I'm not certain that if this group but I figure it is worth a shot. I
have a 50' black walnut tree in my backyard that I'd like to get rid of.
Now people tell me I would be able to *sell* the tree for some serious
coin as black walnut is considered a exotic wood. I've never heard of
selling a whole tree before but I have heard the story from at least 20+
different people telling me otherwise.
Any form of truth to selling a whole black walnut tree or am just
wanting to believe a pipe dream.
Just did and called 4 outfits under 'timber'. All of them had zero
interest in the tree and quite honestly, they gave me the impression I
was bothering them. That tells me that timber company's are not
interested in whole trees.
The reason I was being specific on 'suppliers of furniture grade timber'
is that I now know that with woodworking they are other terms used that
I'm not familiar with. Like 'sawyer'. I just want to make certain to
look in the right place.
Timber guys are looking for whole fields to clear cut, usually not
interested in a single tree.
local guy in my area who mills, dries and planes wood in small lots
for people will often take a single tree and offer the owner a "share"
of the yield, either in the wood itself or in what he gets for it.
Find a woodworking club or ask at the cabinet shops. If there are
people who do that in your area, they will know.
To everyone with walnut trees in their yard...Here's how you know if
you have something worth anything. If tree buyers are knocking on your
door asking to buy it, you have something. If not, it' not. Walnut yard
trees are pretty much a "dime a dozen" .
Go back and ask those 20 people to direct you to the person who sold
their Black Walnut for "serious coin". My guess is that they'll bail out
on providing a solid source. We all hear stories about the tree worth
big bucks - problem is that they're extremely few and very far between.
But that doesn't stop folks from spreading the story until it's believed
to be a common occurrence.
You'll run into several potential problems with your tree:
How large in diameter is the tree 8' off the ground? Minimum for a
commercial outfit would likely be 2.5' to 3'. Less than that there's
just too much waste for the effort.
How close is the tree to a structure and how accessible is the
location to machinery? Oddly enough residential folks just don't cotton
to a skidder tearing up their lawn. And, the proximity of a building
would heavily dictate the skills of the feller (the guy who actually
takes the tree down) - you also don't want some unbonded, unlicensed Joe
dropping the tree on your roof.
Yard trees and those along fence rows are notorious among mills and
woodturners to contain nails, screws, bolts, even horseshoes. Many
commercial outfits don't want the hassle and expense to repair and
resharpen a band saw blade so won't even consider such a tree.
A professional tree service can certainly take the tree down for
serious coin - but it's going to be your coin going into their pockets.
You could then have it milled to lumber by a self-employed sawyer in an
attempt to get a portion of the felling costs back.
You may be able to offer the trunk portion to a local turning club for
money, but don't expect to get rich - most turners get their green wood
for free. When they do pay, it's usually on the order of firewood prices
unless it's especially figured or burled. If you do go this route, drop
me a note here and I can direct you to a local chapter of the American
Association of Woodturners - contact the local turners before you cut
the trunk into sections.
What shape is it in? I have one I inherited with my home. The
squirrels think it's their home when they get chase out of mine. I
*might* get a couple of boards out of it.
When you say "in your backyard", is it a hazard to cut down? Is there
room to properly fell it? Is it worth their while to bother?
You need local advice from the person felling the tree, and who is
there to see it. They call themselves "tree surgeons" around here.
That jacks up the price, and my medical doesn't cover it. Assuming it
can be felled to decent length, find out what it would cost to remove
it [entirely, brush and all], what it would cost to haul it to a mill,
what it would cost to rough saw, what it would cost to have it planed
[don't rely on your handy 12" planer for that] ...and balance that
against the end product in board feet of what might or might not be
first grade walnut.
Me? I'd tell whoever cuts mine down and removes it to keep it, and
leave me a couple of feet to play with. Now, if I had a couple of the
magnificent specimens a friend of mine saw on his golf course, that
would be a different story.
Why not try putting it up on e-bay?
If you can measure the girth and height and post a few pictures (photo
bucket dot com) I suspect you might find folks beating a path to your door.
You should consider requiring a licensed and INSURED person or company to do
the felling and removal - esp if it is close to your house!
You could lose your house by letting some uninsured person fall out of the
tree and paralyze himself on your property.
Call your insurance agent before letting anyone start the job.
Hard telling without seeing the trees. You've has some solid input, and
some, well, moronic
How about some real world?
If you are lucky, and the wood looks good, you will make money, not a
lot, but a little. I broke even, one neighbor did also, a third made a
bit. Of course we all kept some of the lumber. The one that made money
had a use for the saw-dust, so that helped. The neighbor that broke even
had a firm cut all their trees, and take the ones that were salable and
sell them. The neighbor that made a little had a firm come cut their
trees, then had a mini-mill come in and cut them to boards and sold
them. More work, but they made a bit (or claimed they did)
One other thing to consider is that while the lumber people might in
only interested in the long straight stuff. Turners might be interested
in the crotches and stump (figured walnut does sell, and for some
serious money sometimes)
Personal e-mail is the n7bsn but at amsat.org
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