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Windfall Trees - What Price Per Tree For Firewood?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by sukosakio, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. sukosakio

    sukosakio New Member

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    windfall trees.jpg

    Hello and please excuse any "newbie" behavior on my part. I really have a question that I cannot find a good answer on (as usual), I am hoping someone can help.

    I have 6 acres that was tossed around via tornado winds after heavy rains back in August 2018.

    Right now, I have a logger coming through to help clean up and purchase the black cherry and hickory. Which is a great help for me. My question is, I have individuals asking how much I would charge PER TREE for firewood?

    MOST of the trees were tipped over and are accessible on the ground, or near. Since I figured these people would like to come in and do the work and get firewood out of the deal, the price would be discounted per cord (compared to normal cord prices).

    Any insights? Thank you in advance.
     
  2. old CB

    old CB ArboristSite Operative

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    Whoo boy! Where to start?

    You have storm damage. Which can be a simple matter of cutting to clean it up . . . or not. Anyone competent with a chainsaw could come in and harvest probably most of that mess without issue. But how will you determine who's competent and who's not? And even someone who regularly cuts his own firewood can get surprised sometimes by spring-loaded situations that crop up in storm damage, especially if he's tired or not paying attention. If you allow someone to cut on your place you may be held liable in case of accident/injury or even fatality (which happens in the woods more than it should).

    Then, all liability aside, comes the question of access. Can someone get a truck and/or trailer right next to what he's cutting, or is there some hauling involved. Mud?

    What's the general availability and cost of stumpage nearby?

    These and several other questions that don't come immediately to mind all affect whether you can get $ for the wood on the ground. You'll need guidance from local sources.

    Proceed with caution and all will be well.
     
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  3. old CB

    old CB ArboristSite Operative

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    Another consideration is how you expect the remaining slash (small branches) to be handled. Depending on your expectations, you may be asking for work that you should pay for versus work that benefits the sawyer.
     
  4. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Agreed...if they are buying from you and you don't have a good contract, you could be held liable for injuries. There are a lot of unmitigated hazards after a storm from pieces still hanging in trees above to spring loaded trees on the ground.

    But to answer your question...I've seen folks around here offer $5 per top after a logging job. Obviously the logs are worth more, but not a whole lot as most of the cost of firewood is in the labor.

    Finally...have you worked with a forester as well? I know that is a small acreage and it can be tough to get help on something that small....but loggers have a reputation for taking advantage of landowners. Certainly, there are plenty of good loggers out there and you never hear those stories - but there are more than too many of landowners who ended up with a really raw deal. A few things to help control that:
    *Have a contract. I know...seems simple, but so often doesn't happen. There are good examples here: https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/ForestLandowners/contracts.html
    *Get paid up front. Again...on a small sale of damaged timber, this may be tough, but I regularly work with landowners who are getting paid $50K+ before the chainsaw starts.
    *Make sure they are only taking the trees you don't want to keep. It would be best to mark the trees being sold. Sometimes it is easier to mark and tally the trees that are supposed to be left. I assume you don't want them taking the remaining healthy Cherry and Hickory (or maybe you do...might be time to start over - that is where a Forester can offer you the best long-term management advice!)
     
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  5. Ryan'smilling

    Ryan'smilling Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Bummer about the mess. I'll echo the sentiment about others cutting on your property being a liability. Personally I wouldn't trust very many people to work in a situation like that, especially someone who isn't a professional that you're paying to clean it up.

    I don't know what kind of equipment the logger who is coming in has, but I wonder if you could pay them to process the wood that they aren't buying. Even just a couple cuts and winched down if they're hanging. Just a thought. Obviously that cost should be passed on to the people who want to buy firewood. That said though, I'd be pretty surprised to see people wanting to pay much for the wood. Around here, the most I've heard of was paying $35/cord for white oak. The rights to cut it, that is. I've also heard it said that if you the landowner can get someone to pay 1/7 the selling price of cord wood to cut from your property, that that's a pretty good arrangement. That might have been in a Helen and Scott Nearing's book.
     
  6. dmb2613

    dmb2613 ArboristSite Guru

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    It looks like it is mostly scrub stuff anyway If you gave it away and had each cutter sign a release from holding you responsible , that may be the ticket for the firewood part.
     
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  7. sukosakio

    sukosakio New Member

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    Thank you for all of the replies. There is a lot of good information here. I feel good about the loggers coming in right now taking only what we agreed on. Anything GOOD and STANDING is not going anywhere. I just don't want the fallen wood to hamper future growth.

    As for the firewood part. Maybe I am better off just doing the work (which I have no issues with) and selling on the road side at this point. It will give me something to do and keep the paperwork to a minimum.

    The loggers are being great about getting around with a 35 horse Kobota with forks, so that is nice. Now that things are frozen here is Wisconsin, mud is not an issue. They have also started to push together the tops, or "slash" and "sticks" (under 4" dia, 8 foot lengths) on a pile for me to easily handle. Access to my woods is plentiful, so I feel this might be an easy cleanup over the winter...

    I might plan on getting to a forester to see about regrowth and things like that and just to see what options I have moving forward so that my 6 acres comes back in a healthy manageable way.

    Thank you again for all the replies. They have been helpful at this point.
     
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  8. Ryan'smilling

    Ryan'smilling Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Where are you in Wisconsin? It sure has been nice so far this winter with the snow being gone. Makes for poor skiing, but working in the woods is a lot easier.
     
  9. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'll start with the last sentence there: Dead stuff on the ground doesn't hamper new growth. If anything, it makes it more difficult for the giant rats (deer) to get in there to eat it.

    As for the logging...I'm not trying to dissuade you from logging, just trying to make sure you are well-informed (as much as I can on an internet forum!). One hitch I see with your description: Who gets to define "GOOD" for the standing trees? I've seen those situations before... "Good" for them is "bad" for you. Hope that is not the road you are headed down. You haven't said anything specific that makes me suspicious, I've just been hearing it for 20 years from hundreds of landowners both before and after the harvest.

    Example: Below is one picture I took last winter in a woods that was marked by a timber buyer who has a 2 year forestry degree and tells landowners that he is managing their woodlands by taking out the bad trees and leaving the good to grow. ("We specialize in selective harvesting of mature timber to ensure a future crop for generations to come.") All of the red oak you see in this picture are just about the same diameter (within an inch or two). It shouldn't take a forester to see the problem here - and this is very typical of the stuff they have been doing for decades - the kid isn't applying anything they tried to teach him in school...just following the junk his dad did before him.
    taylor creek timber marking job.jpg

    On top of poor management, this company (Taylor Creek Timber in Kenton, Ohio - just in case anybody is considering!) does not pay well. I've seen plenty of sales that are marked better by a real forester (better grade trees left/low grade trees taken) where the final bid doubles up what they offered. Could be tripled or more if high-graded as they marked it and sold through a good bidding process.
     
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  10. Streblerm

    Streblerm Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I work with some friends gathering firewood all for personal use. We clean up tops after loggers and tree service all the time. We don’t pay for wood, ever. We will either make piles of the brush or spread it out to rot. It seems there is no shortage of wood out there. The only way I would pay for wood is dropped off at my house.
     
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  11. sukosakio

    sukosakio New Member

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    I live in Sheboygan County. This storm was one of 19 tornadoes that ripped up a few counties from the middle of the state moving east. I don't mind the lack of snow, but I always feel that if the temperature is going to be under 30, I would prefer snow covered ground :)
     
  12. sukosakio

    sukosakio New Member

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    I was with the guys each of the days they were on the property. In fact, they just finished up last night. NONE of the trees were cut down, unless the top was twisted and it posed a safety concern on my end (only 2).

    They did a great job. Helped by bushing brush piles out of the way and creating a path I could at least get around with my lawn tractor for the rest of the cleanup process.

    Thank you for your info. All replies have been appreciated.
     
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  13. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Great - sounds like you found a good one! Most loggers do a great job...just the bad ones stand out like a sore thumb. Glad it worked out.
     

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