Monday, 23 November 2015 14:50

Six tips on how to prepare for a hardwood timber harvest sale.

It has been estimated that nearly 69% of the hardwood forests in the United States are owned by private land owners.  Couple this with the standard hardwood harvesting techniques of selective, or single tree selection used in the industry, and it is not uncommon for a typical landowner to harvest his land only once or twice in his or her lifetime. So developing a plan to maximize your timber lot harvest and also reduce any property or wildlife disruption is important.

We deal with hundreds of hardwood forest landowners each and every year.  Based on our experience, these are a few best practices we recommend landowners include in their plan to harvest the hardwoods from their property.Walnut Tree

  1. Conduct an initial meeting.  Meet with a professional forester to discuss your objectives. Include your goals for tree selection, forest management, land restoration, wildlife management or any other areas of concern you might have.
  2. Walk the woods together.  Take the time to walk the property with the forester so you can properly explain and point out important items such as property lines, types of trees to be selected, placement for log landings and skid roads.
  3. Schedule a timber cruise.  Request that the forester you choose conducts a formal timber cruise. A timber cruise is the term used to explain an onsite visit of the property to mark, measure and value the standing timber to be harvested off the land.
  4. Request a proposal and sign a contract.  Be sure to request a written proposal that details the specifics of the harvest, the preparation required and the expected results. It is also wise to sign a timber sale agreement and include items such as the boundaries to be harvested, the timeframe of the project, the pricing methodology to be used, the expected condition the land will be restored to and who would be responsible for damages if any occur.
  5. Meet the logger. Take the time to have the forester introduce you to the timber harvester. Review your expectations and the agreed upon pre-harvest preparations expected. Review log landing sites, the placement of skid roads and any other post-harvest land restoration you expect to be completed.
  6. Conduct a post-harvest review. Lastly, when the job is complete conduct a post-harvest review. Make sure the job was completed properly and the terms of the timber sale agreement fulfilled.  Discuss with your forester a game plan for future timber harvests.

Following these six simple steps will increase your chances of achieving your harvesting goals.  If you are a land owner and are interested in speaking to one of our professional foresters, please contact us today.  We would be happy to help in any way we can.

Dave Prezyna
Baillie Lumber Co.
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