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Selling Trees on Your Land for Lumber

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March 13, 2008
A man cutting down a tree.

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!
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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.

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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.

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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

Answers


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 290 Feedbacks
January 22, 200811 found this helpful
Best Answer

Call a few lumber yards in your area, and find out if there is a company who will remove your trees and pay you for the wood.

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By debbie (Guest Post)
January 24, 20086 found this helpful
Best Answer

Hi, I posted an article on freecycle. Its a yahoo group you can sign up at no cost. Post the wood and say bring a truck and friends to help you and you can have all you want.

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March 16, 20082 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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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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145 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

February 15, 2014

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.


Answers


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 337 Feedbacks
February 16, 20142 found this helpful
Best Answer

Unless you have a large number of trees on many acres of land, it is unlikely that anyone will want them for lumber. Lumbering is big business, and people involved in it don't come to cut down half a dozen trees.

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You MAY find someone who would cut them down for you for firewood. How many trees are you talking about?

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February 19, 20141 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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October 3, 2016

I would like to have a tree cut down for free with the exchange for the wood.


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Bronze Answer Medal for All Time! 220 Answers
October 4, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

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:

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*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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December 23, 2016

I have some some trees on my land that I want to sell. I live in Lumber City. Most of the trees are oak and I have a few pine, ranging in size from small to large.


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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
December 27, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

Usually it would take a large amount of trees for it to be profitable for a company to even agree to remove trees.

If you are anywhere near a lumber yard you might give them a call and see what they tell you. they may have the name/number of a small company/individual that removes trees - but most likely, you will have to pay to have them removed.

Be very careful with who you give your name and/or location to.

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Bronze Answer Medal for All Time! 155 Answers
December 29, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you want to sell your trees, contact the nearest sawmill. They may be interested in buying them. Other ideas include craftsmen in wood or other artists, whom you may be able to find online. I'm only guessing, but if you live in Lumber City it sounds as if wood is or has been a popular product there! So let's hope you are successful.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
December 29, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

You might be better off putting it on Freecycle or Craigslist with the stipulation that they remove. It will save you money. People also think they can sell used swing sets and then realize that they actually have to pay to get rid of them, so they go the Freecycle route.

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April 23, 2014

I am a Roswell resident and have ten pines (in excess of 70 feet tall, and about a foot and a half in diameter), plus a bunch of scrub pines on my property that we want removed. I don't care to be paid for the lumber, I just want to know if there is someone who will come and cut them and take them. We recently had trees removed from our front yard - and they tree removal service had a lumber company come pick up our wood and sell it. Anyone have any thoughts?

By jennifer

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
April 25, 20141 found this helpful
Best Answer

Hi - Sorry but I do not know where Roswell is located but I have had experience with having trees removed in Florida.

Since you had trees removed before - have you ask the same company about these trees?
There should be a list of companies in your telephone book or Google the info with your location. maybe local companies will be listed.
Also look for names of any lumber companies or sawmills.

The problem with pines:
1. Usually is not a favorite for firewood so smaller companies do not cut them.
2. Pines may take heavier equipment and moving that kind of equipment is expensive.
3. Also, a log truck may have to be used and that is costly also.
4. Tree companies would have to weigh the cost of sending the equipment, truck and labor against how many "usable" trees are at that location AND how close they are to a house or buildings (insurance).
5. They would also need to know if their trucks could drive into your yard.

I had pines similar to what you mentioned but finally had to pay to have them removed. Maybe there are more tree companies near you.
Good luck.

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September 18, 2009

I have approx. 9 acres of property in Alabama that I want to clear and sell the trees. How do I get started and who do I contact?

By Mind of Milli from Atlanta, GA

Answers

September 19, 20091 found this helpful
Best Answer

See if there is any logging/forestry companies local to you. Try checking in the yellow pages. They can usually give you the names of some that may be interested.

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May 16, 2017

My mother has 21 acres in Dinwiddie County; how should she get for the trees on her property?


Answers


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
May 16, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

I'm assuming you want to sell the trees. It is a lot of labor. Most people pay to cut them down. You may want to put an ad in Freecycle or Craigslist advertising lumber in exchange for cutting it down and taking it away.

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Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,298 Posts
May 17, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

You can post an ad on Craigslist asking if anyone wants to purchase the trees for lumber. Assuming they'd have to cut + haul it themselves too there may be a discount involved?

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July 28, 2020

How do I connect with someone who wants special wood for projects or furniture? I have a live pecan tree, very old, very tall, and large circumference of trunk and limbs.

I want to speak with someone about them cutting it and buying the wood from me.

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March 28, 2018

I own 1.56 acres of land that is full of mature trees. Who do I contact in Shreveport, Louisiana that would help me clear my land and pay me for them?


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November 5, 2017

I have about 3 acres of land. Do lumber companies mess with small lots like this?


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October 1, 2017

Hurricane Irma left me with a large red cedar down and a second one damaged and needing removal too. I know there is value in red cedar and would be willing to sell the lumber in exchange for removing them.


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January 31, 2017

Currently, a company is harvesting lumber from 150 acres that abuts our property. We have 7 large pines and 2 cedars all with bases that measure more than 70 inches and are 3 to 4 stories high.

We would like to sell to the lumber company since they already have all their equipment and trucks here. How do I determine a fair price and get to the right person?

Answers

Anonymous
January 31, 20170 found this helpful

YOu should do a price comparables with timber companies throughout the web, then figure out the name of the lumber company next door, either by talking to a neighbor or examining one of their trucks. Then contact the corporate headquarters and eexplain the situation.

Conversely, you could strike up a conversation with one of the workers, and see what he tells you

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Read More Answers

April 14, 2015

I have 2 acres of pine trees that I need to clear off my land to move a house on. Is there a logging company that could help?

By Jennifer H.

Answers


Bronze Answer Medal for All Time! 220 Answers
April 14, 20151 found this helpful
Best Answer

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 property 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.
*Frequently property owners may find they need an attorney to address the issues and prepare a contract.

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.

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.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
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