Tree harvesting

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Forum topic by sikrap posted 05-22-2009 02:50 AM 1397 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1121 posts in 3865 days

05-22-2009 02:50 AM

I’m not sure this is the right forum, but nothing else seemed right so here goes. How many trees would you need to make it worthwhile to bring in a sawyer?I have one monster elm in my backyard and my neighbor has a pretty big maple that he would like to get rid of. We don’t mind paying someone to cut them down, but I’m wondering if it would be worth the time and trouble saw them into boards. The elm is probably 45 feet tall and the trunk is at least 24” in diameter. The maple is about 24” at the base, but splits into two trunks about 6’ up. I have access to a 14” bandsaw and the guy that owns it tells me he saws logs into boards all the time. All opinions are appreciated. Thanks!!

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

10 replies so far

View Gary's profile


9402 posts in 3939 days

#1 posted 05-22-2009 05:00 AM

Just a personal opinion but I would take them to the mill

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View a1Jim's profile


117721 posts in 4084 days

#2 posted 05-22-2009 07:16 AM

I think it might be doable but might be hard on the saw if cut long lengths

View a1Jim's profile


117721 posts in 4084 days

#3 posted 05-22-2009 07:17 AM

I think it might be doable but might be hard on the saw if cutting long lengths

View Steve1376's profile


28 posts in 4156 days

#4 posted 05-22-2009 10:33 AM

I just recently had three large oak logs milled in front of my shop, so it was easy to move in to the shop for air drying, as long as you could handle moving the lumber to a kiln I would bring the sawyer in. Sawing logs with a 14” bandsaw will take a whole lot of time, you may be better served finding someone that can handle the 24” diameter log.

-- Steve Phelps

View Boardman's profile


157 posts in 4268 days

#5 posted 05-22-2009 02:40 PM

What kind of elm is it? There’s some remaining American elm that survived the Dutch Elm Disease onslaught, but that lumber is pretty unremarkable, and not much used in woodworking. Red elm on the other hand, is a real gem, but the size makes me think yours is an American.

The maple is a sure thing – probably a soft maple of some sort, but finding curl in it is pretty likely., and the width is good. But it’s likely to end up splitting in the middle if you try to get the full 24” width in some slabs. You could air dry it first and hope for the best, but be prepared to end up sawing it down the middle to end up with two 12” widths. maybe go 6/4 on the wide slabs to end up with some table tops. The down side is that there’s only 6 feet of straight trunk. Maple crotch is interesting, but not as impressive as other wood types.

At least around here in MN I can get lumber sawn and kiln dried for $1 bf or a little less, so it’s almost always a good idea. Your going to be paying to have them cut either way, so for $1 bf you will get some good lumber from them.

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1121 posts in 3865 days

#6 posted 05-22-2009 06:07 PM

I don’t know what kind of elm it is. I only know its an elm because someone told me it is. My wife wants it gone because we keep getting these damn little white things of it and they are a pain to clean up. They’re about the size of a dime. Thanks for the ideas guys!! I’ll let you know what happens.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

540 posts in 3988 days

#7 posted 05-22-2009 07:08 PM

You could see if it’s possible to rent a Woodmizer portable mill. Do the milling yourself. I don’t know where you might find a place that would rent them though. I would try to mill this on a shop band saw. You would need some serious supports on the in feed and out feed, plus you’d be putting the motor under a lot of stress, you’d want to get a good wide resaw blade so that it would cut straight.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2658 posts in 4033 days

#8 posted 05-22-2009 11:23 PM

sikap, Those are the seeds, I have many of these trees and they were all started by those little white things. They are now between 40 and 50 feet tall. There are some awesome grain in those elms…

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View patron's profile


13654 posts in 3848 days

#9 posted 05-22-2009 11:37 PM

you should be able to find a sawyer , as many are now looking for work .
some have those portable bandsaws and will come to you , check phone/internet for them .
good luck !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View mart's profile


190 posts in 4131 days

#10 posted 05-22-2009 11:50 PM

I think it would completely feasible to have both trees sawed into lumber. Daren Nelson, who posts here frequently can probably give you a better idea about the feasibility of it. I frequently take just a couple trees to my sawyer. He fits them in when he has time and is very reasonable. If you have a trailer or access to one see my post on parbuckling to load logs. It is an easy way to get logs to the mill.

Check your logs carefully for metal, even running over them with a metal detector (if you have access to one) before taking them in. Yard logs tend to have some metal in them and sawyers typically charge for hitting nails (nails are hell on blades) and other assorted metal in the logs. I don’t know what mobile sawyers in the lower 48 charge for set up and sawing but they are pretty high here in Alaska. I always haul my logs to the mill but a mobile sawyer is an option if you can’t get the logs to the mill yourself.

Good luck. Getting wood sawed into lumber gets to be addictive after a while and I find myself looking at trees that are being cut with an eye to how much lumber could a guy get out of it. It is really enjoyable to look out in the side yard and see a nice stack of lumber, neatly stacked, stickered and covered, air drying for future projects.


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