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can i sell my black walnut trees?

41368 Views 36 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  tom427cid
Hi I live in northern california and have about 80 black walnut trees on my property. Does anyone here know how much they may be worth or where I can find out how much they're worth? I know the price may very depending on size of tree etc. but is there some kind of 'kelly blue book' of black walnut trees in california?


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I can't speak for California, but here in upstate New York they would be worth big money. I'm sure some of the folks here will be able to tell you more. How tall, fat and straight are they?
hi would be a good site to find info
I don't know about CA, but I imagine it's not much different from here in the midwest. People with a walnut tree mistakenly think they're sitting on a gold mine of valuable lumber. This isn't the case.

There's a lot of labor involved in taking a tree down and disposing of the the unusable portions. The main trunk is the only part that's suitable for lumber. All the branches have significant stress in them from bearing all the weight. As soon as it's cut along the length, the stress is relieved and the board turns into a banana. Even in the main trunk, there's a lot of sapwood which is not good as lumber.

Once you've gone thru all the work of taking it down, it has to be taken to a sawmill to be cut into boards. Then it has to be either air dried for over a year, or taken to a kiln - more labor and cost. In short, here in the midwest you still have to pay to have the tree taken down and the sawyer gets to keep the lumber derived from it.

If you have 80 LARGE trees someone may offer some amount of money, but don't expect to get rich.
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Website: they are in california..and can tell you everything you want to know…good luck..
There are a number of folks in Northern California that deal with walnut. Do an internet search and investigate. It should be well worth your time.

When this subject comes up and it does quite often you will usually get two types of responses. The first one is that they are worth gabillions of dollars and the second one is they are really worth next to nothing. I can't speak for California walnut but in Iowa the typical walnut tree is worth whatever the current lumber market stump price is. The current market for non veneer walnut lumber is not real good ( again don't know anything about California walnut) so may not be the best time to sell. If, and it is a huge if. you have veneer quality logs then the price can be very good again depending on log size. The last sale I had knowledge of was mostly lumber logs and they brought around a buck a bdft. A good veneer log may bring two or three times that during good times. So I guess both opinions have a small amount of truth in them, you can make money but you probably aren't going to end up a bazillionaire. The most important thing and I can't stress this enough…. CONTACT A STATE FORESTER and have him/her (political correctness ) help you with your sale. If you fail to do that you may end up getting taken advantage of as sometimes does happen when people do things that they don't have knowledge in (some folks will take advantage of your lack of knowledge in lumber sales and current prices) That is why again I will say CONTACT A STATE FORESTER.

Free advise given is worth what you paid for it (but I hope if you do decide to sell you CONTACT A STATE FORESTER and maybe just maybe make some nice cash (although at current tax rates they may have somewhat of dampening effect on your windfall)

Good Luck
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Ack. Hope you are not planning to cut down a nice forest!
i will buy any trees you want to have removed they are worth about a dollar per board foot from what ever we yield how big are the trees
DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT contact lumber companies or loggers directly about selling these trees. They will not give you top dollar unless they know that they are competing against others. The best way to do this is to hire a consulting forester. They will inventory the trees based on size/footage and quality and invite companies to bid on the trees. The sales I've observed have been sealed bids but the prices achieved exceeded expectations so much that the foresters fee was well worth it.

Not sure about the market for western walnut right now but market prices in the midwest are pretty low right now so I would consider putting off the sale until market conditions are better.
The time is right (at least here in WV, given the economy) to have a portable mill come to your property. You want to find a hungry millowner with a good local reputation. You'll need a place to sticker and dry your new lumber else you're looking at big bucks to rent kiln time. I have a similar situation on my property. I pitched the plan to my fiance' to pour a foundation, buy a mill, cut and sticker the wood on the foundation, then build on it once the wood was dry. She crunched the math and I wouldn't even come out even.
Around here it can cost upt to 25 cents bdft to have a mill come in and cut it. Becareful about shipping the boards anyplace if it is not kiln dried, have it inspected first. There are too many bugs out there to be sharing. Walnut, so I am told, has a bug now.
^I'll help Cr1 rid you of that eyesore;)
dbray45 is right check with your state ag dept as to there being a freeze on the movement of walnut right now. It was in the wood working news the other day.
The USDA confirmed some bug in PA.
Some great ideas have been posted. Now here's a super crazy dumb idea: Harbor Freight sells a portable 280cc saw mill for $2500. You could harvest and mill those babies yourself! You'd have an almost endless supply of western walnut! Think of how much gas money you'd save not having to haul walnut back from your lumber supplier! You'd save thousands of dollars! Well, hundreds maybe. Enough for a bagel and cream cheese?

Hey, I said it was a super crazy dumb idea.
Did you guys look at the age of this post berfore you replied? He posted it 775 DAYS ago…and it was his one and only post. He and his trees are LONG gone…..
good point….............................................
This is a lot of responses to a 2 year old thread :D
He probably cut them down, got caught by some tree huggers, turned into the epa and is serving a life term for disposing of his own trees.
8.00 a bf in Dallas
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