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Author Topic: Balsam Tipping  (Read 2358 times)

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Offline Cedar Savage

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Balsam Tipping
« on: November 18, 2012, 08:26:02 pm »
Hi ...anyone ever cut balsam, or cedar boughs for profit? Tipping balsam is usually done by cutting the end  15-18" boughs from 15-20' trees. They are used in Christmas decorations, so it's seasonal. Its a great way to spend fall days, working with only a few tools, a couple guys can cut 3/4 of a ton, or so in a day. They pay $400 a ton, delivered in at the wreath shops.
Heres a couple pics of a day in the brush....

 


Telescoping clippers
 

 

Days end...loaded with balsam
 

 
“They fried the fish with bacon and were astonished, for no fish had ever seemed so delicious before.”         Mark Twain

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Balsam Tipping
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2012, 08:29:08 pm »
I like what is left of that tree in the first picture.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Cedar Savage

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Re: Balsam Tipping
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2012, 09:00:52 pm »
There are alot of old cedar stumps from bygone logging days in the area, also lots of rail road grades running everywhere, this area must of been a junction of some sort.
“They fried the fish with bacon and were astonished, for no fish had ever seemed so delicious before.”         Mark Twain

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Balsam Tipping
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2012, 09:03:50 pm »
Cedar Savage,update your profile so we know where this area is. We won't bite.
I did mean to mention some of that is done around here.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Shotgun

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Re: Balsam Tipping
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2012, 09:04:56 pm »
Do you do it on your own property, or do you lease land?  How many buyers do you deal with?  Looks like fun.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Balsam Tipping
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2012, 09:06:40 pm »
I like what is left of that tree in the first picture.

Which of the three are you referring to?  ;)  ;D
south central Wisconsin
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Offline Cedar Savage

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Re: Balsam Tipping
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2012, 09:25:46 pm »
Shotgun..
There are several shops that buy boughs in the area, I'm just selling to one... I usually pay stumpage, around $40 a ton, to the landowner. Several years ago you could get a bough permit from the USFS, but not anymore.
“They fried the fish with bacon and were astonished, for no fish had ever seemed so delicious before.”         Mark Twain

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Balsam Tipping
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2012, 09:27:53 pm »
Thank you cedar savage
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Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Balsam Tipping
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2012, 09:33:55 pm »
My aunt used to gather boughs on our land. We didn't charge her for it. . . but she didn't take a whole truckload, either!  :D
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Balsam Tipping
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2012, 09:39:58 pm »
Quote
you could get a bough permit from the USFS, but not anymore

 :D :D
'cause they looked like that one on the left ??  ;)
south central Wisconsin
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Offline Cedar Savage

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Re: Balsam Tipping
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2012, 09:57:42 pm »
Here's a couple more pics of the shop, where I deliver boughs to...


Boughs piled on scale & grave blanket in progress

 

Loading truck wi grave blankets

 

Happy wreath makers

 

Trailer being loaded with hanging balls

 
“They fried the fish with bacon and were astonished, for no fish had ever seemed so delicious before.”         Mark Twain

Offline lumberjack48

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Re: Balsam Tipping
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2012, 02:55:00 pm »
I cut boughs 30 yrs, we would take time from logging to cut boughs. The wife an me tried to cut a ton a day, if it didn't get dark first. My son and his wife are cutting boughs and making wreaths, they do it every year. The Balsam boughs have to have flat needles or they won't buy them.
This is when you can actually say, Money grows on trees.

In the fall from picking wild rice to cutting boughs a person can make a little money.
Third generation logger, owner operator, 30 yrs felling experience with pole skidder. I got my neck broke back in 89, left me a quad. The wife kept the job going up to 96.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Balsam Tipping
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2012, 09:04:01 pm »
I passed a small truck that had a load of broughs on it today.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Cedar Savage

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Re: Balsam Tipping
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2012, 05:31:20 pm »
Yea I like getting a little extra cash, just before the holidays. The weather has been great for working outside, haven't seen this nice of a fall in a couple years.
“They fried the fish with bacon and were astonished, for no fish had ever seemed so delicious before.”         Mark Twain

Offline Ken

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Re: Balsam Tipping
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2012, 05:57:53 pm »
Tipping is quite common around here after 2 or 3 good frosts to set the needles.   I have had several thinners over the years who would spend a good portion of their late fall days tipping for extra cash. 

When the Cdn dollar was weak in relation to the US$ we also had crews gathering brush from harvested firs to make brush blankets.  Apparently there was a significant market in the Northeast US.  Many times if you had an opengrown fir there was more money in the brush than the stem.
Lots of toys for working in the bush

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Balsam Tipping
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2012, 08:08:59 pm »
I've tipped fir before. Here is an old thread on making wreaths and shows my "tipping stick". ;D

http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,9097.msg123167.html#msg123167

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
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Offline Cedar Savage

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Re: Balsam Tipping
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2012, 09:57:11 pm »
Swampdonkey I read the thread, interesting to see how its done elsewhere... I've never used a tipping stick, We just pile the tips on the ground in 30-40 lb piles & tie them into bales with plastic twine. How is the stick made? Is it just a stick with twine tied to both ends? Do yo line boughs up on either side as you fill it?
“They fried the fish with bacon and were astonished, for no fish had ever seemed so delicious before.”         Mark Twain

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Balsam Tipping
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2012, 05:39:47 am »
Yup, just a light aspen stick. Make a couple notches on opposing sides at each end to secure a strand of baler twine so it don't slip. Just alternate from side to side with each hand full of tips cut. The ends point out at 90 degrees not interlaced between the two strands of twine. Keep'm 30-40 lbs or the ladies complain at the wreath shop, heavy. Real efficient way to bale and carry short distances in the woods. Everyone up here uses them and the sticks go in with the weight. We get 30-40 cents a pound. So a 40 lb stick is about $14, which you can fill in an hour easily in good tipping.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline lumberjack48

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Re: Balsam Tipping
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2012, 01:43:14 pm »
The wife made wreaths after i got hurt. She had it all set up in the garage with a power crimper, She cut boughs and all so bought boughs. You have to  be careful buying boughs or know who your buying from because you can get stuck with junk.
She could make 70 to a 100 a day, but like Al says, if you don't have a good tip cutter you can't do it. The tip cutter would make about 20" high piles on tables for the wreath maker to grab. Its like any job, if people don't work together and do it right you get nothing done.
She had to cut her own tips many times, this slows it all down, but then again you don't have nobody to pay.
A good tipper can keep up with a wreath maker.

Theres a lot of people around here that make wreaths. You get a contract on how many thousand you want to make. Then hope the weather works with you so you can fill it.
Third generation logger, owner operator, 30 yrs felling experience with pole skidder. I got my neck broke back in 89, left me a quad. The wife kept the job going up to 96.

Offline lumberjack48

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Re: Balsam Tipping
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2012, 02:25:34 pm »
I never cut tips in the woods, i tried it once and i couldn't make as much money. I cut boughs about 36' long and went for 50, 40 pound bundles a day. A few times i used the skidder and pulled the trees to the pickup. I tried to make sure i had a nice clear cut balsam sale to cut early fall. This really worked out good.

One fall we were pulling balsam pulp and taking the boughs off the same time. The Ranger came out and asked what were we doing. It was real simple to see, well he says that we would have to pay stumpage on the boughs.
 It was a Company sale, i called the Company and told them what was going on. They told me to tell him that the stumpage was already payed on that block and i could take all the limbs i want. That was the end of it, when the Ranger came back out he complemented me on how nice the block was cleaned up.
Third generation logger, owner operator, 30 yrs felling experience with pole skidder. I got my neck broke back in 89, left me a quad. The wife kept the job going up to 96.