reason that you want to thin this stand?  Is it too dense?  What is your plan for the space? 

A logger who wants your few high quality trees and see dollar signs in his eyes in those regards might be blinded to the realities of what you envision as the final outcome of his work. 

You might be paying a huge amount in time if not time and money to fix the mess that he makes.  Any proper logger worth his stripes (or plaid), will be able to come up a plan, and with a good estimate, and be able to give you an idea of what you will be looking at when he is done.
 
pollinator
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This sounds suspect to me as well.

There are multiple ways to do timber sales contracts, and basing a sale off percentages is what I typically do. I prefer that method because as either a logger cutting on someone else, or a landowner having my woodlot cut off, if the price goes up, then both of us get get more money. The same is true if the price goes down though, but that is only fair,and in the short term, wood prices are pretty stable on the short term. The really good thing about percentages though, is that while the VOLUME of wood is easy to determine in a woodlot, the quality is not. I have seen both sides of this. A woodlot where a price was paid up front based on a forester assuming the wood was rotted and no good for logs. The fact was the rot cleaned up after only a few feet and the logger sold the wood for logs but had paid the landowner for pulpwood; the landowner lost THOUSANDS of dollars. That is why I like paying and selling wood based off percentages...the pay is what the wood is, bad or good.

But the percentages cited seem low. I always have paid, and have always received after trucking;

50/50 landowner/logger split on sawlogs and studwood
33/66 landowner/logger split on pulpwood
33/66 landowner logger split on firewood, plus $10 per cord for landowner
$1 per ton for chip wood
 
Posts: 29
Location: Western WA
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I recommend contacting Nielsen Bros. We were looking into logging our property and decided to wait and let the trees grow a bit more but they were very straightforward with us giving honest opinions and produced a general profits and costs estimation for us.

 
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Location: Charlotte, Tennessee
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I hope it's OK to tack a question onto the OP's questions. We're purchasing land from my siblings. As part of the purchase agreement, there will be a limited timber harvest prior to the sale.

I know that there are two kinds of timber harvests: ugly and really ugly. But besides what things could look like, are there other things we should be thinking about or asking for from the forester who is managing the harvest? The land is under a conservation easement, which has stipulations about using best practices and harvesting sustainably. I suspect that the "best practices" aren't guided by priciples of permaculture. ;-)
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Hi Erica.  If I was involved in purchasing some property that was going to be logged beforehand, I would definitely connect with the forester, and have him show you places that he has recently worked describing why he did what he did, and then after that show you exactly what he is, at this point, planning to do on your land.   Consider that it might be better, permaculturally, to keep certain trees or clusters of trees, or berry bushes or whatnot, and then consider that you might be able to persuade the forester to trade certain areas that he intended to harvest but have species or specific trees you want, for outright cutting larger blocks that he hadn't intended to, but make room for you to initiate your permie design.   Make suggestions or give options based on your own needs for driveway/road access or other access on the property, solar gain on a housing site, water lines right away to a creek or pond, space for sun to get at a garden spot, space for a pond et cetera--trading these larger block areas for protection of those trees, shrubs, bushes that you would like preserved.  Some foresters are not going to be into that at all, but there are many that might, particularly if the areas that you are allowing them to log make it worth their while to be more selective in the areas that you want preserved.  A permie project that is in a forest is a tough go.  Some clearing will likely be needed in order to do the things I mentioned.  Having the logger come in and do that job for you might work to your advantage.  Also, he might have other machines/equipment or know people that do, and that could come in handy when putting in a driveway, digging a house foundation or pond, or gathering up soil for your garden.  Logging can be a mess, for sure, but if it's going to happen anyway, try to make the best of it and put it to your advantage as much as possible.
 
Erica Colmenares
Posts: 24
Location: Charlotte, Tennessee
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Thanks for this response, Roberto. It's a lot to think about. The forester has been fairly responsive, and he'll do whatever we want for the most part, but I do feel an obligation to get the most money I can for my siblings, since they're giving us such a good deal on the property. The conservation easement will, fortunately, limit the harvest to

Timing is so tricky for us, for while we haven't chosen our house site yet, we need to get the bid for a 2019 harvest done in 2018 (as part of the purchase agreement). I may talk to the forester this week to see if he can wait until after our October visit (when we hope to definitively choose the house site) before marking trees. It's not easy doing this from half-way across the country, I'm telling you!

Roberto pokachinni wrote:A permie project that is in a forest is a tough go. 

I'm concerned about that. The two areas that have the least mature trees are a tobacco basin that was farmed until the late 60s, and a large sloped field that was grazing land for cows. That field is where the old farmhouse was, and perhaps that's where we'll build. It's a little close to the neighbors for my taste (I know they spray some, for ground bees), but we could put in a hedge ...

Lots to think about. Thanks again!
 
gardener
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I know that there are two kinds of timber harvests: ugly and really ugly.



The first action I would suggest is to break out of this mindset. Trees are plants, just like our blackberry bushes and rhubarbs. We harvest all kinds of plants for our usage, and timber shouldn't be seen to be any different. There are lots of good reasons to harvest timber — clearing out diseased trees, trees highly susceptible to coming diseases/pests, reducing a monoculture, thinning to encourage healthy growth, etc.

I would ask questions about a few different angles:

1. Water flow & erosion control. Are there streams on the property? What will be the protections to these streams during harvest? Will they be building new roads/skid paths? What kind of protections will be made to these when they're done? (ex: water bars)

2. Impact to land. What kind of equipment are they planning on using? Larger equipment usually results in a much lighter impact on the land (bigger tires/tracks spread out weight more evenly and large equipment like CTL loggers can take a tree down without it ever hitting the ground). How will they be moving the logs to the landing? Vehicles are generally less impactful than pulleys here.

3. How will they be selecting the timber? High-grading is the worst possible option. Ideally you want your forest to be mostly widely spaced trees interspersed with open areas and dense areas. The goal is to give existing trees maximum sunlight, new nursery areas full sunlight, and dense thickets for wildlife to dash between. Clear cutting entire properties is obviously extremely damaging, but in small sections can often result in a much healthier ecosystem than even selective thinning.

4. What will they do with the slash? This is really up to you — you can leave some brush piles for wildlife habit if they don't pose a fire threat, burning slash often kickstarts the natural succession process by sweetening the soil and stratifying tree seeds. Or you could have them chip it.

5. Will they be planting new seedlings? Doing a controlled burn? Both of these options are great for replenishing the forest in the harvested areas.

All in all, I'd just recommend trying to talk to the forester more. Explain your goals to them and see what they think. If you don't like how they think, look for another forester to get a second opinion. Once you have someone on your same wavelength, they can help with the technical details of the harvest to better your goals.
 
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I completely agree that high-grading, while common forestry practice, is the worst option as a whole and the antithesis of permaculture.

If it were me, I'd be out with flagging tape and survey flags, maps, and camera to identify and protect the trees you want to remain standing.

I highly recommend checking out 'The Hidden Life of Trees' if you haven't already read it. It has helped me immensely with my woodlot decisions and approach.
 
Erica Colmenares
Posts: 24
Location: Charlotte, Tennessee
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Kyle Neath wrote:

I know that there are two kinds of timber harvests: ugly and really ugly.



The first action I would suggest is to break out of this mindset.



Thanks. Lots of good questions. I know the forester we've been talking to follows Tennessee's best management practices. He's very familiar with the logging companies that work in our area, and said he doesn't recommend the highest bid always, if it's a company that leaves more of a mess or has cut a tree in the past that wasn't marked. From what he talked about while we walked the property, he does not practice high-grading. He was all about leaving the forest in a good place for the next harvest.


5. Will they be planting new seedlings? Doing a controlled burn? Both of these options are great for replenishing the forest in the harvested areas.


It was my understanding that with the opening of more sunlight to the forest floor, and the remaining parent trees, we wouldn't need to actively plant. It's not going to be a clear cut.

If it were me, I'd be out with flagging tape and survey flags, maps, and camera to identify and protect the trees you want to remain standing.


In May one of my brothers and I marked trees that we definitely want to stay, some of the big beautiful oaks near the lane that I'm sure would be gone if they weren't protected. Our thought was that on the front end of the property, we would want the trees encroaching on the lane removed; further in, we want those to stay, as we plan to convert that part of the lane to a more-narrow path.

Thanks for the book recommendation - I haven't read it!
 
I suggest huckleberry pie. But the only thing on the gluten free menu is this tiny ad:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
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