Selling Timber [What You Need to Know]

Uninhabited lands owned by landowners are a great source of income for them. It can have many bounties, but timber from trees is often the most common. However, many landowners don’t realize that they’re only receiving a portion of their timber’s value—simply because they don’t know the timber industry’s fundamentals.

Selling timber is an enriching experience, especially if you know the steps involved. This article talks about how you can sell timber more effectively to get the most out of them. Read on below to learn more.

Work with a Forestry Expert

Landowners often overlook it, but the one person that can help them increase their timber sales is a forester. A forester’s work involves choosing the best trees to harvest, marketing the timber to the highest possible price, and taking care of your woodland with thorough advice.

There are two types of professional foresters:

  • Public – Foresters who work for federal agencies or the government. They give insights on managing your land better, but they tend to provide little advice because of their work in the government.
  • Private – They’re just like public foresters, but the difference is that they have a price. That aside, they can help you get the best value for your timber on top of giving tips for proper woodland care.

Create a Forest Management Plan

A forest management plan helps you take care of your woodland better. It can help establish goals in harvesting timber, all while still taking care of the entire land. Some examples include:

  • Reworking degraded or neglected areas of the woodland
  • Creation of habitats for wildlife
  • Creation of hiking trails
  • Developing recreational areas
  • Improving the overall health of trees

Know What You Have to Sell

Selecting trees to be harvested for timber is not an easy task. Your professional forester’s services are very crucial at this point because they’ll know if a tree can be harvested or not. 

Of course, a tree should be healthy before it can be harvested for timber. For better identification, they will be marking the trees in question. Your forester will also determine the timber value, or rather how much you can get once a tree is cut down. 

The following factors determine timber value:

  • Quality
  • Species
  • Diameter
  • Length

On top of the sale itself, the timing of a deal can also affect the price. Timber is stored in sawmills, which typically has limited space for logs. To avoid timber loss from deterioration, they keep a limited supply of timber on hand. If a sale happens while there’s no space in a buyer’s sawmill, then your efforts will be in vain.

Selling the Timber

There are two methods when it comes to selling timber. You can harvest the timber and process it before selling it, or you can sell the timber as soon as it is harvested and let the buyer cut it themselves.

Selling cut products may be a good choice, but there are some reasons why it can be detrimental to your operation. Logging requires special equipment and should be operated by qualified personnel. If things go wrong with the machine, it can damage the timber, decreasing its value. 

Aside from that, cutting timber on your own can interfere with other activities, such as further harvesting. On the other hand, woodland owners typically sell whole timber any of the following methods:

  • Lump-sum Sale – A single, full payment is made for the trees that are designated for sale.
  • Sale-By-Unit – Also known as sale-by-price, sale-by-scale, or pay-as-cut, it’s a type of sale in which a certain amount is paid for every unit that’s cut. An example would be a cost for every 1,000 boards in feet.
  • Shares – It’s like sale-by-unit, but the only difference is that only a percentage of the total value of every product is paid for. The split is typically 50-50, where buyer and seller equally split the price that the sawmill pays the logs for. However, the split can be subject to change depending on the timber’s value.


Selling timber is hard work, mainly because it’s a natural resource. You’ll need to deal with various factors, including forest management, working with experts, and even proper timber sales. However, as long as you follow the information mentioned above, doing so will be easier.

If you require assistance with your timber sales in NY, Future Forest Inc. has got your back! We will help you get the best value for your timber with the help of our forestry experts. We also offer other services for timber appraisals, tree planting, and low-impact logging. Contact us today to get started!

Share this!