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Selling Trees on Your Land for Lumber

If you own acres or even a larger residential lot you may have trees that you would like to have removed and be able to sell for the lumber. This is a guide about selling trees on your land for lumber.

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A man cutting down a tree.
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August 20, 2016 Flag
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My husband lost his job a few months back and had the idea to have our pine trees cut down in exchange for money. He met a gentleman cutting down trees in passing and had a verbal agreement that he would stop by and give us an estimate.

After the consolation, my husband agreed to use his business. After the job was completed, the gentleman told my husband that after selling the trees and charging for the service, he would give my husband $300 and would be back to clear some of the mess. Well, weeks went by and we never heard from the man. When we finally reached the business man, he said he was tied up and couldn't make it out, and wouldn't even return our calls prior to that. Now he says that work has slowed down for him and he is waiting until his land sells so that he can pay us the money.

There was no written contract and we can empathize with the man since my husband had loss his job too, but what can we do? I don't understand why he didn't pay us the money as soon as the lumber company had paid him.

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August 20, 20160 found this helpful

A verbal agreement is legally binding, however, enforcing the agreement, that is, receiving payment for your trees, is often difficult or impossible. This is why a written agreement is much better than an oral agreement as the written contract is legally binding evidence of the agreement. However, again, "getting paid" for your trees is entirely up to you. You can file a small claims court action, however, even if the judge finds in your favor, that you are due money, it is up to you to somehow get paid for the trees.

An important fact of your situation is that having someone cut your trees, especially of a few trees, and paying you for the lumber is rare. Most tree cutting companies are not interested in small jobs such as a few acres as their costs and insurance are high. It is clear that the tree cutter had no intention of paying you for the lumber and he will continue to make excuses until you finally give up asking. He has certainly been been down this road before!!!

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February 15, 2014 Flag
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The lumber is free just; I just want them cut down. They are on the property we just bought. How do I find someone to do this?

By Lenore S.

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February 19, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Check for a Craigslist page for your area and place an ad for firewood or lumber. You can offer it for free if it is your desire to just get it done.

A lot of people need firewood or there may be someone in your area that can have the wood cut into usable planks. Good wishes to you. Rae

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August 8, 2016 Flag
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Who buys trees in Muskegon Michigan for wood or lumber?

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August 8, 20160 found this helpful

Many people want to have trees removed from their property. Often someone tells them that tree removal services will pay them to remove trees from their property. Unfortunately, they face many problems:

*Tree removal companies are not interested in paying the owner in small jobs, such as a few acres of trees, as their costs in insurance, machinery and workers are very high.

*Some companies may be interested in a larger project if the land owner pays the company, however, the land owner might then find that the company sells the trees to lumber companies. The tree company then has the tree removal payment and the lumber sale payment, as well.

*Insurance liabilities on both sides can be very high as tree removal is a dangerous job and companies must carry high insurance costs for injury to workers and property. The property owner may face injury and damage costs, and legal problems, as well. Tree removal companies are required to carry insurance and bond for their company and workers but this does not mean the property owner does not need coverage for the property and possible injuries etc.

*Depending on the area or state of the property, the owner may face permit requirements, historic, cultural and other limitations in removing trees from a property.

So, an answer to your question is not simple. You may find a tree removal service by putting an ad on Craigslist, etc., but you still face all the issues above with no guarantees.

*Frequently property owners may find they need an attorney to address the issues and prepare a contract. You should discuss your plans with an attorney familiar with land use and then make an informed decision.

A caveat here-be careful not to provide the property address or even the general location of the trees to any company or person you might find from Craigslist, etc., before signing a contract. You may find that someone has removed the trees from your property without your knowledge.

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July 6, 2016 Flag
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I have 32 acres of poplar trees, about 25 to 29 years old. Can I sell poplar trees? I'm in Timmins Ontario Canada. If yes, who buys them and for how much? I would really appreciate hearing from anyone who knows anything about it. Thanks

aerial view of trees
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July 19, 20161 found this helpful

You won't get anywhere talking to tree removal services. You need to go to a local sawmill and take measurements of the trees and get an estimate of what they'll pay for the delivered trees. They will also tell you what legnth to cut the logs. They'll probably want to come out and see the trees before you have them cut and loaded and you have to hire people to cut and load the logs and rent a truck or trailer to haul the logs to the mill. I did this with 30 Poplars and 6 Maples and made a little but it wasn't enough to brag about. I figured I ended up making about $3 per hour after all was said and done.

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July 18, 2016 Flag
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I live in Pulaski county Kentucky, close to Somerset. I have several big oak trees and some pine as well. It might be tricky cutting them down, but I've seen some done before. They are free for the safe cut and haul, with no clean up. I can cut the limbs or burn them. I'm a retired Army veteran. How do I find someone to cut them?

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July 18, 20160 found this helpful

Many people want to have trees removed from their property. Often someone tells them that tree removal services will pay them to remove trees from their property-not true. Unfortunately, they face many problems:

*Tree removal companies are not interested in paying the owner in small jobs, such as a few acres of trees, as their costs in insurance, machinery and workers are very high.

*Some companies may be interested in a larger project if the land owner pays the company, however, the land owner might then find that the company sells the trees to lumber companies. The tree company then has the tree removal payment and the lumber sale payment, as well.

*Insurance liabilities on both sides can be very high as tree removal is a dangerous job and companies must carry high insurance costs for injury to workers and property. The property owner may face injury and damage costs, and legal problems, as well. Tree removal companies are required to carry insurance and bond for their company and workers but this does not mean the property owner does not need coverage for the property and possible injuries etc.

*Depending on the area or state of the property, the owner may face permit requirements, historic, cultural and other limitations in removing trees from a property.

So, an answer to your question is not simple. You may find a tree removal service by putting an ad on Craigslist, etc., but you still face all the issues above with no guarantees.

Frequently property owners may find they need an attorney to address the issues and prepare a contract. You should discuss your plans with an attorney familiar with land use and then make an informed decision.

A caveat here-be careful not to provide the property address or even the general location of the trees to any company or person you might find from Craigslist, etc., before signing a contract. You may find that someone has removed the trees from your property without your knowledge.

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March 13, 2008 Flag
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Question:

We have 5 big oak tree in our back yard and we want to get rid off them. Wondering if there are any company will buy them? I live in New Jersey. Can someone please give me some information? Thanks a lot!

Hardiness Zone: 6b

Sarah from Livingston, NJ

Answer:

Sarah, It sounds like you have found some great resources. The following information does not sound like it applies to your particular situation (although check out the link at the end). Nevertheless, it may be of value to others who are considering selling the trees in their backyards for profit.

Recently, a story appeared in the news in Rochester, MN, about a company going door-to door and offering residents money in exchange for their walnut trees. As many of you probably know, Walnut is a type of wood highly prized for its strength, versatility, and beautiful wood grain, and currently, the price of Walnut has gotten quite high.

The practice of selling off your backyard trees is legal and in most cases, the companies buying them are perfectly legitimate. The problem is that during tough economic times people sometimes become shortsighted and have a difficult time passing up a seemingly great deal.

In most cases, leaving the trees there is of much greater value to homeowners than the money offered by companies to remove them. Not only do the trees provide shade, fresh air, contribute to water quality, and provide shelter and food to neighborhood animals, but mature trees (the ones usually sought after by companies) can add up to 10% to a homeowner's property value. That equates to a dollar amount that is usually a far greater than they receive for selling them.

Make sure if you are thinking about selling one or more of trees on you're property (especially if it's an urban property) that you consider all aspects of the deal before committing to the transaction. Also be aware that legitimate companies do not usually go door-to-door making offers, and all should be happy to provide you with a copy of their license and insurance, as well as several references.

Here are some other ways to make money from the trees (and plants) on your land without necessarily selling them:

http://www.dof.virginia.gov/resources/pub-1993-USDA-FS-AgInfo-666.pdf

Ellen

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March 16, 20080 found this helpful
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If they are big old oak trees, I'd suggest calling a local furniture maker, cabinet maker, or lumber mill. Large old oak trees can be quarter-sawn to produce a grain called 'tiger oak', which is extremely rare and quite expensive. There are very few large old oak trees left which are large enough to be cut this way, in order to produce this wood grain. I would not under any circumstances pay someone to cut these trees. I'd sell them. The furniture that will be made from them will be sold for hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars! Do a Google search for 'Tiger Oak Furniture' and see what the prices are for yourself. I only know this because I own several pieces of this type furniture (I inherited it, I could never afford it). I do know that when the big old oak tree in my front yard goes down, i'm having some furniture made out of it.

I hope that this helps you!

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May 15, 2016 Flag
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I have a big lot that has almost 40 big trees and I need to remove them and get paid. It's in Jacksonville Florida. I need your help with the name of a company or someone who can do that.
Thank you.

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July 27, 20160 found this helpful

I live Wallace,sc.I need to know do tree cuters buy 1 acre of trees.I need them cut down. I can't afford to pay for it. I am on a fixed income but if someone could buy them and cut down for 500.00 to 700.00. They can have them. Any information please.Janie

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April 15, 2016 Flag
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I have roughly 50 pine trees I want taken down, mainly for safety at my house, in Stokes Valley Wellington, as I'm worried they will damage my house. Some are on my neighbor's land, but I'm sure they will be more than happy for me to get them taken away, I'd of course ask first. Would I get paid for the trees? Plus I've heard you can get native seedlings to replace the pines. Would you know what firm does this?

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April 17, 20160 found this helpful

And if you're worried about your home, contact an arborist to trim tops and potentially damaging branches.

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April 27, 2016 Flag
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What is the going price for a grown sycamore tree that's about 30 ft. tall?

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