- December 18, 2007 at 6:53 pm #39342
I have a question for you experienced loggers. How do you figure the worth of these trees. In the past I’ve bought the trees on the stump for ‘x’ amount per tree, as in $1 per pole, etc. I have an opportunity to get some saw logs from different landowners and they want me to shoot them a price on the stump. There are some Douglas Fir and Lodgepole pine. Any advice would be appreciated.December 19, 2007 at 1:58 pm #45022Gabe AyersKeymaster
Well this is an important question for anyone that is going to do this work of harvesting timber, logs or any forest product. I don’t think there is a patient answer. The value of forest products varies region by region, on a species and grade basis. I think there are several ways to get to a price for stumpage, or the value of standing timber or trees.
First one should consider that the value of a single item is only one part of the whole forested ecosystem, that is the Sustainable perspective. This is often a key consideration for landowners, because they may have been offered a certain amount by someone else and they are shopping for the greatest return. That can be a problem for an animal powered logger because there are other “values” to their services other than the immediate products extracted. More on that later.
Our group works on a sharecrop basis and pays a percentage of the proceeds of the product to the landowner and that percentage varies according to the value of the product on the market divided by how difficult the harvesting is.
More on that later.
One way would be to back into a price, by knowing what the market value is for the finished product or to the end user and then pro rate each component of getting it to the end used and assigning your cost to the portions of the work you do.
Since I have no idea what that material is worth in your community and region I can’t help you much with a dollar amount, or penny amount.
Our goal is to establish a living wage amount for the work and pay a share after that amount is made by the folks doing the work. This is a complex issue and one we work on daily in Appalachia.
It will be interesting to see how other advise you on this. If there is an interest I will write more about how we pay for stumpage in a later post.
I will suggest that if the landowner inquired about your services as a modern animal powered sustainable logger then the money they get from any low impact harvesting is not as important or valuable to them as the condition of their forest post harvest.
So, don’t sell your services short, try to get all you can and give yourself a chance to actually make a living doing the environmentally sensitive work.
http://healingharvestforestfoundation.orgDecember 19, 2007 at 3:22 pm #45024
You are correct. They want the beetle kill and mistle-toe out. I told them I could thin those and some of the blemished trees off of 40 acres. They would like them thinned to 12′ between good trees and leave the slash for the wildlife. They do appreciate the low impact aspect and have turned down some bigger logging outfits.
Most of the reason for wanting low impact was the fact that a neighboring 40 acre patch was ‘logged’ by a bigger timber harvest company and they were anything but low impact. Looked like a hurricane went through there. That company also went in with their big skidders after the thaw in the spring and sunk them up to their frames, ruining the access road. It took a D10 to pull them out.
I’d like to be able to figure out what would be fair to us both.December 19, 2007 at 4:21 pm #45023Carl RussellModerator
J-L there are two easy answers about stumpage rate. First there may be a county or state forestry agency that keeps track of recently paid stumpage values for different species. This would give you a good place to start in terms of understanding what the market is providing. The other is straight line math Mill Price $/MBF – Trucking Exp. $/MBF – Logging Exp. $/MBF = Stumpage $/MBF. MBF= thousand board feet. Mill price and trucking are easy to find out. Logging Exp. is where the points made by Jason come in. I consider that I am providing a two-fold service to the landowners by improving their forest resource, and by marketing their timber asset. Fixed and variable expenses have to be considered, basically what you need to make in a day, dollar wise, to cover your expenses. Then experience will help you determine the volume that you are likely to be able to harvest in an average day, (if there ever is one).
All this aside, you should be able to recognize yourself as a professional, providing professional services. Low impact, aesthetics, eco-forestry, whatever, can be important aspects of what you can bring to the woodland, but it is for your professional capabilities that they should contract with you. In other words what I often say is that the work you do should advance your presentation, it should be something that you can say truly reflects the kind of work you want to do. Just taking a job to satisfy a landowners object can lead to mediocrity. It’s not to say that a job for income is not a good thing, and I have done several, which is why I can say that if you can see a way for you to promote your capabilities as part of the Logging Exp, then I think you will find greater return. CarlDecember 21, 2007 at 1:54 pm #45026Rick AlgerParticipant
You can measure the board feet in a tree with a scale stick. They are sold by Labonvilles and Baileys. If you buy one, make sure to get the scale that is used in your area.
It sounds like you are looking at a pre-commercial or semi-commercial thinning. Usually the stumpage rate for these cuts is low. Some people get paid to do it, but I haven’t been that lucky.
Last winter I did a 25% pre-commercial thinning of a 15 acre spruce stand and paid 25% of the going stumpage rate. This fall I did semi-commercial selective cut on five acres and paid 80% of the going rate.
Good luckDecember 21, 2007 at 2:58 pm #45027CRTreeDudeParticipant
This probably is not helpful to anyone, but it might be interesting. Because a lot of the old farmers here didn’t have much schooling, there is a way of measuring a tree for the amount of wood. This is how it is done
1. Above the roots and buttresses, measure the circumference. Lets say the circumference 40 inches.
2. Take that number (40) and divide by 4 = 10
3. Multiple that number by itself 10 * 10 = 100
4. Measure off 4 varas (11 feet, a varas is 33 inches)
That amount of wood would be 100 BF roughly. Repeat until you run out of trunk.
I deals well with estimating how much wood without getting fancy.December 28, 2007 at 2:16 am #45025
Thanks for the good information, everyone. I think I can get a handle on it from here. This is what I hoped a forum would work like. Sharing information and ideas.June 8, 2008 at 5:29 am #45028pqrs460Participant
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