Timber Harvesting Process
Harvesting Timber takes a series of steps that includes the buyer's and seller's efforts and landowner goals. Here is the process in depth. All processes vary according to the types of timber, amount, and land type.
Generally speaking, the seller initiates contact with us expressing an interest in possibly conducting a timber sale. We would typically take a look at the timber, offer advice on how to properly manage the forest, and recommend the type of harvest Types of Harvest, and volunteer an estimate as to the value the seller can expect from the harvest proceeds. There is no obligation or fees on the part of the seller for this service. If the seller decides to proceed with the harvest, we develop a timber sale contract to work from.
Mark the timber to be harvested. Sometimes there is a combination of harvest types on the same property. For example, one area might be designated for a northern hardwood thinning and another for an aspen regeneration. The Forester will mark a line called a “stand boundary” separating the two types of cuts. If the property is under the Managed Forest Law (MFL) program, the DNR is kept up to date by us on our setup progress and will inspect the sale setup prior to any actual cutting.
Once the timber sale contract is signed, the sale setup and harvest can proceed. The first step is for the Forester to mark the property lines. We do this with a combination of traditional forestry tools and GPS. Since we’re not licensed surveyors, the lines we mark are actually cutting boundaries and not legal property lines. If there is any question as to line location, we always involve the feedback of the adjacent landowner.
When the weather conditions are right, the actual harvest will begin. The crew begins by felling the trees designated for removal, and then “forwards or skids” the trees to the landing where they’re sorted by grade and species, then stacked. Sometimes the trees are cut to size where they’re felled, and sometimes they’re skid to the landing in tree length area where they’re cut to size. Refer to Timber Processing for more information about this. The trees are now generally in 8’ lengths stacked neatly on the landing, and are ready to be picked up by our trucks and hauled to a mill.
Our truck drivers stay in daily contact with the logging crew so they know how much and what type of wood is ready to be picked up on the landings. They fill out a scale ticket for every load they haul, then turn them in at the end of each week, so the company can accurately keep track of who to pay.
A scale ticket is completed prior to every load of wood that is hauled from a landowner's property. It helps us track each load and ensures the right landowner is paid for it.
The Forester will physically monitor the harvest frequently to ensure the cutting plan is being followed and address any unforeseen issues that arise. Meanwhile, the Forester is communicating our progress with the landowner throughout this process. After the harvest is complete, the Forester will inspect the harvest site and authorize any cleanup work needed, which normally includes leveling out the landing and roads.