Lake States Timber, LLC specializes in purchasing standing timber from private landowners. We employ professional Foresters to assist landowners manage their woods to meet their goals, offer recommendations on proper forest management, walk them through the Timber Sale Process, ensure timely and accurate timber payment, and monitor harvest activity to ensure compliance with the cutting plan. Our Foresters and crew are Sustained Forestry Initiative (SFI) trained, and members of the Wisconsin Cooperating Foresters.



Typically, the timber purchasing process begins with a general phone call between landowner and Forester discussing possible interest in conducting a timber harvest with us. The Forester will normally visit the land, with no obligation or cost to the landowner, and follow up with a recommended type of harvest. Some of the Types of Harvests are hardwood thinnings, shelterwood cuts and aspen regeneration harvests. After inspecting the woods, the Forester will also have an approximate volume and value estimate to present to the landowner. Some of the factors that affect wood pricing are logging chance (season of harvest), proximity to markets, accessibility, road construction costs, size of the sale and the type of tree species to be cut.



If a verbal agreement is reached with us, we will then send the landowner a timber sale contract (or use theirs) which addresses the terms of the harvest. The contract covers issues of interest for both parties. The length of contract varies, but normally runs for two years, especially for sales with winter access only. After the contract is signed, we will apply for the county cutting permit (and DNR cutting notice if the land is in MFL), set up the sale including marking the timber and property lines, and establish the landing areas and roads. We encourage landowner involvement throughout the whole process. There is no charge to the landowner for any of our services, including any road construction.



  • Lump Sum: A lump sum payment means payment based upon the estimate, up front, regardless of the amount of wood that actually comes off the land. It’s a one time payment.

  • Mill Scale: More common is to pay based on mill scale. Mill Scale means the landowner is paid every other week as the harvest proceeds with volumes (number of tons, cords, or MBF) of each load provided by the scale at the mill consuming the wood. The landowner is paid for the exact amount of wood that comes off their property, regardless of the original estimate.

  • Advance Payment:  At the landowners request, LST can provide an upfront advance payment at the time of contract signing of up to 50% of the estimated sale value.  The money is then recouped from the first loads hauled from the sale as the sale proceeds.  This can be done regardless of whether the payment is Lump Sum or Mill Scale.