Trees for profit

Ron Wenrich woodtick at
Tue Apr 15 05:50:17 EST 1997

Larry Caldwell <larryc at> wrote in article 

> Douglas fir is stronger than oak, grows ten times as fast, and is easier
> work.  Oak makes better flooring and trim because of the hardness and
> grain, but is never used as a structural member in this part of the
> DF is cheaper and stronger.  

Not to quibble over oak vs Doug fir, but oak is has higher bending
strength, better compression strength, higher in hardness, more shock
resistant, and harder to split than Douglas fir.  However, Douglas fir is
stiffer.  DF is not cheaper on the East Coast.  Structural timbers are
sometimes made of hemlock or white pine.  Railroads use oak.
> The comments about high value logs are interesting too.  On the west
> we get a lot of Japanese buyers.  It's a standing joke that a #1 peeler
> will never see a rotary cutter.  They're set aside and sold for export
> at about $3,000/mbf.  Figure a 40" x 28' log at 2110 bf, that's a good
> nickel.  That's a minimum 100 year tree, probably half again that at
> You can grow big trees faster, but a #1 peeler has max 8 rings/inch.

Veneer in red oak is 14"x8' minimum and has about 50 bf.  Veneer buyers use
the Doyle scale.  Price is about $1500/Mbf.  A tree this size should be
left stand, in my opinion.  If allowed to get to a 20" log, the volume is
128 bf.  A 24" log has 200 bf.  The time it takes to increase the diameter
is less than it takes to grow to that size.

> Because of politics, it's illegal to export gubmint logs, so all the
> big export logs are private timber.  The gubmint big hummers get milled
> up first, and *then* they get exported.  :)  All the big mills around
> here are computerized and just run a metric program when they are milling
> for export.

Ain't lobbies grand.

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