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Selling Black Walnut

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by roxborotom, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. roxborotom

    roxborotom ArboristSite Lurker

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    Hello,
    I have 3 Black Walnut trees in my backyard. We plan on doing major work there in the spring. I would like to sell the trees for lumber. They are each about 2' in diameter. Does anyone know of anyone is SE Pennsylvania who would purchase them. If I can't find a buyer, they may end up as firewood. Thanks for any help.. - Tom
     
  2. CaseyForrest

    CaseyForrest IRONY POLICE

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    Try this in the milling forum.

    I know of a guy in SE PA, not sure hed buy the lumber from you, but may cut them down for free for the wood.

    From my experience you dont really have enough BF there for a sawyor to come in and make it worth his while.

    But try in the milling forum, thats where the lumber guys are.
     
  3. roxborotom

    roxborotom ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanks Casey..
    I can drop them myself, so no need for someone else to do it. Just didn't want the wood to go to waste. I can use the cash if someone wanted to buy them. I have a 20" Stihl and 2 older saws, so no problem dropping them. I also heat with wood, so the wood won't go to waste anyway. I will post in the timber area.. thanks - tom
     
  4. Gearhead1

    Gearhead1 ArboristSite Operative

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    I am almost positive you should be able to get a buyer for that walnut, if the trees have any length of clear trunk. Guys are periodically coming to my Father asking if he wants to sell off the walnut from his back yard to the tune of $1000+ per stem. Granted, his trees are large and clear trunk for over 25' high.
     
  5. 1wildthing

    1wildthing ArboristSite Member

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    You can try to contact gun makers. They pay top dollar for walnut trees that are in good shape. They would come to inspect the trees and then make you an offer. I'm not sure of any contact info. You can search the web, or ask at local gun shops.
     
  6. youknowwho

    youknowwho ArboristSite Lurker

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    Its almost never worth it , trying to sell a couple of trees. It wouldnt hurt to ask around though.
     
  7. twoodward15

    twoodward15 ArboristSite Operative

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    I want to be upfront and honest with you. You will likely not find a buyer for these trees. If you offered them to someone for free and asked them to clean up all the branches and such in return, then you'd probably get a taker. Have you ever burned walnut? Not one of the better woods to use to heat your house.
    Not to put someone down, but I would definately question gearheads response unless the trees are at least 48 in dbh. You can't pay $1k per stem and make any money You'd loose your butt at that rate. Walnut does not command the high prices that everyone thinks it does. I can buy walnut up to about 30 inches wide green off the samill for less than $2 a bdft, cut to any thickness I want. To pay $1k for a trunk you'd have to yield about 3000 bdft minimum out of it just to break even to cover fuel, hauling, handling and milling. Much of that 3000 bdft would have to be FAS wood as well.
    Maybe a better deal for you would be to drop the trees and trade the trunks for some firewood. You could keep the branches for wood and someone here would get some walnut to make lumber out of, you'd get some good firewood instead of trying to burn walnut. You would make out much better that way I'd think. Good luck and please, let us know how you do!!! Also, if you don't get any takers, try posting on some of the woodworking forums. There might be someone there that would help you out as well.
     
  8. Ax-man

    Ax-man Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Agreed 100%, most yard Walnuts that I have come across when I have to give a bid for it's removal are very low grade lumber with many defects. I get such a kick out of this trying to get rich quick selling Black Walnut, it is a speculative game that your going to lose more than you win. It is hard to convince people that their Walnut tree is valueless, they don't believe you till they see all the decay in the main stem, most standing Walnuts suffer from this, old age and rot.

    I am not a sawyer, but I have taken down trees in backyards for a few sawyers who had to pay us and the homeowner, the potential was there to make money but when it was all said and done, the sawyer was in hole big time because of defects in the wood that weren't noticeable to the eye.

    I know what these sawmill guys are looking for when it comes to trees, these 1K per stem trees may be for real but that would be for prime grade veneer, the so called super stick Walnut, a one in ten thousand tree that is not going to be growing in a backyard, any yard tree will most likely have metal in it, my sawyer found this out the hard way.

    Think about it for a minute, ever since the landing of the Pilgrims, what has happened, cutting of the timber on the land came first, followed by the development of the land mostly for farming , the best trees have long since disappeared except for maybe a few isolated pockets of native undisturbed timber, the chances of one these prime grade Walnut growing in a backyard is wishful thinking, dream on, you might do better to play the lottery than trying to sell Black Walnut.

    Walnut is not even that good of firewood, I will not throw it in with a load of mixed wood, it smells to me and gives off an oily kind of residue when we tried to burn in the stove for our shop.

    Larry
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2006
  9. PA Plumber

    PA Plumber Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Good posts. We had 3 nice trees. A 28" + Shagbark Hickory with 22' to first branch, a 32+ red oak with 14.5' to first branch, and a 34" black walnut with 12' to first branch. No body wanted them because of the hassle. Just wasn't enough. I don't mill, but heat with wood. The red oak is now firewood, the hickory had a branch break of and will be fire wood in the next couple of years, and the black walnut is just neat to have, so no plan to remove in the near future.
     
  10. lumberinspector

    lumberinspector Guest

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    Interesting read. 8 out of 10 times an urban Walnut will bring nothing but firewood or a low grade sawlog.

    Larry - Am I understanding you correctly...Are you saying that veneer Walnut trees are far and few between?

    If you are, I would like to get you back on the right path. Veneer Walnut is all around you. Log buyer for the company I work for went out and paid $7K for a Walnut...did nothing to it as far as bucking etc. and sold it for $9500.

    There are urban Walnuts that will fetch a good price. I removed one that fetched over $500. As far as metal chances....sure it is much greater than in the timber but all I do is run a metal detector over the log...

    A log buyer should be able to read the log and be able to determine where a defect will be. Properly trianed to grade hardwood. Same as when you are sawing, you should be able to tell what grade is going to develop on the backside of the board.

    The logs don't have to be 48" dbh!!!!!!!!!!! Bigger is not always better.

    twoodward15 - What is the grade of the Walnut you are buying? You start talking FAS/F1F...even Select and your going to pay. I recently sold some green Walnut lumber...unsteamed and was averaging almost 3000/mbf.

    roxborotom - You can get something out of them even if they are sawlogs. Walnut sawlog market is approx. $1 - 1.25/bf Not saying you are going to get that but something is better than nothing. You might have to haul them to the mill or the buyer but you can get them sold, I'm sure. I woudn't drop them until you feel you have exausted all your options etc. See if you can get some pictures and find a metal dectector to run over them. Hardware is normally only going to be in the first 8' of the log anyway. Even 50 cents/bf is better than nothing. All else fails, drop them and hire a portable mill to saw them for you and have something made from the lumber. Guys are normally getting 25 cents/bf to saw hardwoods....I wouldn't pay anymore than that unless they have some form of N.H.L.A (Natioal Hardwood Lumber Association) lumber inspection training. Even a log with a few knots can produce some beautifal FAS lumber if you know how to saw it.
     
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  11. twoodward15

    twoodward15 ArboristSite Operative

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    Woody, for that money I get green any thickness any width (that the logs will bear) ungraded lumber. If it won't pull a #1 common then it don't get bought. For the most part the sawyer that I deal with is very understanding and realizes that we as local woodworkers aren't going to pay for wood that we can't use. If I were to buy a #2 common or worse board, then he has no problems deducting for unusable lumber. He isn't going to deduct for a knot on an 18 inch wide board, but he will deduct for lower grades.
    If I buy it air dried from him then he gets $3 a bdft. Again, it is all ungraded, but there is a lot of good lumber including FAS material in the piles. For the most part, you take what you want and leave what you don't want as long as you don't take just the FAS. I'd imagine if I was going to go down and buy 3 or 4 thousand dollars worth of lumber then he'd let me take only the best at no upcharge, but he's the kind of sawyer that is selling in $200 to $500 increments I would guess.
     
  12. lumberinspector

    lumberinspector Guest

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    twoodward15 - Sounds to me like you have yourself a very easy going laid back guy to deal with. :cheers:

    I know most guys around here that sell any kind of retail will charge at least a $50 minimum even if you buy one board just for the simple fact that most guys want to tear down a whole pack of lumber to get one 100% "clear" (FAS) board.

    At our mill we don't because we are such a large company and we normally sell in m/bf quanities.

    My .02...You pay for what you want. If I were to get 1.00 bf for 2A com. lumber, I'm not going to sell for the price of a 2B or a 3A just because the individual isn't going to be able to use all of the board.
     
  13. twoodward15

    twoodward15 ArboristSite Operative

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    Woody, It's not that kind of place. He's a local sawyer running a timber harvester mill. His lumber is all sitting outside under tarps (sometimes). It's all sitting in an open area. He's a one price fits all (one price for each different species) place. All the walnut is $3 a bdft. The red oak (flat sawn) is $2, any q-sawn is $3, pine is a buck.. and on and on, all sold dried and ungraded. He'll just cut you a deal if the piece is real bad. Real nice guy to work with and buy from.
     
  14. lumberinspector

    lumberinspector Guest

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    No offense but this guy is only hurting himself and trying to sell a product that isn't what he says it is. Dried lumber is not lumber that is sitting outside exposed to the elements etc.

    To each his own I guess.
     
  15. rob302

    rob302 New Member

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    Not a bad deal if you want to keep the lumber

    I had several walnuts taken down this past fall and had the larger ones sawn into lumber. I paid $1.40/bf to have them sawn and kiln dried. I ended up with just over 720 bf. Most of it's pretty nice 4/4 FAS. I may try to sell some...but I doubt I'll be able to retire from the deal.

    Just about every lumber guy I talked to admitted that unless they could be used for veneer, they weren't worth much.

    If I only had a dollar for everyone that told me I was going to get rich off of these trees...!
     
  16. twoodward15

    twoodward15 ArboristSite Operative

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    Woody, everyone knows what they are getting. he is a very honest and upfront guy about what eh is selling. Thre are woodowrkers around ehre (like myself) that prefer air dried lumber. Everyone knows that they need to do a bit more drying when they get it home.
     
  17. jlaree

    jlaree New Member

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    From what I'm reading it looks like my hugh black walnut tree isn't worth selling. I happen to like my tree. It towers over my two story house and gives me lots of shade. I don't like all the walnuts that I have to clean up and often wonder if I should be concerned about it being close to my house.
     
  18. twoodward15

    twoodward15 ArboristSite Operative

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    and you're in oregon. Isn't there a lot of walnut trees in oregon? Thus driving the value down even further. Dollar for dollar it probably can't be beat as far as asthetics and shade go for your house. It's best to leave it there.
     
  19. rob302

    rob302 New Member

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    We decided to cut our walnuts down for several reason...none of which was the thought of profit.

    I have to agree that the shade from a black walnut is very good. But....

    They are very messy trees...from nuts to leaves to sticks...they just keep dropping junk all year round.

    One of the trees we took out was growing inches from the garage...another only a few feet. Both hung precariously over our deck and sun-room. Not that I would have been heartbroken to have either fall through the garage...but I haven't been in the mood to deal with insurance agents lately. Not that I think they were any short-term risk to the house or garage.

    They also produce a chemical that is poisonous to many plants. Since my wife and I are avid gardeners we decided the walnuts had to go.

    Being a woodworker I knew that they had SOME value...I thought I might break even...at best. But, including the costs of having them taken down, sawn and dried...I'd have to sell every last splinter at about $3.50 a bf. I think that's very optimistic for a couple of yard trees.

    I guess my advice would be to make the decision to take them down based on everything BUT money. If you like them, keep them. If you don't, start cutting!
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2007
  20. Gearhead1

    Gearhead1 ArboristSite Operative

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    What's your question? The fact is that the various offers were for $800-$1500 per stem, which averages to $1050..or as I wrote $1000+.


    No, the trees aren't 48" dbh. What everybody (you, me, whoever) "thinks" walnut is worth is really not important. What determines the cash value of it, is in fact what someone is willing to pay. Because I'm not the one making the price quotes, I don't know what the buyer is basing it on. If you have questions about that, I can try to find his phone number so you can ask him personally. In all of these cases, the perspective timber buyer has come to us with an offer, completely unsolicited after seeing the trees when driving by.

    Here are some prices I scanned in a local lumber circular. For "select and better grade" walnut, 1"x4"x4' $13.99, 1"x4"x6' $20.99, 1"x6"x4' $20.99, 1"x6"x6' $30.99. Those prices average about $10.50 per board foot. Walnut veneer plywood (4'x8'), 1/4" "one side sanded B-4 grade" $49.99, 3/4" "two sides sanded A-1 grade" $119.

    From the posts I've read in this thread, especially those of lumberinspector, I'd be inclined to think that these buyers may be looking at these tree as veneer logs. However, that's purely speculation on my part. All I know for certain is that the prices offered are what I've stated.
     

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