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Author Topic: Is there a market for hickory lumber?  (Read 9141 times)

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Offline Shiningmoon

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Is there a market for hickory lumber?
« on: January 08, 2011, 01:04:33 pm »
I am in the process of developing a management plan for our farm's timber. Much of the upland forest is red oak/hickory mix. I am not having difficulty finding interested buyers for the oak saw logs, but the hickory is another item. Many hickory trees are 15-20" DBH and would produce 9-18 ft saw logs. I have heard of some new houses with hickory flooring. Is there a market or not? 

Offline paul case

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Re: Is there a market for hickory lumber?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2011, 02:16:43 pm »
first.  welcome to the forum.
second. markets depend on where you are at. here our hickory makes ties and pallet stock. makes real good building material and nice flooring but it is kind of a niche market. pc
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pc

Offline beenthere

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Re: Is there a market for hickory lumber?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2011, 02:22:40 pm »
Welcome shiningmoon

Yes, there are some products made from hickory and it is a very pretty wood. That doesn't mean someone is standing in a line waiting for hickory logs to be sold. ;)
Nor are the markets for logs the greatest, as you have probably read such on this forum.

Where are you located?  Which hickory do you have?

Lots of good advice and expertice on this forum for forest management plans.
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: Is there a market for hickory lumber?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2011, 02:51:04 pm »
Judging by the price of Hickory kitchen cabinets, there should be a market for the lumber.

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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Is there a market for hickory lumber?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2011, 02:52:10 pm »
Sure, there's a market for hickory, but a lot depends on quality.  Some of the nicer hickory butts can be sold for veneer.  There are markets with wholesalers that buy from 2 Common to FAS.  Usually its in 4/4 lumber, and they'll buy partial loads.  Quality in hickory can fall off pretty quickly.  A lot of the lumber is lower quality and ends up in pallet stock and ties.  Bird peck can be a problem.

But, like most markets, you have to go out and look for them.  If you have good quality timber, markets are much easier.  

Are you doing the management plan yourself?  Your next forest has a lot to do with how you treat any cutting procedure.  Good forest management is more about what is left after the cut then what is taken in the cut.  
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Offline Shiningmoon

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Re: Is there a market for hickory lumber?
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2011, 02:57:56 pm »
Welcome shiningmoon

Yes, there are some products made from hickory and it is a very pretty wood. That doesn't mean someone is standing in a line waiting for hickory logs to be sold. ;)
Nor are the markets for logs the greatest, as you have probably read such on this forum.

Where are you located?  Which hickory do you have?

Lots of good advice and expertice on this forum for forest management plans.

I live in NE Oklahoma, our farm is basically foot hills of the Ozarks.

Not sure of species but from internet info I suspect "mockernut" hickory.

Offline Shiningmoon

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Re: Is there a market for hickory lumber?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2011, 03:04:03 pm »
Sure, there's a market for hickory, but a lot depends on quality.  Some of the nicer hickory butts can be sold for veneer.  There are markets with wholesalers that buy from 2 Common to FAS.  Usually its in 4/4 lumber, and they'll buy partial loads.  Quality in hickory can fall off pretty quickly.  A lot of the lumber is lower quality and ends up in pallet stock and ties.  Bird peck can be a problem.

But, like most markets, you have to go out and look for them.  If you have good quality timber, markets are much easier.  

Are you doing the management plan yourself?  Your next forest has a lot to do with how you treat any cutting procedure.  Good forest management is more about what is left after the cut then what is taken in the cut.  

I have consulted my state forester who came out and walked the property with me and is helping develope said plan. He didn't think there was a market for hickory in our area. I know transportation could eat up profits in a hurry. Part of our plan will include thining so the remaining red oaks could benifit for future harvest; some hickories will need thinned.

Offline Shiningmoon

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Re: Is there a market for hickory lumber?
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2011, 03:13:03 pm »
Sure, there's a market for hickory, but a lot depends on quality.  Some of the nicer hickory butts can be sold for veneer.  There are markets with wholesalers that buy from 2 Common to FAS.  Usually its in 4/4 lumber, and they'll buy partial loads.  Quality in hickory can fall off pretty quickly.  A lot of the lumber is lower quality and ends up in pallet stock and ties.  Bird peck can be a problem.

But, like most markets, you have to go out and look for them.  If you have good quality timber, markets are much easier.  

Are you doing the management plan yourself?  Your next forest has a lot to do with how you treat any cutting procedure.  Good forest management is more about what is left after the cut then what is taken in the cut.  

As my history includes row cropping and livestock; timber quality is something I am trying to learn to judge. The forester that came out said I was doing well judging the oaks for quality but I have little to go on. I assume a qualiy hickory log will be straight, solid (no holes or rot), have minimuim(or no) branches on the first 18 feet and be of 15" DBH or bigger. We do have a sizable woodpecker population so looking for bird pecks is something I hadn't thought of.

What other things will a buyer judge by?

Offline Autocar

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Re: Is there a market for hickory lumber?
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2011, 04:04:37 pm »
Shiningmoon you may try to locate a sports bar or BBQ joint and get into selling split hickory for the cooking theres a number of fellows into that around me some even ship to the west coast . Just another angle good luck  :) Bill
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Offline sigidi

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Re: Is there a market for hickory lumber?
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2011, 04:34:04 pm »
Shiningmoon, welcome  ;)

I know I'm the other side of the pond from you guys, but when looking at buying logs, I would look at all you have written and that's a pretty good list, but for me I would also look at position of heart in the log, if the heart is badly off centre I'd pay a lot less if anything at all. Not sure if it would be helpful, but I figure a good log is a good log whichever side of the world it is.

Having said all this, I also feel it's much better economy to sell lumber as compared to selling logs, even if one has to also purchase milling gear, I've found my Lucas soon payed for itself.
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Offline paul case

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Re: Is there a market for hickory lumber?
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2011, 07:02:12 pm »
shining moon,
what town in neok? i am ne of quapaw. most mills here only buy hickory for ties and pallet stock. there is an outfit east of neosho that sells some hickory for hardwood flooring. i dont know their contact info.
do you do your own milling?
are you talking about selling logs or selling  lumber? many mills here will buy those hickory right along with your red oak and post oak, sycamore, and anything else that is solid. one i used to sell to is now paying $.40 for grade oak logs, $.30 for tie logs, and $22 for pallet logs. pc
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
 WM 94 LT40 hd. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
sawing oak.hickory,ERC,walnut and almost anything else that shows up.
Don't get phylosophical with me. you will loose me for sure.
pc

Offline oakiemac

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Re: Is there a market for hickory lumber?
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2011, 08:54:00 pm »
I sell a lot of hickory lumber in 4/4 and 8/4 but you can sit on it for a long time before that buyer comes along. One thing I like about hickory is that I can use all grades because so many people want "character" grade in hickory. I also get requests for just the sapwood or 8/4 quarter sawn white only hickory. ???
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Offline Slabs

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Re: Is there a market for hickory lumber?
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2011, 09:38:29 pm »
My experience down here in the Florida panhandle is that powder post beetles attack sawn hickory quickly.  Hope you don't have that problem but take care.

I also think that we're experiencing an epidemic of PPB's as they have begun to infest pine in sheds over 20 years old.

Good luck. I love hickory for it's beauty and strength.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Is there a market for hickory lumber?
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2011, 11:56:19 pm »
Quality of timber varies widely within the range.  I remember talking about black oak with the Bibbyman.  His quality of black oak is just the pits, while we could sell veneer black oak.  The difference was that he is in Missouri while I am in Pennsylvania.  My markets vary quite a bit from yours. 

Keep in mind that I come more from a commercial background as opposed to many others on this board.  When I first came aboard I kept hearing about Amrosia maple.  It took awhile before I figured out that they were talking about wormy maple in the commercial markets.  They were getting quintuple what we were getting on the commercial markets.  Reason:  they where marketing character woods while we were marketing woods that were geared to the commercial markets. 

I remember sawing a spalted sycamore.  Our market was for a 12x12.  The outside was spalted, which is the first step towards decay.  We threw the offending boards into the chipper, figuring that they were too far gone for pallet.  The 12x12 fetched $50.  Later, I was panning through Ebay, and I came across a guy that was selling a spalted sycamore board for $75.  We threw those in the chipper!  Marketing is the key.  And I haven't mastered it.

Bird peck in hickory is usually pretty evident.  You'll see those marks in the bark.  They only stay there for a few years until the tree heals over it.  But, my findings in the million feet of hickory that I've sawn is that if there's worms, there's bird peck.  It doesn't get any better.  You might be sawing good wood, and Bam, you're in bird peck.  When you learn how to read bark, you can figure out defect.  Some foresters are OK with it, but many have never seen a log go from woods to product.  I can say the same for many loggers, although I've learned a lot from loggers who have had to market their wood.  A good hickory looks like a good red oak.  Once you've got the touch, you just know it.  Hard to explain.

Things that I've always cautioned people about managing woodlots.  Never assume that today's markets will be those of tomorrow.  I remember when red oak wasn't worth anything.  You grow what your site grows the best.  That may be walnut, or it may be cottonwood.   Don't let current markets be your guiding light.
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Online WDH

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Re: Is there a market for hickory lumber?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2011, 09:16:05 pm »
In most of the South, there is little to no commercial lumber market for hickory.  That is why it is so prevalent in stands that have been high-graded over the years.  Even the pulpmills restrict hickory in hardwood pulpwood loads, and some will not take any.  In the spring, the bark comes off in long ropes, sometimes, the bark will peel off in one long tube.  This bark-sprintime-sloughing characteristic makes it unpopular to process as it gets all wound up in the equipment.

Maybe like has been said you could take advantage of its firewood qualities or for BBQ wood.  As BBQ wood though, it will be hard to sell significant quantities at one time.
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Is there a market for hickory lumber?
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2011, 09:26:22 pm »
I used to get slabs from a mill that sawed nothing but hickory. It all went for tool handles.
Man said $5 a truck load, you load it., OK, how big a truck. Said that's up to you. Mill was located between Jackson and Hattiesburg Ms. Don't know if it's still there.
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Offline jrkimroxie

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Re: Is there a market for hickory lumber?
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2011, 09:38:10 pm »
Piney, do you remember where that mill was cause I'd love to get a load for open pit cooking/BBQing.
Loving life 1 log at a time !!!!

Offline pineywoods

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Re: Is there a market for hickory lumber?
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2011, 09:59:52 pm »
Piney, do you remember where that mill was cause I'd love to get a load for open pit cooking/BBQing.

JR, best I remember, it was just outside of Raleigh, toward Taylorsville. But that was a few years ago. I was living in Brandon at the time, and made frequent trips to hattiesburg.  Usually detoured by the mill on the way home.
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Offline paul case

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Re: Is there a market for hickory lumber?
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2011, 11:21:23 pm »
depending on what type of hickory you have the bark may or may not be a problem. i have never seen a shag bark hickory in my neck of the woods. the bark on our bitternut and mockernut hickory dont shed unless the tree has been dead or cut down for 6 months or more. shining moon may have those and he may not. lets see what he says.
oh by the way if you are close enough i would buy those hickory logs from you.pc
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
 WM 94 LT40 hd. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
sawing oak.hickory,ERC,walnut and almost anything else that shows up.
Don't get phylosophical with me. you will loose me for sure.
pc

Offline Shiningmoon

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Re: Is there a market for hickory lumber?
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2011, 11:09:40 pm »
depending on what type of hickory you have the bark may or may not be a problem. i have never seen a shag bark hickory in my neck of the woods. the bark on our bitternut and mockernut hickory dont shed unless the tree has been dead or cut down for 6 months or more. shining moon may have those and he may not. lets see what he says.
oh by the way if you are close enough i would buy those hickory logs from you.pc

The only shedding of bark of hickory I have seen is from firewood as you discribed. I am near Chelsea, looks like 50 miles.