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Black Walnut Log Value12/30
I live in Virginia & have 30 walnut trees which are being sold from a thick grove. I have received $3,000 up front and am being told the total value of the logs which are being exported are appx. $5,700 but may be more based on the grading after they are cut. I walked the area yesterday with the loggers and know the trees, most of which will are over 16" in diameter will have several logs cut from them. I am being told I will have a list of the logs and how they are graded and that the $5,700 estimate is conservative. I am being told logs which will yield 12" boards are of far less value than logs which yield 13"+ and that the veneer logs will bring a much higher value. I have tried to contact the forestry service because I am a bit nervous about all of this but everyone is on vacation and the logs need to be cut now to fill an order. The agreement was signed back in 2008 to cut the logs and these loggers have a very good reputation in the area where I live. Still, even if the estimate is low $5,700 seems way below value. Any suggestions?
What you have is seller's remorse. The condition is usually caused by making a buying or selling decision before having done enough due diligence to make an informed decision, in this case on the selling side.
I don't see how anyone on a forum will be able to tell you if your trees are worth more. One veneer grade Walnut can bring more than $5700 but they aren't common, and remember you're getting stump prices for the timber - $5700 could be a fair price, but how can anyone say without putting eyes on the trees? Even then you can get a wide variety of estimates.
If you've already signed a contract I don't see what choice you have but to fulfill your side of the obligation. Next time you'll know to get your forester and a couple of other private buyers out there before you sign a contract.
I do not regret honoring the contract which my husband signed before his death and have met with the loggers since the posting. I also have a meeting scheduled with foresters to determine what the log yield should be and have been assured by the loggers that the logs will be tagged and graded. I am sure each tree will have a least more than one log cut (some as many as 4) and believe the logs will be graded properly. Many years ago we had some trees cut - mainly oak - and the loggers were horrific! The log count was not accurate and my husband's name was forged on a check from the mill which we never received. My husband would not take the loggers to court because he felt only someone in a desperate situation would do something so dishonorable. He trusted the company we are dealing with now and I am simply trying to ensure that I cover every base I can and hoped someone would reply who could compare the various types of black walnut which can be cut from trees based on the current market. I still hope someone will who knows the market now.
"The market" is not something so simple as you perceive. I tasted the vinegar in your reply JoeAnne but it was not justified. I know that the answer I gave you was not the one you were looking for, and I knew it when I was typing it, but I gave you my honest answer anyway because that's what you needed to hear. The answers you seek will be found locally, not on a forum. I wish you the best.
I think the vinegar (if there was any) was definitely justified. The question was fairly straight forward.How are you able to imagine what someone needs to hear? If you are unable to answer it then maybe your comments should be kept to yourself.
My point was to let her know that she can't get an accurate valuation on her timber over the internet. I have seen many similar posts and often the OP will get many answers from posters who have no idea what the timber is worth. I mean, how can they? Determining stump prices is not simply a matter of looking at average regional prices.
I gave her an honest answer that I do believe was relevant and if she took my advice and looked to her local resources and put boots on the ground to walk her through her timber stand she would get the education she needs. JMO.
Whereas your entire post was aimed at telling me why i should keep my mouth shut, my posts were an attempt to point her in the right direction without throwing out some numbers that would almost certainly mislead her.
I don't mind your critique of me, but instead of just knocking me maybe you should have also attempted to offer her some useful information. In my view that would have given your post at least some value. Happy new year.
I haved walked through my woods many times and took the time to photograph all of the black walnut trees selected by the timber company. I even took a 2nd shot of the base of each tree which clearly shows the orange numbers sprayed on to mark those to be cut. I have been told these trees are to be exported and that a sheet exists which shows the amount to be paid once the logs are graded. Thanks for all the information.
It sounds to me like you're on the right track JoeAnne. If you plan to sell some more in the future, depending on the individual your state forester can be a treasure trove of free information. I have never met one that was not both knowledgeable and generous with their time and information but maybe I have just been lucky.
You can also learn much from your county extension agent, and if you have a state university nearby with a forestry they often have free and low cost services available. But for your situation in the future, I would hire a private forester consultant with a good track record in your locale, to conduct a sealed bid for you once you have gotten the information you need to make you feel as though you are in the driver's seat.
A private consultant forester will tell you beforehand what he thinks your timber is worth in the current market based on his intimate knowledge of recent local sales and the many variables involved. If none of the bids come up to your threshold you can hang on to it and try again later. As a general rule, selling directly to a logger does not net as much profit as it would if you went through a consultant with experience in conducting sealed bids in your particular region, but this certainly doesn't mean in your particular instance that you were "underpaid"left money on the table as the saying goes. I have done it in the past and the way I like to look at it is that the money I did realize was still me getting paid, and what I left on the table was just tuition.
My apologies if I initially came across harshly - that was not my intent. Best of luck and I hope you will let us know how your sale went.
It seems you are being given approx $200 per tree for 30 trees and some one else is doing the cutting, hauling, grading, and selling for you. I don't think I have ever heard of a relatively small deal paying that well. It is very expensive to move machinery and trucks.
First rule, never sell to a "timber buyer" who walks your property without permission and then comes to your door offering very little. Second, unless you are selling just a few trees or tress that you know for fact are not worth much, do not sell without a forester involved. Third rule, for valuable trees or for large lots of trees, using a consulting forester will almost always put more money in your pocket. They have the contacts and since they get a percentage it is in their best interest to conduct a good timber sale. Also, they are your go-to guy to make sure the right trees are cut and the land isn't destroyed in the process.