The Timber Company

Blending Forestry and Logging


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Boundary Lines

Most landowners have a general idea as to where their land boundaries are located. However, there is a big difference in knowing the general location versus knowing the exact location. Probably my greatest challenge and most time consuming thing I do is to flag boundary lines. And guess what, if I’m wrong, you either don’t get all of your timber harvested or, worst case, we end up cutting some of your neighbor’s trees. And if I’m not 100% sure, I’m flagging a safe line so that I don’t cut some of the neighbor’s trees.

As a landowner, it is your responsibility to know where your lines are; this can only be done through a survey. And here is my main advice on surveying–request and pay the extra money for the surveyor to paint the lines. I know of only one or two surveyors who automatically paint their lines. Other surveyors only tie up flagging tape, which will fall off of the trees within 4-5 years. When that flagging tape falls off, you have lost the location of your line. 

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Timber Scam

Timber Scam

If the person that you sold your timber to resells it to another buyer, you potentially lost tens of thousands dollars. There are a group of buyers that only resell the timber they buy; they never intend to harvest it themselves–think about it: if your timber is sold for a second time, sometimes on the same day you sold it, you lost a bunch of money. There are ways to tell if the person you are dealing with intends to harvest or resell.

The following list will give you some pointers to address as you negotiate your timber sale.

  • Have them include language in the timber deed preventing assignment of the timber deed to another company. Or, have language where you have to give your permission for the timber deed to be assigned (sold) to another company.
  • Ask for proof of General Liability and Workers Comp insurance. Many of these “brokers” do not carry the insurance needed to harvest and sell those trees. If they cannot provide proof of insurance, chances are they are going to resell your trees for a huge profit.
  • Don’t be in a big rush to sign a deed. Most of these guys will bring a notary public with them so that this transaction can be conducted in the privacy of your home. Closing the timber sale in an attorneys office would be more appropriate.

 


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The Timber Selling Process

​When timberland owners call, most are not sure of the selling process. They kind of have an idea of what they want to do but are not sure of how to go about it. The below outline gives a general guideline of the process.

What is the first step?
Start to define your goals.
What are your goals? What do you want to do? Are you currently managing your timber?
I need to look at the timberland
Looking for age, health, timber type, acreage, logistics of logging and whether it is feasible to harvest.
Contact landowner with findings and help to further define your goals.
Make a recommendation based on landowner goals
If a thinning…
Present thinning proposal
Prices are based on:
Miles to the mill
Soils (Are your soils suitable for a winter or summer harvest?)
Pay-as-cut on a weekly basis (also known as a per-unit offer)
With each check, you receive:
Every mill ticket from each load hauled
A weekly settlement plainly listing every ticket and the price paid
A cumulative summary that summarizes each week and the total money paid
If a clear-cut.
In most cases, I will need to appraise the timber
Consists of a systematic sampling of the trees
Make a lump-sum or per unit offer
Sign a timber contract
Plan the harvest
Timing of the harvest will depend on:
Ground conditions
Can the timber be harvest in the winter when ground conditions are the wettest?
Or, will the timber have to be harvested during a dry period?