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post #1 of 44 Old 11-23-2008, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Large Pecan Tree

Hi, I live in Virginia and have a large pecan tree on my property. Its measures aproxx. 24" in Dia. and about 50' tall. Its straight and has no limbs until way up.. Is this a good tree to be sold for lumber or veneering..? and does anybody know who would buy such a tree and how much its worth roughly..?
I was directed to this site from Ebay and was told to ask Daren.. ? Any help or info would be appreictaed.. Thx
Matt
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post #2 of 44 Old 11-23-2008, 10:46 PM
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urbanna Welcome to the forum. Yes Darren is the guy to ask about trees. He is an urdan lumber jack. I have one question for you. WHY in the world would you want to cut down a 100 year old Peecan tree? You do know they make those little nuts that taste so good in Peecan pie!!!

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post #3 of 44 Old 11-23-2008, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Hi, yes I need some help from Daren then I guess..
Well I see your point about saving the tree and normally I would agree.. The thing it does put our some pecans,, but they are tiny and the squirrels get them before we do anyway.. This is an old tree.. and seems to be on its golden years as far as producing nuts anyway.. Its right on the property line as well.. The wife is the one who wanted me to look into this anyway.. I guess the bottom line is how much is it worth ?
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post #4 of 44 Old 11-24-2008, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanna View Post
I guess the bottom line is how much is it worth ?
Boy is that ever a loaded question. A picture would help me in many ways. How hard will it be to removed ? (power lines, buildings preventing a clean felling...) Since no one, not even me, has x-ray vision you never truly know a trees worth until it is down. It could be very nice...or it could be hollow as a sewer pipe and worthless.

If you had a buyer I am sure it would be a small mill that would want to make lumber from it. You mentioned veneer, that is a whole other ballgame and the log would have to be perfect for a veneer mill to even look at it (and if it is in a yard like I assume, they never would).

You asked the "bottom line" and worth. Since you are asking me I will give you both in my own round about way, this answer will get long but it will be thorough.

Let's start by calculating volume, the way logs are bought/sold. Each 24" x 8' log it would yield would be 200 bft (board feet). I am sure it tapers and the further you go up the smaller diameter the logs, but we will use the bottom log for this example. A hickory log in Illinois delivered to a pallet mill will fetch $.25 on a good day (a pecan is just a hickory, it has it's good points and bad. Some find it more desirable while others don't). Here is a link, there are 2 prices "stumpage"= $.12 that is bought on the stump by a logger and FOB which delivered to the mill=$.25 Illinois Forestry - Timber Blog

The rub there is you have to be a licensed timber buyer/seller to even sell to one of those places. A "logger" who could sell to a bigger mill is not going to come to your yard and cut down one tree. Big mills do not take one tree at a time, they want them by the semi trailer load. So the market would be to a guy like me. I would pay $.25 bft delivered for an average saw log...if I really needed pecan may go as high as $.35. At $.25 that first log would be worth $50...assuming it is not full of nails/hollow. Maybe as much as $70 for an real beauty log, delivered.

Probably not as much as you thought right ? Since you found me through eBay you might have seen pecan lumber/wood products go for quite abit of money...that is not the real world. I can link a dozen places selling pecan lumber for $1.50 bft, that is after it has been milled and kiln dried (both take labor/experience and expensive equipment) I'm sure you could find places asking much more than that for the lumber, maybe even $3-$4 ? But it's all relative lumber is a commodity and it sells for "what the market will bear" and I see prices that just blow me away (and make me wonder if that is what they are getting, or just asking ?) If you want to make "the big bucks" hire a sawmill to come in and mill it for you. You dry it, store it and market it. Just a couple hundred buck in milling services and the lumber is yours to ask whatever you want.

Ok, away from the lumber end of this after this comment, a standing tree on your property is a LONG way from lumber in all respects. I had to bring it up because that is where many people who are not in the biz get sidetracked in pricing. They see what lumber sells for and assume that tree in their yard is worth a small fortune. They are looking at sawn/dried and graded lumber. Not all trees are created equal and some are just firewood, not lumber material.

Let's go to "harvest". Can you cut it down yourself Matt ? Or are you going to have to hire it done by a tree service ?

Marketing is next. Here is a link to find some sawmills if you get it down and it looks good Nelsonwoodworks.biz - Nation wide sawmill finder It may take some calling, but maybe you will find a mill (?) With some calling you can get a better idea too if the local mills are buying and how much they are paying per bft. Most mills, like myself, pay for delivered logs. Can you deliver ? Or is the mill going to have to come pick it up ? I have fetched a few...but the more labor I have in doing that the more the price goes down. I just can't afford 1/2 days work/driving for a couple logs laying in someones yard.

Since it may take awhile to market you need to get the logs up off the ground and seal the ends. A minimum of 2-3 coats of exterior latex house paint would work for sealing the ends for awhile. Let it lay too long and the bugs will have at it/ it will start to decay. It will lay all winter though up north here, no problems.

I hope that helps. Basically the tree, on the ground, may be worth a couple hundred bucks to the right guy. Just gotta find that right guy . If you have to have a tree service take it down, that would cover part of their bill if it is a hard one to fell. Here is more reading if you are interested on why I would never cut a tree just for the lumber. There is also info there on how we figure log volume, that'll help you figure out how much "potential" lumber in in the tree. Nelsonwoodworks.biz - Have a log for sale ???

If you cannot cut it down and do find someone who is willing to for the wood (they will want the logs for their labor, you don't make anything) Be sure they have experience and are insured...I have heard horror stories about trees dropped on houses/cars and the "free" tree removal gets really expensive. Worse yet they get hurt and sue you. (it's happened, trust me)

I tried to cover all the bases. If I missed something feel free to ask for a better explanation. And don't forget about the bigger limbs, pecan makes a great smoker cooking/BBQ wood.

Last edited by Daren; 11-24-2008 at 09:50 AM.
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post #5 of 44 Old 11-24-2008, 08:39 AM
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Daren,
Great Explanation. I have often wondered how the logging end works myself. So much for the $10,000.00 black walnut that everyone thinks they have.
Mike Hawkins
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post #6 of 44 Old 11-24-2008, 08:47 AM
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Daren,
So much for the $10,000.00 black walnut that everyone thinks they have.
Don't EVEN get me started Mike
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post #7 of 44 Old 11-24-2008, 09:41 AM
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Don't EVEN get me started Mike
Too late. This is not really off topic since we are talking about a homeowner looking to market one tree. I mentioned to the OP to hire it milled and sell the lumber. I will tell a story. If I have made this offer once I have made it 100 times. I get contacted by a homeowner looking to sell a log and give them a price that is fair for both of us..."Why that is highway robbery ! I have seen wood at (fill in the blank) and know what this walnut/oak/whatever tree is worth ! You are trying to screw me !" followed by "The guy I have coffee with told me his neighbors brother sold a walnut tree from his yard for $*** and mine is worth that too" I ask what his coffee buddy does, usually sells shoes/insurance/works at the PO...never a sawmill, curious . I say well sell it to him then..."Well he didn't offer that, he has no use for it, he just said that is what it is worth" (funny how guys can spout off a price when they have no intention of buying, but a guy with money in hand knows nothing evidentially) "But you are a sawmill and you will make $$$ off my log"

This may or may not make me sound like a jerk, but this is my standard response none the less. "Yep, your right there is money in lumber...want a piece of it?" I make them an offer (a sincere offer) to get in the lumber biz and make a "fortune" like I am . I quote my milling rate/kiln drying rate for the logs we are looking at. Of course that is milled at my place so the home owner would have to deliver. I could move it, but would have to charge $40 hr for that service if they can't.

Lets talk a couple 24" x 8' logs. I already said they are 200 bft each. I charge $.35 fbt to mill and the same to kiln dry...That is only $280 for my service + any nails I hit are $20 each if it ruins the blade (and of course the assurance "this log doesn't have any nails in it" gets a little more serious when it is their money not mine) If they can get bring me the logs, peanuts invested in 400 bft of that expensive lumber they saw for sale. Right ?

All they have to do is take some ads in the paper and sell the lumber and make a killing . You know wait around on a Saturday for a guy who calls and never shows up to buy some lumber, love that part.

No one has ever taken me up on my offer ? Some of those logs I have watched lay in the same spot and rot over the years...they where worth so darn much money nobody could afford to buy them ...so they went to waste. Like I said that is a sincere offer on my part too. I would rather have the easy money ($280 for milling/drying) than the labor/overhead of storage and marketing crap lumber from a crap tree. And that is the gamble I take everyday in the biz.
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post #8 of 44 Old 11-24-2008, 11:11 AM
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What timing on that $10,000.00 walnut story. I just heard it from a professed life-long logger and former sawmill man yesterday afternoon as he was paying us for milling some lumber. I asked him what types of logs were currently selling good. He said walnut was up (insert $10,000.00 walnut tree story part) and it has to be an exceptional veneer log blah, blah, blah.

I had a hard time taking this guy serious. Earlier he was telling me how he had sawed 600 bf off a walnut log and still had a 24"x24" cant left that he was thinking about using for a nifty fireplace mantle, but he couldn't get it to fit in the door. Then he said he had a circle sawmill. I thinking to myself: Ok, why does he have us sawing his logs? So I asked him if he still operated his mill. He said something vague about his back getting weak. (Bear in mind, this guy is hauling logs out of his customer's woods - and I watch him move logs, operate a chainsaw, and help off-bear for much of the day.) I also heard hard-to-understand stories about him seeing on TV that certain rare iron moon rocks fetching over $1,000,000.00, and he had found 100's of large iron boulders on his property (just over the next hill) that he simply buried because they were in the way. He was now desperate to find out where those $1,000,000.00 iron rocks were found and who was buying. Now you know where these stories come from. But I got to say he payed his bill in full for the milling. And he threw in the BS for free.
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post #9 of 44 Old 11-24-2008, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Daren (and others) Thanks so much for all the valuable information.. This in indeed this is a great place to talk lumber and woodworking. I love woodworking and excelled at it in shcool, but have drifted over the years.. Maybe one day I can have a small shop with a planer, lathe, etc.. and get back into it.. I like it alot..
I learned alot through your seminar of sorts over this topic.. First I thought Pecan perhaps was a sought after wood. I see now that it is not so hot.. Maybe Black Walnut is,.. I have several of those too.. But thorugh all of this.. Its seems to me the smart way to approach this would be to get it milled like you mentioned,, Then simply sell the dryed boards.. The trees has a few limbs.. and I was thinking crotch wood is alwasy nice to have, Bookended pieces and whatnot.. And I have already thought of it being hollow, but I don't think it is.. Its looks to healthy,, but Hey i guess you never know until it hits the ground and you look at the end.. I enjoyed all the other various responces and ads about insane prices and what other ppl were paid for their logs. etc.. Reminds me of clear cutting down this way.. Its competitve and some seem to pay alot more than others.. Learning is the key to all this.. I will run all this by the wife,, but I think at this piont that Pecan Tree will be standing when we are long gone. No need to drop it for a couple hundred bucks.. maybe a grand.. but that anin't happening I see.. There are some trees around here called poloma (sp) trees. They MUST be valuable because people go on vacations and when they return and thieves have cut them down.. and I know many ppl that have reported certain trees cut down on their property and they tunred out to be these paloma tree.. or Coffee Bean trees I call them..
So your excellent response has mostly answer all my questions.. I need firewood too,. I burn some in a cottage and theres a medium sized Hickory near this Pecan.. I am thinking of cutting it down,, but I can't remeber if Hickory is hard to split or not.. I have read alot on here and I read both.. that is is straight grained like oak and easy to split and others say its very hard to split.. I dont' want to start losing my wegdes in logs.. For that matter sounds like if this Pecan ever becomes a problem, or blows over in a hurricane, etc....It might be good firewood too.. Thanks for all and I have bookmarked this place for any futher questions or comments.. Cheers from Va.
Matt
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post #10 of 44 Old 11-24-2008, 02:30 PM
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"And don't forget about the bigger limbs, pecan makes a great smoker cooking/BBQ wood."

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I always have the word out around here that I will take all I can get.

George
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post #11 of 44 Old 11-24-2008, 02:53 PM
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I haven't split any pecan. But I hear it has interlocking grain like hickory. I've split plenty of hickory. I wouldn't want to do it without a hydraulic splitter. While it's not as bad as elm or tupelo, many of the blocks you have to practically tear open. I would take it on only if I wanted to relieve some stress by pounding some wedges. Both pecan and hickory make good smoking wood and have a high btu/cord rating.
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post #12 of 44 Old 11-24-2008, 04:52 PM
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GeorgeC I don't know where you live in the Panhandle but if you are within driving distance my parents have 26 acres of Pecans, there is always limbs falling down on a good windy day. Also I am planning on building a house out there within the nest year and will have to take down three or four trees, when I do if you are intersted you can come get as much as you would like.
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post #13 of 44 Old 11-24-2008, 05:15 PM
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I've split plenty of well seasoned pecan. Once it's dry my splitting maul just sort of sinks through it like a hot knife through warm butter... No real force, just drop the maul on it and it falls apart real nice. A lot better than Mesquite does that's for sure!

Interested in my woodworking, workshop and whatnot? See http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com, want to see my other interests such as hunting, fishing, off roading, and camping? See http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com
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post #14 of 44 Old 11-24-2008, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Hi.. well thats what I thought about spliting Hickory.. Its a job.. Heck they make baseball bats and rake handles out of it.. Its got to be tough...I think I cut one down a looong time ago,, and heard it was good wood and all, but when I tried to split it, all I was thinking was it was like Gum,, mean as hell. If I do cut that tree down I guess I may go rent a log spliter for a day.. I don't mind spliting wood, but this idea of losing wedges and getting mad at a dumb log,, is not for me anymore.. I got spolied spliting some red oak last year.. Huge logs,, but it would pop with one hit and I got like like 12 fireplaces logs from one log.. Its was so awesome....
Oak seems the best to burn or maybe some apple wood. That seems to be the very best.. but there arnt to many Apple tree around that big to burn..
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post #15 of 44 Old 11-24-2008, 07:57 PM
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All I used to hear from customers was "I want oak!" I handed some of the more open ones a printed sheet that contained the truth:

Heating Value of Common Wood Species
G5450 Wood Fuel for Heating, MU Extension
Firewood Information
http://www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/...uild/g1554.pdf

I've got more but you get the idea. There may be some variance between the group but they generally agree.

We went the extra step to harvest the best we could practically get then sort according to output. But customers would pass on a rick of high value persimmon/dogwood/hornbeam/black locust and insist on mediocre red oak...because that's all they knew.

Last edited by dirtclod; 11-24-2008 at 08:00 PM.
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post #16 of 44 Old 11-25-2008, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I knew Hickory and some others like Hornbean were good, but they arn't that common and have spliting issues... or like Hornbeans,.. they just don't get that big.. There are like 10 Oaks to every Hickory around here.. Many Chestnut Oaks,, They are tremendous though,, Way too big for me to handle.. And my story of Locust,, well I think these around here are sugar locusts ? ,, they bloom in May for like a a week.. Good extremely hard wood. Hell we use to build piers out of them and they last forvever, even longer that treated pilings.. They are incredible.. BUT,, as far as firewood. I cut them,, dulled my saw after just a few logs,, Then they were easy enough to split,, but never dried !! alwasy damp....and the bark on them,, well that seems to be half the log ! I was dissapointed in Locust.. Thats why I was eyeballing the nice Hickory.. I still may cut it down and up into logs,, but get that log splitter..
In addtion mt ringy ding woodstove is not the most effiencent,, so the scientific BTU rating don't come into play alot..
Oh yea,, NEVER try to burn Tulip Popluar.. Its the mist digusting wood to burn ever. It just smolders and makes a big mess.. Its a shame becasue they all all over the place around here..
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post #17 of 44 Old 11-25-2008, 02:17 PM
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Great Thread! Thanks guys.
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post #18 of 44 Old 11-25-2008, 11:26 PM
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Shucks Dirtclod I was burying my moon rocks in the backyard but after a while, everytime I would dig a hole my shovel would hit something really hard just below the surface. One day I pulled one up to look at it. My back yard is FULL of this shiny yellowy junk . . . . .

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So then I hopped in the skidsteer and started drilling holes in the front yard to bury the moon rocks. After all they were falling on my property regularly. But when I drilled the holes in my front yard, before I could deposit my rocks this black, smelly, gooey stuff kept filling the holes up ....

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I'm telling ya, I got enough bad luck for us all.
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post #19 of 44 Old 11-26-2008, 12:24 AM
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..and up through the ground came a bubbling crude...oil that is...black gold...texas T
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post #20 of 44 Old 11-26-2008, 12:38 AM
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..and up through the ground came a bubbling crude...oil that is...black gold...texas T

Texas Timbers has Texas Tea. What about bats in your bellfree? And ontop of all that he has some nice looking thumb nail polish.

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