Some thoughts from South of the Mason-Dixon.....Generally speaking, performance
bonds are not used in the South. I have been involved in the business as both
a procurement forester and as a consultant. Never in my career have I posted
or required a performance bond. The folks that I have dealt with have been
pretty good over the years. Only on one occasion have I encountered
significant problems, and that logger went out of business shortly thereafter.
Whenever you make a sale, be sure of the background of the buyer. Look at some
of the jobs they have done in the past. Ask around about his reputation.
These guys (loggers) work on reputation. A good job will net them more
business. A poor one will put them out of business.
As for your current situation, talk to your consultant. Have him contact the
buyer and explain the situation. If you are dealing with a reputable
individual, I am sure they will make all efforts to accomodate your timetable.
To answer your pine vs. hardwood question.....Hardwood prices are dependent
entirely on quality (and species). Those oak boards you see in the home
centers are clear and straight. They represent the best of the best. Much of
the hardwood grown in the south does not reflect this quality. Low grade
hardwood ends up as pallet stock, cross ties, #2 common (or lower) lumber, and
as pulp. Low grade equals low price. Pine can be grown on a 20-30 year
rotation in the South. Hardwood on a 50-100 year rotation. If you are
investment driven, pine is the way to go. However, if you have wildlife,
recreation, or aesthetic concerns, I would also consider maintaining some