Here is a guide at finding lumber mills that buy trees near you.
You may have a few commercially viable trees in your yard, or maybe you own a large piece of land filled with hardwood trees which you’d like to sell for wood.
Well, some companies buy trees for lumber, you just have to find them and negotiate.
These wood companies purchase all sorts of good quality wood, including pine, cottonwood, oak, and walnut.
The tricky part for you would be figuring out how much these trees are worth, cash-wise.
Keep reading, as I will be discussing all you need to know about selling your trees for lumber, and timber buyers that may be interested in buying.
Determining The Price Of Your Trees
Putting a price tag on your trees could be tricky, especially if you’ve never sold trees for lumber before.
Many factors can influence the market value of your trees, mainly the tree-type. For you to put a figure to it, you can have the buyer come over and take a look at them.
Factors that can determine the price of your trees include the following –
Accessibility: If the area where your trees are located is easy to access, then the buyer can strike a good deal with you. However, if the area is sloppy, or too far off the major roads, it would be harder for the buyer to reach the site and harvest the wood.
Poor accessibility to the wood usually means the buyer will pay less for them.
Geographical location: Timber prices vary by state, since a particular type of tree may be very common in one state, and scarce in another.
In a state where a particular type of wood is very common, you would expect such wood to be cheap.
Location of property: If the trees you plan to sell are very close to the wood companies, then you can get a very good deal. The less distance they have to travel to get the wood, the higher they would pay for it.
Size of the tree: This one’s a no-brainer. The larger the tree, the more expensive it will be.
Condition of the tree & quality of wood: When your tree is in good health, it can attract a far better price than when it is sick and decayed.
Dead and brittle branches will attract zero interest from buyers.
Type of tree: This also is a no-brainer, as the type of tree you’re selling plays a big role in deciding how much you can get for it.
Hardwood species like oak, cherry, and walnut are more expensive than firs, pine, and other softwood.
How Much Do The Trees Sell For?
How much do loggers pay for trees?
The truth is, you really can’t put a finger on the exact amount the lumber companies will buy your trees. You can make estimates all the same.
After questioning some lumber buyers here and there, I came up with a list of figures. These are just estimates though, but they aren’t far off.
- Black Cherry: $400 to $800 per MBF
- California Redwood: $700 to $900 per MBF
- Douglas Fir: $150 to $300 per MBF
- Hard Maple: $300 to $800 per MBF
- Pine (Yellow, Spruce, or Hemlock): $75 to $250 per MBF
- Red Oak: $300 to $600 per MBF
- Red Pine: $50 to $160 per MBF
- Soft Maple: $100 to $400 per MBF
- Walnut: $900 to $1,400 per MBF
- White Ash: $150 to $600 per MBF
- White Oak: $250 to $600 per MBF
- White Pine: $100 to $250 per MBF
As I have mentioned before, certain types of wood cost more or less in certain states. To get more accurate estimates, you can do a quick search online and see how much the type of wood you have sells in your area.
Nonetheless, the only way to be 100% sure about how much you’ll get is to have the actual buyer come over to inspect the trees and negotiate with you.
What You Need to Know Before Selling Trees
Having less than a handful of trees or multiple trees for sale are also factors that can drive the lumber company’s interest to buy or not to buy.
Most lumber companies will not be interested in buying just one tree for lumber. They’ll be more interested in buying as many as 20 to 30 trees, as that would be worth their time and investment.
The majority of the lumber companies are looking for voluminous purchases, but there may be one or two smaller lumber companies that may be willing to buy one or two trees from you. You just have to find them.
If you’ve never sold trees for lumber before, then there are some terms you should first understand before you do. Knowing these terms will help you have better dealings with the lumber buying company.
Logs: Many lumber companies will buy trees in log form. This means the tree has already been cut down.
Keep in mind that tree felling is dangerous work, so I don’t recommend you do it yourself. Transporting a truck full of logs is also risky, especially when they are not properly bound to the moving truck.
To be on the safe side, do not sell your tree as logs.
Sawlogs: Any softwood tree or hardwood species that doesn’t have much appeal can be sold as sawlogs. Trees that fall into this category include cedar, pine, and spruce trees.
Standing timber: These are growing trees found on the seller’s property. Most people who sell their trees for lumber sell them as standing timber.
Stand trees: This term refers to several trees found in woodland areas, commonly across many acres.
Stumpage: This means the amount you can be paid for your trees, and it can be measured in acreage (for large portions of woodland). Generally, stumpage is calculated in units of Per Thousand Board Feet (MBF).
Timber buyer: A timber buyer is a company that is in the business of buying trees from a tree owner.
It is common for the timber buyer to be responsible for harvesting the trees and transporting them to their sawmill for cutting and resale.
A timber buyer converts the tree to furniture wood or sawdust.
Veneer logs: Wood that has a very attractive grain is called a veneer log. Examples of such wood include walnut, maples, oaks, and cherry.
Veneer logs attract a higher selling price, and most lumber buyers don’t mind paying, thanks to the quality and looks of the wood.
Yard trees: Yard trees refer to a single tree or a handful of trees for sale that are situated in your yard at home. Yard trees are easy to access and most lumber buyers aren’t interested in them since they are not many.
Loggers & Companies That Buy Trees for Lumber
Oak trees are the most sought after tree variety by companies that buy trees for lumber. This doesn’t mean they can’t show interest in other tree varieties.
You can find other lumber companies that buy pinewood, cottonwood, and walnut.
The quickest means by which you can find companies that buy wood is through the internet, but the most trusted means would be to reach out to your state’s department of forestry.
Each state in the U.S has a list of sawmills, wood buyers, and professional foresters which you can contact for the purchase of your trees.
America’s Department Of Agriculture’s Forest Services provides an interactive map covering every state and the timber price in each of them, as well as the contact information of the lumber companies located there.
If you were to use a search engine to find companies that would be interested in buying your trees, then be advised to go through trusted websites, as fraudulent dealers are lurking to find trees they can prey on, especially the ones located away from the urban areas.
Another way to find buyers for your trees is to ask a close friend or family member who has had experience selling their trees to lumber companies.
This is a means you can trust since I don’t expect someone close to you to give you misleading information. The only issue with this is – what if none of your close family members or friends have had such experience?
Putting out adverts online is another way to find buyers for your tree. You can target Facebook or Instagram ads to cover your locality. If an interested party comes across your advert, they may be interested in doing business with you.
They will have to visit the site to confirm that the wood is of good quality. If they are satisfied, then expect to receive a check!
Tree Buyers Directory
Here’s a list of companies that buy trees for lumber by region –
- Midwest: Midwest Hardwood Corporation
- Missouri: American Walnut
- New Hampshire and Vermont: Stillwater Forestry, LLC
- New York and Pennsylvania: Gutchess Lumber
- Northwest region (Washington, Oregon): Cascade Hardwood
- Southeast region (North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida): Canal Wood
- Western U.S.: Sierra Pacific Industries
There are sawmills and lumber companies and mills that buy trees for lumber. The state or region where your trees are located will determine the price of the wood.
Other factors like location, accessibility, and quality of wood will also influence the price the lumber companies would be willing to pay for your trees.