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Author Topic: What is a fair price for Cottonwood?  (Read 8873 times)

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Offline wesdor

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What is a fair price for Cottonwood?
« on: July 08, 2006, 03:04:11 am »
I just received a call from a logger who wants to buy some of my cottonwood trees.  Not sure how many I have on the 45 acres, but some are rather large.  I'd guess them to be at least 60" DBH.  I presume he will be taking them for pallet wood but won't know until we meet next week.

Since most of our wood is hardwood - walnut, oak, cherry and hickory, I haven't viewed the cottonwood as a desireable tree.  However, I do think we should be fairly compensated.  I see on another thread that pallet lumber is bringing somewhere around $.28 / bf, but is that stumpage rate? 

If this sale happens, I just want to be sure and do the right thing.  Your wisdom will be greatly appreciated.


Offline Sawyerfortyish

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Re: What is a fair price for Cottonwood?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2006, 07:42:22 am »
That price sounds like it's a lumber price for pallet grade. Keep in mind someone had to cut ,skid, truck, and then a mill had to saw it. I could be wrong but I wouldn't want to pay that for pallet grade standing. I would think cottonwood would pay in the same range as standing pine or hemlock. I don't have any cottonwood around here so I can't give a true price.

Offline flip

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Re: What is a fair price for Cottonwood?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2006, 09:45:21 am »
This may not help any but the HMR is showing 4/4 cottonwood @ FAS 600/mbf 1C 400/mbf 2A 220/mbf 2B 185/mbf.  This is all green milled lumber by the truck load.  I believe the 2B stuff to be what is usually used for palet wood.  If you want to know a ROUGH idea for stumpage divide those numbers by a third.  I wouldguess by the size of the trees not all will be low grade, make sure it's worth it to you.

Flip
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Offline beenthere

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Re: What is a fair price for Cottonwood?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2006, 10:34:24 am »
How does removing Cottonwood fit into your management plan? 
Seems that would be important, and based on much of what this FF has for 'roots', getting some forester advice, be it consulting or herein, would be good for you. Protecting your long-term investment in the remaining species and bringing in the most bucks for the Cottonwood could be the best thing for you.
So many stories here of the problems learned after-the-fact that getting a foresters' help would be prudent for you.  But will understand if you want to go-it-alone, as so many do.  ::) :)
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Offline wesdor

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Re: What is a fair price for Cottonwood?
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2006, 10:47:57 am »
Good advice Beenthere. 

I have had 2 different foresters walk through with me in the past 2 years.  One was from the DNR and another, one that I hired to come in.  Both have identified several large cottonwoods as needing removal.  In fact, this contact has come through the district forester.  So I think the first hurdle has been cleared - getting advice from the professionals.  The sale will be very small, and I understand the local DNR forester is not interested in getting involved in writing the contract.

We are meeting early this next week, but phone conversations indicate a price of about $.08 / bf which seems to be in the right ballpark.  I'm much more inerested in how the trees will be removed, what will be left for me to clean up and how much damage to surrounding trees. 

Thanks again for the sound advice.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: What is a fair price for Cottonwood?
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2006, 11:57:16 pm »
I will qualify the following with I have no contact with cottonwood.  What I do know about cottonwood is that it grows fast and is of low value.

It seems to me that if you can find anyone to remove the species from the woodlot, that looks like a bonus. $80/Mbf  seems to be a fair price.  You could hold out for a higher price, but you may lose the buyer. 

Trying to figure stumpage value from market reports is of little value to the landowner.  It means a lot to mills that know yield values.  But, my guess is they are far and few between.

I think you are on your way to a succesful timber sale that involves improving your woodlot!  Protection of your residual timber is very importent. 
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline Gary_C

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Re: What is a fair price for Cottonwood?
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2006, 12:51:22 am »
Here in Southern MN we also have a lot of big cottonwood and burr oak. Typically the burr oak will sell for $80 to $100 per MBF if it is good quality (some logs over 8 ft) and most goes to the local pallet mills.

A DNR sale I completed last year had some 4 MBF of cottonwood and they charged me $40/MBF. I only saved one 20 ft. log and the rest went to the pulp mill along with the low quality aspen. Paying $40/MBF is like paying $80 per cord and that is about all it is worth delivered to the mill.

Be happy if you can get $40/MBF.

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Offline wesdor

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Re: What is a fair price for Cottonwood?
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2006, 12:35:26 pm »
Thanks again for your thoughts.  I'll report back after our meeting this week. 
Ron, I often think of a statement you made (at least I think it was you).  Good forestry is more about what is left than what is taken.  Your thoughts are much like mine - if I can get someone to take these big cottonwoods and even pay to take them, I'll be happy.  I have no delusions that this will be significant money, but would like to let them be used for some purpose other than burning.


Offline Daren

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Re: What is a fair price for Cottonwood?
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2006, 09:36:56 pm »
Here is a link . http://www.walnutcouncil.org/most_commonly_reported_prices_pa.htm . $80 mbf seems to be on the high side for Illinois. If the logger doesn't make a wreck of the valuable standing timber and pays before he drives off with it :D, (and doesn't have a couple 30" cherries under the pile ::)) I would go for it.
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Offline SW_IOWA_SAWYER

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Re: What is a fair price for Cottonwood?
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2006, 10:49:24 am »
I was involved in selling a large whack of basswood/oak logs that have been down for about two years. The logs were fairly big logs 20-28" and about 8'6" long. They had degraded as they have been down as I said for two plus years. The pallet company paid the landowner .16 a bdft. He was happy to have gotten rid of the logs 15,000 bdft approx. I was happy I be able to help him out and get some nice oak and walnut logs for my effort and I am guessing the pallet mill was happy cause they picked them all up before we had worked out the price. It was the old "I must have misunderstood you" line

It worked out OK I guess but it was a strange way of doing business in my opinion.

I am guess cottonwood would be the same price here at least.
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Offline footer

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Re: What is a fair price for Cottonwood?
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2006, 09:43:53 am »
wesdor,
I'm not sure, about the price for cottonwood stumpage where you are at. Around here cottonwood lumber is worth around .30 cents a BDFT green. Unless I am mistaken, cottonwood is the # 1 harvested species in Nebraska.  It is  as they say a fast growing tree, But those big cottonwoods still take 50 to 100 years to reach that size. They are used mainly in pallets and blocking for shipping around here. Just remember, that that those trees, basically in our lifetime anyway, are not replaceable. Also, the loggers do make money off of cottonwood. Thats why they persue it. The only way they can make good money off of it is to buy it cheep, and take only the good stuff, and get in and out as fast as they can. Loggers around here are netorious for leaving a huge mess when harvesting cottonwood, and often leave huge piles of branches. Probably 50 % of the cottonwood tree is branches that will be left behind.  I have seen first hand some places that were harvested of cottonwood, and they literally look like a war zone.  Not trying to perswade you an any way, just trying to warn you of the possibilities. I would at least talk to some of the landowners the logger  has worked for before letting them step foot on my property. And if you have any trees of value, I would make sure one way or another that none of them come up missing.

Offline wesdor

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Re: What is a fair price for Cottonwood?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2006, 05:11:49 pm »
Well, that was a lot of talk aobut nothing.  Or so it seems. 

We took a walk through the woods today and I showed him some of the big cottonwood trees.  When I pointed out that no logging would take place until after the soy beans had been combined from the field he seemed a bit reluctant.   Then he started talking price - $23 / mbf.  And that was only if there were at least 50 trees of that size within a close proximity.  We didn't even get so far as the written contract which Kirk pointed out to me at Virtual Forest.  I'm sure that would have been a real stumbling block.

BTW - he looked at a couple of hardwood trees and asked what I planned to do with them.  I told him I had the name of a fellow with an LT40 that would do custom work on my place.  He asked me what an LT40 was!  I told him it was a Woodmizer and he still didn't know what I was talking about. Then I told him it was a mobile sawmill.  He seemed to have an idea then.  I figured anyone calling himself a logger who didn't know what a Woodmizer was, must not be the person I would want to deal with.


We didn't  have nasty words, but I told him I wasn't in any hurry to sell anything, thanked him for his time, and he was on his way.

Thanks to all of you for your wisdom, caution and encouragment.

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: What is a fair price for Cottonwood?
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2006, 08:14:05 pm »
I believe that their are many loggers that don't know what an LT-40 or Woodmizer are. Portable sawmills usually aren't their market or area of interest. ;)
~Ron

Offline wesdor

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Re: What is a fair price for Cottonwood?
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2006, 09:31:05 pm »
Thanks for that education Ron - I was making a bad assumption.