Managing forests for renewability,
sustainability, and profitability.

consulting foresters | how to sell my trees

FAQ – ForestWide

What is a Consulting Forester?

A consulting forester is your personal representative who helps you with all your forestry-related needs. Professional consulting foresters have at least a bachelor's degree in forestry and have been trained in all phases of proper forest management. They provide services for a fee or on a contract basis and do not have any ties to timber procurement entities.

What's the difference between Consulting Foresters and other "Foresters?"

Consulting foresters represent you. Other foresters represent their employer, such as a sawmill or veneer mill. In other words, consulting foresters represent your best interests.

Do I need a Consulting Forester?

If you answer yes to any of the statements below, you may want to consider contacting us:

  • Are you interested in selling some timber and want to get the highest price possible while protecting your property and interests?
  • Do you want to know how much timber there is in a forested tract and/or its current or past value?
  • Has some of your timber been stolen? PA's timber trespass law enables you to receive up to three times the estimated damages plus any and all costs incurred in determining the value of the trees if they were removed illegally or without your consent. This report would be required in a civil or criminal action suit.
  • Are you interested in managing your forestland to maximize its fullest potential? We can draft a plan and get you started.
  • Would you like to have your existing property lines located and marked? (We are not registered surveyors, but we can locate hard-to-see existing property lines and mark them for easy visibility.)
  • Are some of your trees looking a bit unhealthy? We can examine them to determine what is causing the problem and present you with a disease and/or pest inspection report based on our findings.

The above statements refer to just some of the main services we provide. Don't hesitate to contact us for anything regarding your forest. If we can't offer you the help you need, we'll try to set you up with someone who can.

How much are my trees or that tract of timber worth?

Probably much more than you realize. Most landowners aren't fully aware of their timber's true value. Species, tree quality, and local timber markets determine the actual value of your timber. One of our services is performing timber appraisals and inventories which can give you an idea of how much timber there is in a tract and its value using the most up-to-date timber market report and our recent sales data. Those who are interested in purchasing or selling timber and/or timberland will especially benefit from this service. They will have a much more realistic idea of timber volume and value than that which is based on a best guess. If you would like to know more about this service, click here.

When selling timber, why shouldn't I just sell my trees directly to a logger or sawmill myself and avoid paying your fee?

The biggest reason; we can get you more money for your trees than you could ever get by yourself. When you accept an offer from a logger or sawmill, you are committing yourself to accept their price and to abide by their harvesting practices. Can you really be sure you are getting the best price? Exactly what trees will be taken? What something is worth to one entity, may be worth much more to another. You need to understand that timber markets do vary with each timber purchaser. Time of year, log inventory, mill size, and product demand also contribute to how much they can pay.

For example; an agent from a local sawmill sent you a letter offering to pay you $31,000 for some timber he is willing to take off your property. This is $31,000 you don't have and accept readily thinking your 30 acres of timber couldn't have been worth that much. However, that same amount of timber may have been worth $52,000 to another mill 50 miles away that happens to have excellent veneer log markets.

One of the biggest advantages of having us handle your timber sale is that we represent you. We will mark and record each tree that will be included in the sale. This provides you with an accurate estimate of what’s being sold and determines the basis for the competitive bidding process. A bid package (prospectus) is put together and sent to active reputable timber buyers within the relevant geographical area of the sale. Most of our sales get advertised to over 150 screened buyers. This guarantees you the fullest exposure to the timber market. When the bids finally come in, you can be assured you are receiving the best prices possible at the time.

For more information on our timber sales administration, click here.

When I contact you, am I obligated to anything?

Absolutely not! We will be happy to spend some time with you discussing how we may be of assistance! If we are unable to assist you, we will try to refer you to someone who can. In regard to timber sales within our service area; we will come out and walk your property with you, or by ourselves, to see if a timber sale is right for you, without any obligation. If your trees need to grow a little more, we'll let you know. We want to make sure you are managing your forest correctly. Think we may be able to help? Fill out the form here and we will get in touch with you ASAP.

Regarding timber sales, what are my responsibilities?

You need to make sure you actually own the trees and guarantee title to them. However, we will do our own research to make sure you actually own or have authorization on behalf of the entity who holds title to the property before starting the timber sale process.

How do I get paid for my trees?

Usually, a percentage of the purchase price is paid at the signing of the Timber Cutting Contract (TCC) and the balance is paid before any harvesting begins. If it is an extremely valuable sale or for certain tax reasons, installments can be made throughout the harvesting process. Any and all payment information will be stated in our service proposal and again in the TCC.

I am an absentee landowner. Can you do inspections and make recommendations on my forest to make sure timber theft isn't occurring?

Absolutely! We can inspect your property and keep you up-to-date. We will also make recommendations as to when timber harvesting should be considered in addition to your other goals.

What are your fees?

Timber sales are handled on a commission basis. The percentage varies based on the size of the sale. Please contact our office for a quote based on your particular forest.

We have hourly, lump sum, or per-acre rates for all other projects depending on the type of job, travel distance, and amount of time required.


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