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When you need a professional to assist you with all aspects of conducting a timber sale, you have come to the right place. There are several steps in the timber sale process, and we will work side by side with you or we will run the project and keep you informed of the progress. We will tailor our services to your desired level of involvement.
The normal process of completing a timber sale starts with an initial meeting to assess the forest resources and learn about the landowner's goals for the property. After this meeting, a plan or proposal can be written summarizing the estimated volumes, revenues, and costs for the project. If a landowner needs the numbers to be very tight, rather than an estimate, a timber cruise would be performed to determine the species composition, volumes, and size classes of the logs. This information will allow a better answer to be provided regarding the anticipated revenue from the project.
Harvest boundaries, stream and wetland buffers, and proposed roads will then be flagged and a Forest Practices Permit will be applied for through the DNR. The timber will be marked with paint by foresters, either to cut or to leave, depending on the harvest and the project goals, and then the logs can be marketed and contractors can be shown the project so prices can be obtained for harvesting and log hauling. All contractors who bid the work will have insurance and will pay into L&I, to protect you and your investment.
Once the logs are sold and a contractor is selected, the timber harvest can begin. Periodic visits are made by Woodridge Forestry to check on the contractors and ensure they are merchandising the trees correctly to maximize return to the landowner. Also, the project is inspected to ensure proper tree selection is occurring according to the tree marking, to ensure that stream and wetland buffers are not being impacted, and to ensure other compliance issues are being addressed (minimal leave tree damage, road maintenance, clean slash piles, erosion control measures).
The contractors are provided log truck tickets and are required to paint the project name and ticket every load of logs which leaves your property; this ensures that you will be paid for the logs that are removed from your property. Truck tickets are reconciled with log payments every two weeks to ensure that all parties are being compensated properly for the trees cut and the logs hauled.
Finally, the slash that is created with the timber harvest is addressed by our foresters. The old method of burning slash piles still exists and many times is still the most cost-effective method of dealing with the slash. Burn permits are obtained from the DNR if this is the planned disposal method. Grinding the piles and hauling them away for hog fuel is becoming more cost effective every year. If your roads will allow access for chip vans, this is our preferred method of reducing the slash hazard on your property.
Whether you are planting a few hundred trees or ten thousand seedlings we can assist you with your project. Typically, seedlings are ordered in the fall for planting the following spring. If you have advance knowledge that you will be conducting a harvest, we will work with a local nursery to grow trees from seed specifically for your project. This takes an additional six to twelve months of planning, but it will save you approximately $0.10 per seedling on average. We can also ensure that we are using local seed sources collected near your property when we have time to plan.
Many people are signing up for government cost-share programs to have shrub planting completed along streams or wetlands or to improve wildlife habitat on their property. Once again, we can assist you with proper species selection, acquiring the plants, and putting them in the ground for you.
We also are proponents of seeding native grasses and forage plants such as clover and alfalfa after a site has any soil disturbance. You can also add shrub seeds into the seed mix if you want more serviceberry, mockorange, or elderberry on your property. Whether it is an area impacted by wildfire or the remains of a slash pile burn, adding seed to the site will greatly enhance the amount of vegetation which returns and also reduces the likelihood that noxious weeds will move in and occupy those disturbed soils. We have a standard mix that has been developed over the years and works well, or we can create a custom seed mixture that has exactly what you want.