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Timber Sale Administration and Harvest Assistance
Selling Your Timber (Link to Timber Sale Notices)

While the bulk of our services deal mainly with planning and advice, conducting timber sales is a important service for most of our clients. Wildland Forestry does not have a one-rule fits all approach to timber sales. Our rates and methods are customized for each client and their needs. However, the following outline is typically followed for timber sales:

1. Site Visit and Prioritizing Objectives
2. Data Collection & Timber Appraisal
3. Harvest Planning and Contract Drafting
4. Boundary Marking and Tree Selection
5. Advertising Sale or Contractor Interviewing
6. Conducting and Closing the Sale
7. Securing Timber Sale Agreements
8. Contract Administration and Harvest Supervision
9. Site Stabilization and Rehabilitation Practices
10.Survival or Regeneration Surveys

Wildland Forestry: Timber Harvest Information for Landowners

Forester: Fees for Service

There is a common misconception that hiring a forester basically adds a "middle man" to a timber harvest. In reality, a professional consulting forester is a trained marketing and quality control manager working for the landowner.

When you hire a trustworthy professional forester, you have the piece of mind that an expert is keeping your best interests at the forefront.  From a financial perspective, it is widely documented that landowners typically receive significantly more for their timber if they use a forester.  While many timber buyers are willing to pay fair prices for standing timber, there are always small details which can attract the right buyer to your tract, which can pay big dividends. Most importantly, a forester can give you a detailed unbiased explanation of your options before you ever sign a contract.

Fee Methods for Timber Sale Administration YOU choose:
-Commission Based = most commonly used for lump-sum sales.  Invoice amount calculated based on grand total revenue from timber sale.
-Hourly or Billing = invoiced monthly or quarterly for time and expenses directly involved in timber sale preparation and monitoring.
-Flat Rate or Quoted = predetermined price based on job size.  Does not depend on timber sale amount.

For more general charges, visit our RATES page.

If you would like a complete list of the fees associated with our services, please contact us via phone or email.

More Information


Frequently Asked Questions about Timber Sales

Q: I recently received a letter from a timber buyer telling me that my trees need to be harvested. What should I do now?
A: First of all, timber companies are constantly looking for timber. Just because you received a letter doesn't mean that your timber is necessarily mature or that timber prices are high. If you aren't very knowledgeable about the value of your timber, but are interested in selling some of it, then it is recommended to have an unbiased professional forester look at it and give you their advice. WFE provides both free and appointed site visit evaluations. Should you want a formal timber appraisal (estimation of forest product values), most foresters will charge to cruise it and issue a report.

Q: How do I know that a forester is trustworthy to represent my best interests in a timber sale?
A: In most states, a "consulting forester" must sign an affidavit which specifically prohibits that forester from engaging in any business that could be considered a conflict of interest. A "registered forester" is not necessarily bound by this law, as they may be employed by a timber company. Even with that distinction, it is still best to ask a lot of questions about how the forester charges for their services and ways in which they will protect you in a timber sale transaction.

Q: I have seen a lot of logging activity taking place in my community. Are timber prices good right now?
A: Landowners sell their timber for many reasons. In rough economic times, some people may have their timber harvested in order to generate revenue for living expenses. Often this means that the timber is sold at a time when prices are not optimal. It is always best to do some research on what is going on in the timber market before making quick conclusions and decisions.

Q: I'm thinking about selling my timber, but I don't want the revenues to place me into a higher tax bracket. How do I avoid this?
A: Timber revenues can be treated different ways on your tax return. The preferred method is to claim the revenue as Long-term Capital Gains, which is taxed differently than ordinary income. Another way is to have the harvest span two years. Our foresters will work with the landowner or their tax preparer to see which solution is best.

Q: I'd like to harvest some timber but I don't want a clear-cut or a huge mess.  Is a select-cut an option?
A: While all timber harvests require some disturbance, there are many ways that logging can be implemented.  Many companies prefer clear-cutting because it is easier and most profitable.  However, select-cutting is a viable alternative, but more planning is required to avoid damaging good trees.  Do not confuse this with a "diameter limit" cut known as "high-grading".  This is where the buyer cuts all of the higher quality large trees and leaves smaller trees.  This type of harvest is not good forest management!

Q: A timber buyer offered to "cut on halves" (paying 50% of timber revenue).  Is this a good deal?
A: Maybe, but probably not. Logging costs vary depending on the site, timber volume, and access.  However, in the the big picture, the cost per acre of logging has a narrow range.  On very good timber, the logger will make more money at less cost while they may barely break even with 50% of low-value timber.  The landowner (who has paid property taxes for many years) should see a higher percentage of the profits
from a timber sale.  This is a good reason to have a timber appraisal conducted.