Author Topic: Black Walnut Trees  (Read 3450 times)

rac50

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Black Walnut Trees
« on: August 23, 2010, 11:13:16 AM »
I have the opportunity to purchase 2 old growth Black Walnut trees. They are on a piece of property that abuts a state forest with a protected stand of old
growth timber in Southern New York. The trees are 36" - 42" in diameter and 20' to the first branch. Very substantial trees with a # of crotches with upper limbs 16" or so. I have been cutting, air drying and milling northeastern hardwoods  for more than twenty years. The projects I have built with the lumber have stood the test of time and it is always my preference when building.
The question: How much would one expect to pay for the two trees? I have been fortunate in the past to have either been given the tree, or paying an insignificant amount so I am unclear as to what to offer. The band mill operator is about 5-600 a day.

David Conley

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Re: Black Walnut Trees
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2010, 03:10:26 PM »
RAC50,

Your trees sound fantastic!!  

But before you buy the trees, make sure your bandsaw mill guy can handle them.  The local guy I use has a large woodmiser.  The thoat on his mill is 30-in.  I did a quick search on the internet and that seems to a fairly common throat size.

Speaking from experience, a 24-in diameter log with a 12-in crook will require a little chainsaw modification before it will fit through a 30-in throat.

Another quick tip, I pay the bandsaw guy by the hour and stay with him while he cuts the logs.  The first time I used him, I paid him by the board-ft and he sped through the logs.  By paying him by the hour, he is much more willing to cut the logs to my specifications and the boards are more uniform and consistent thickness.  

Good luck and let us know how it worked out.

Cheers,
David

Rich Nimetz

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Re: Black Walnut Trees
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2010, 03:18:51 PM »
You will need to determin the amount of board feet in the tree that will be usable. Check out Ohio State University's web site www.ohioline.osu.edu on the home page click Environment and scroll down to Forestry Information and then pick Measuring Standing Trees F-35-02. This fact sheet will give you all the information to how to measure a standing tree to determine the total board feet in the tree.

With your milling cost known I would then check out what wood distributor's are selling wood as close to what you have. With that you can decide what you are willing to pay the owner for the trees.  

I hope this helps a little. Sounds like some very nice material.  
Richard J Nimetz
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jacon4

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Re: Black Walnut Trees
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2010, 04:02:24 PM »
I dont know about the trees but i recently paid about $35 PBF for some old growth walnut that was 27" wide.

rac50

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Re: Blachopingk Walnut Trees
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2010, 07:49:43 PM »
Thanks for the replies. Is there any other members who would venture to place a value on the trees? As in my earlier post I reiterate that I am familiar with the process of converting the tree to lumber but am hoping someone can steer me towards a reasonable offer to make on the trees. It seems wide walnut boards are rare and I would like to capitalize on the opportunity while it is there. To jacon, were you satisfied with your material at $35 per bf? Have you used it yet, and was this purchased for a specific project? I know it would be easier to estimate a value with pics, but I am out of that area for at least another month. Depending on the accuracy of the cutting, I feel I could yield 800 - 1000 bf on the main trunks alone and was contemplating a $5000 per tree offer. Any more thoughts?
Ross

David Conley

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Re: Black Walnut Trees
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2010, 10:04:18 PM »
Ross,

It depends!!!! 

You are will to pay top dollar for these logs without even knowing the quality of the logs.  What happens if the heartwood is rotten, it has a large bark inclusion, or is riddled with insects?  You are taking a big chance with a standing tree.  Are there any guarantees on these logs and is it a total turnkey job?

Who is transporting the log to the lumber mill?  Around here, a rollback wrecker runs about $60-80/hr.  The rollback will have 3 or 5 trips for your trees.

A dry board doubles the price because you can pick through and toss out the warped and/or twisted boards. 

Around here in the tri-states of Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, lumber is fairly cheap.  An Oak log goes for about $1 to 1.5/bd-ft, a Cherry or Walnut log goes for about $2 to $3 a bd-ft.  Add a $1/bd-ft for cutting, transporting and sawing the logs.  If you want them to dry it, then double the price to $6 to 8/bd-ft.

A friend of my who?s family has a farm in the middle of WV, sells a walnut tree every year to pay the taxes on the land.  They were getting around $1000 to 1500 for one walnut tree.

Here is a good article I came across a few minutes ago. http://web.extension.illinois.edu/askextension/thisQuestion.cfm?ThreadID=11174&catID=196&AskSiteID=87

Cheers,
David

wade

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Re: Black Walnut Trees
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2010, 10:40:46 PM »
Ross,
 I have a woodmizer mill and am located just outside
Chicago. I also have about 30 walnut logs of various sizes,
with a number of them the sizes you mentioned. If you would
pay me that kind of money for them, I will cut them, dry
 them, and ship them to you!

 David is correct in saying that you should beware of unseen
defects. You should at least wait until they are felled to see
what the trunks look like. Also I would'nt consider the branches
to be useable no matter what size they are.

 Also, do the trees have to come down? If the owner needs them
taken down for some reason and hauled away, then that gives
you a little leverage in pricing. I get a couple of calls a month
from people that have a walnut that needs to be taken down
and they want to know if I would like to buy it AND take it down
for them. Seems someone told them that that walnut tree they
have is worth a fortune. I tell them to call a tree service and
have them drop it and I will haul it away for free. I have'nt paid
for a log yet. They need to get rid them and I take them off their
hands!
I'm not sure of your area but I think stumpage would be between .50-$1.00 per bd ft. Unless those were some spectacular trees I would not pay that kind of money for them. Just my opinion. You get the final decision. Good luck.

Wade

P.S. I have 26-28" wide walnut and cherry slabs 4,5,6,quater if you are interested;)

jacon4

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Re: Black Walnut Trees
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2010, 06:24:27 AM »
Yes, very satisfied. This particular walnut slab had a lot of figure/curl, was air dried for 4 yrs to 20% MC and then kiln dried to its final 10% or so. Yes, i purchased the board for a period walnut QA hiboy base that had a pine top and i wanted a walnut top to match the rest of piece. I recently got the piece back from the restorer and it looks GREAT!!

A pic of the board & the piece on this thread prior to restoration
http://www.sapfm.org/forum/index.php?topic=1236.0

Where i bought the slab website. Kyle Edwards has some really fabulous wood, a nice guy and timber biz is all he does. You might email him in regards what trees are worth.

http://www.sawmillnc.com/
« Last Edit: August 27, 2010, 06:49:04 AM by jacon4 »

hazard

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Re: Black Walnut Trees
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2010, 12:19:32 PM »
I had the opportunity to purchase some black walnut 2 or 3 years ago that averaged $5.65/BF all inclusive.  The wood came from large trees on a farm in the Virginia hunt country and was cut, air dried for a year or two, and then kiln dryed all by a one man operation.  Width ranged from 25" to 8" with most in the 18" to 20" range.  Most was 5/4 and 12 feet long.  The pieces were numbered in the order they were cut with very consistent grain and color.  Some was nicely figured and there were a few crotch pieces.  I bought a lot of about 400 BF.  Seemed like a good deal at the time.  At the 36-42" you are talking about, I do not know if this is a good benchmark for you, but I suspect that this low overhead seller picked up the trees for little or no cost.
Chris Hazard
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Alexandria, VA