thinning: logs to the mill - or bring in a portable ??

Joseph Zorzin redoak at forestmeister.com
Sat Aug 8 15:18:22 EST 1998


> norm at pdx.wantweb.net (Norm Duncan), asked:
> 
> >My question is this: Rather than occasionally send a truck load to the mill,
> >is it economically feasible to have our local portable mill guy (bandsaw
> >type) cut up the logs right here and then sell the lumber via retail (perhaps
> >thru the thrifty ads)? The port. mill guy says he will produce considerably
> >more board feet than I will receive from the scaling process. And he can help
> >sell it.  ??

This is a classic problem in forestry. I've seen variations several
times.

Generally it is much smarter and safer for the landowner to stay out of
the logging/milling/marketing business entirely.
Logging/milling/marketing are complex and difficult specialties, where
you can get yourself in a lot of trouble, and find yourself losing your
shirt.

The typical scenario I've seen here in western Mass. is that a
consultant will attempt to hire a logger to drag logs to the roadside,
then market the logs. The consultant will brag to the landowner that
he's losing profit by selling stumpage only, and to regain some of that
profit, they should sell the logs roadside. More often than not, this
effort blows up in their faces. There's a small chance you might end up
with a lot more by doing your own marketing, but you'd do better at the
horse races. Too many things can go wrong.

The smartest thing to do is sell stumpage with a tight as a drum
contract and a heavy performance bond. Then you have all your money plus
a bond before anything happens. It's safe and sure.

Joe Zorzin



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