| Is there any value to a walnut that has grown in the city what
| would b e a fair value per board foot?
Certainly - sawed and dried it's worth the same as other walnut of the
DeSoto, Iowa USA
Agreed... But that doesn't mean the standing tree will be as attractive
to prospective buyers or that felling and milling to lumber will be
economically feasible given its urban location.
Urban trees have a number of drawbacks to felling for lumber: overhead
wires; proximity to structures; and heavy equipment access to name a
few. This doesn't take into account any embedded "hardware" that was
attached to the tree over the years for swings, lost pet signs, hammock
hooks, horseshoes, etc.
The felling crew's experience for an urban tree may require a whole lot
more expertise - as well as insurance - than a rural felling would
require. If the homeowner is expecting to make money on selling the
tree, make sure the crew knows how to take the tree down so the
harvestable portions are retained and undamaged. Also, the more valuable
wood is often in the root burl with the first few feet of the trunk
above the ground - but then you need heavy equipment to remove this
section as well as hauling out and loading up the many ton portion of
the main trunk.
In a rural setting, the land owner is rarely too concerned with the
surrounding ground being torn up by back hoes, loaders and semi's - the
residential landowner may be a lot less accommodating to such damage.
In other words, yes it can be done, but it can also cost a LOT of money
just to get the tree down safely and loaded up for the mill.
I forgot to add that in my neck of the woods, Pac. NW, Black Walnut goes
for about $7-8/bd ft.
Keep in mind this is for milled, dried and retail priced stock. The tree
must go through the time and expense of milling, time and expense of
drying and only then can one look at how much wood remains that is
marketable and a selling price.
I know I'm coming off as a naysayer, but I just want the OP to know
there are expenses, material loss and time requirements. One can't take
the $8/bf figure, measure his tree and jump into contracts thinking
he'll pocket that amount.
Classic answer - it depends.
Depending on location walnut can bring $5 or more (sometimes a lot more) per
board foot. A tree with a good, long straight trunk, while rather rare,
can be worth a lot of money.
Check local sawyers, hardwood dealers, etc. You might get someone
interested in taking a look at it, My in-laws had a huge oak taken out of
their back yard a year or so ago. The tree produced a lot of lumber and the
fellow did the job for about 1/3 of the lumber. They still have a lot of
air-drying regular and quarter sawn oak.
They charged her $1,200 and kept the wood as part of the payment. It was
expensive because it was growing over two houses; if yours is off by itself,
I expect it would be much cheaper. But I wouldn't plan on making any money
I got a 4' long piece and cut it up. Seems like perfectly good wood, but I
will know in a year or two.
I got a call from a neighbor a few years ago; a crew is coming to take that
beautiful walnut tree away. Do you want any of it for furniture? I jumped
and stated that I wanted the first ten feet of bole. A tree guy friend got
the bole in his truck using a chain falls and we took it to a sawyer. We
got 1 inch and 2 inch slabs. I gave my tree friend half the wood for his
services and I kept the rest. I think it cost $100 to have it sawed. Long
story short, there is a lot of nice wood and a lot of waste in an adventure
like this. Incidentally, bolts etc in the wood is not an issue any more
since any sawyer goes over the log carefully with a metal detector before
starting the saw. I would not value it over $0.50 per BF (bole only).
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