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Do you sell firewood?

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by ponderosatree, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. ponderosatree

    ponderosatree ArboristSite Operative

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    I just give away my wood now but it's always green. I'm thinking of selling my firewood. Does anyone else do this? I have a splitter already but not the space to age the wood. Just wondering if it's lucrative enough to be worth my time. This would be in the California Bay Area where the whether is only cold enough for about 6 months. I can't imagine there being much of a market for wood especially during the summer months.
     
  2. Canyonbc

    Canyonbc Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Ponderosatree,

    I am up in Sonoma County (Rohnert Park/Santa Rosa) and i too just give all firewood away. But i def. think there could be a market. I would say 35-40% of the people who i give would too ask me to come back, split and stack it for them. Pending on the wood, and the size (diamater) pends on what i charge but i think there is def. a market.

    I get a phone call or two a week from people asking for firewood.

    I just dont have the land to keep all the wood and let it age, which sounds like, your in the same situation.

    So i feel i should ask...most of your wood what is it..?

    How many cords do you think you could/would collect?

    Has anyone pondered like renting a Public Storage type center to let wood dry out, would it breathe enough.

    Canyon
     
  3. ddhlakebound

    ddhlakebound Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I sell a limited amount, but I wouldn't if I hadn't already been paid to haul the wood away. Around here "lucrative" and "firewood" are never heard in the same sentence. California may be far more profitable.

    Canyon, why would you want to pay cash to rent space? Find someone in your area who has a couple acres unused, and who burns wood.

    You supply their wood, they supply you the space to keep/process it. Rent for cash, or 4-6 cords of wood per year?
     
  4. OLD CHIPMONK

    OLD CHIPMONK ArboristSite Guru

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    Firewood ! Now there's a pain in the old back.
     
  5. Canyonbc

    Canyonbc Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I a am a college student.

    I have friends with fire places and homes..who dont like to run the heater. They help me "for free" in a sense that i give them wood.

    So its profitable for me.

    I dont really advertise it..just when people ask.
     
  6. Canyonbc

    Canyonbc Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I hadn't thought of that at all. To be honest, i think its genius. Thanks for the information. I might just try that.

    Canyon
     
  7. Tree Student

    Tree Student ArboristSite Member

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    I sell firewood in North Texas and it's always been profitable for us. You just have to mark it up enough to make it worth the effort but I learned after the first year to hire the helpers to do most of the manual labor.

    Don't get me wrong, we're not gonna be able to retire on this kind of income but I have a crew cutting after some loggers and selling wholesale almost all year. It's a nice supplement to my small tree service.
     
    klancey likes this.
  8. ddhlakebound

    ddhlakebound Addicted to ArboristSite

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    What kind of prices do you get for selling wholesale bulk?

    How did you find your wholesale buyers?
     
  9. Tree Student

    Tree Student ArboristSite Member

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    I tracked down the loggers and found out who they had "cleaning up" behind them and started buying my firewood wholesale years ago to meet my demand and to cut down on time and labor.

    These guys usually can't keep up with demand so they are turning customers away. Since we help each other out we pass off customers, otherwise I have people who find my retail ads in the local papers for delivery and they call asking if I do wholesale.

    Prices range depending on who the customer is and how much they are going to be able to get for it in their area but somewhere in the $100-150ish kind of range per cord picked up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2008
  10. reachtreeservi

    reachtreeservi Banned

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    I sell firewood. I don't advertise, don't deliver, don't want to even fool with it. Only reason I do is to get rid of all the trunk wood from removals.
    And I still sell alot every year. Course I sell it cheap.

    I've tried to talk all my family and friends into burning wood , just to get rid of some more. Even though I'd give it to them if they would pick it up,
    I still can't get them to change over

    I don't think the return verses the labor is worth it , if you are just selling firewood. It's a hard way to make a living.

    For sure, without the space to cure the wood, it's really not viable
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2008
  11. treeman82

    treeman82 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I sold a few cords of green wood this summer. I think that was the best way to do it. We had to get rid of a bunch of wood from a tree job, so I brought this one guy over with a wedge, maul, etc. and put him to work for the day. I was able to work on other stuff at this place while he was "disposing" of the wood for me. Sold it for $150 per cord dropped off... No having to handle it 20 times, or use heavy equipment to transport it. The firewood was split right where the tree had been standing, it was tossed in the back of the truck, and taken right to the customer's house on the way home.
     
  12. Slvrmple72

    Slvrmple72 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have firewood guys come out and buy the greenwood that I have cut to manageable lengths to haul from the job, sometimes they will pick it up onsite so I dont have to haul it. Get customers who want the wood after I have gotten the tree down for them but this is agreed upon before I even begin work. I heat with wood and have about 25- 30 cords in varying stages of seasoning but do not make it a point to sell it but I have on occasion. Most of the time its family and since they help split and stack I will only ask for food or beer:biggrinbounce2:
     
  13. ponderosatree

    ponderosatree ArboristSite Operative

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    For those selling wood what type of prices do you get? I'm hoping to sell enough to supplement the cost of a larger yard. Maybe a couple thousand a month at least. God knows I produce enough wood.
     
  14. Tree Student

    Tree Student ArboristSite Member

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    You would have to move a lot of firewood to get that kind of supplement, most of the time the markup is about $50-100 per chord of course that depends on where you are at and what the local economy will support.

    At any rate there is alway money in firewood but some people don't streamline the process enough to make it worth their time and effort but it's a waste product of the tree service so why not make some money off of it right? Hire a couple of grunts to split and stack wood all day or just part time.
     
  15. ponderosatree

    ponderosatree ArboristSite Operative

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    My clients pay us to haul the wood already so my only real costs would be the grunts and space it takes to age the wood. Prices seem to be all over the place. I've seen cords of wood as low as $200 and as high as $450.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2008
  16. Tree Student

    Tree Student ArboristSite Member

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    That is the same view that I had when I first started working in the tree industry years ago and have always found enough money in it to keep me going. A lot of the time I would only do it when I didn't have any tree jobs to keep my guys busy for a day or two here and there or if they wanted to make a little extra money on the side. Since then it has grown to a huge business for me and now we are in production year round.

    Here in Texas most people burn green wood if it's cut during the winter but other than that my firewood stacks don't take up much room since I run them against fences so they are out of the way.
     
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  17. Canyonbc

    Canyonbc Addicted to ArboristSite

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    In my eyes i would think prices are going to be higher in San Fransico and he bay....then they would be in Southern Indiana for example. I dont see to many people splitting wood on Telegraph St. in Berkley.

    If your gonna do it, i would invest into a high production splitter. (Personally, and if people disagree i alway up for learning newer and better ways)....

    I would go with something like this http://www.timberwolfcorp.com/log_splitters/default.asp?id=14

    A "normal" or something like Iron Horse splitter too.

    Just my thoughts.

    Canyon
     
  18. Tree Student

    Tree Student ArboristSite Member

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    Instead of going with a TW-10, try starting off with a used TW-5 or 6 that can be found for less than $5k in most cases. My crew can cut, split and stack about a cord every hour with a TW-6.

    However I do agree with buying the correct equipment for the job, do the business plan and make sure the numbers jive before jumping head first lol.
     
  19. tree md

    tree md Addicted to ArboristSite

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    We have a huge stockpile of green wood for next year. Sold all the seasoned stuff we had in Nov. We stockpile it and sell it pretty much to just keep our guys busy during the slow season. No slow season here with the ice storm though. People were paying $100 for a rick of seasoned wood while the power was out. We had already sold out but we arranged to have some delivered by a guy we know to the folks who were willing to pay his price. A lot of the places we worked the people wanted us to cut the green wood in firewood lengths so they could burn it and stay warm while the power was out. Had to leave several piles conveniently stacked for a condo complex we take care of with mostly elderly residents. We took down a huge Hackberry out in a rural area with a good 3' DBH trunk and trimmed two storm damages pecans that were well over 3' DBH a couple weeks ago. We just left them in big pieces on the ground and put up a sign that said free firewood. When we came back every bit of it was gone but about 9' of the bottom of the trunk on the Hackberry. :D
     
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  20. Canyonbc

    Canyonbc Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Thanks for the information.

    I have looked at Timberwolf, and looked at the TW-5, showroom but never in action.

    When you say crew, how many guys are you talking.

    A cord an hour is good stuff.
     

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