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Harvesting Your Woods

Few people own woodlands because they want to cut trees. Timber harvesting, however, is one of the most important tools available to help manage a woodland.

Timber is cut to provide habitat needed for wildlife, control disease problems, open up vistas, make recreational trails, renew vigorous growth, earn income and many other reasons. Landowners have a personal responsibility to protect themselves in any business dealings and selling timber is no exception. Plan your harvest well, and get professional help.

Plan your timber sale

If you plan to sell timber, the first step to a successful timber sale is finding professional assistance from a forester. Private consulting and industrial foresters offer a wide range of services and can assist with most timber harvests from start to finish. Or, they may handle only part of a job if you so choose. Here are a few things to consider when working with a private consulting or industrial forester.

A forester can set up the timber sale for you by marking trees to cut based upon your woods and your management objectives. Once the sale is set up, a forester can also assist with marketing and advertising the sale and help you choose a logger or timber buyer to administer the harvest. You will need a timber sale contract between yourself and the timber buyer. A forester can prepare this contract or review a contract provided by the timber buyer. Lastly, a forester can oversee the administration of the sale by inspecting the logging during the harvest.

Landowners, foresters and timber buyers must work together to achieve a well-managed forest. As a landowner, it is your right and responsibility to make sure that your timber is cut in a sustainable manner. By hiring a forester, you can help assure that the job is done right, in a manner that protects the future of your forest and also meets your management goals and objectives. For more information about planning your timber sale, see the list of resources below.