8: Marketing Timber

Activity In-Depth: The Marketing Timber Checklist

Use this checklist with your forester to ask questions to help make your forest timber sale successful.


Who does the forester work for?

image Public agency
image Private consultant
image Wood consuming company
image Logging business

Payment for Forester’s Services

How will the forester get paid:

image Hourly
image Percent of sale revenue

Market Conditions

Is it a good time to sell your products/trees in the current market(s)?

image Yes
image No

If no, what are the disadvantages to waiting for timber markets to improve?

Are there non-financial reasons, such as wildlife habitat, mortality, etc, that make harvesting now a priority?

image Yes
image No

Pre-Harvest Activities

Are there any pre-harvest activities you should do as the landowner?

image Work with a forester or natural resource professional
image Develop a forest management plan
image Consider regeneration decisions
image View Other Sites (see next section for more details)

image Other: ___________________________________________

image Other: ___________________________________________

image Other: ___________________________________________

Viewing Other Sites

Can the forester take you to one or more tracts of timber that have been recently harvested by your prospective buyer?

When at the site(s), look for:

image How the area looks (is it what you expected)
image How the skid trails, haul roads and landings look (equipment ruts, erosion, reseeded)
image Damage to remaining trees or land improvements (gates, fences, culverts, etc.)
image Trash or petroleum spills

image If the harvest is old enough, how is the regeneration?

Restrictions on Sale

Are there wood quarantines or other legal restrictions that may impact the sale of your trees?

(Example: Emerald ash borer quarantines can restrict the movement of wood products and thus impact their salability.)

Type of Sale

What type of sale does the forester recommend for your area and timber? Why?

image Lump sum
image Sale-by-unit

Advertising Sale

How does the forester usually advertise sales?

Bid/Offers Process

What process does the forester recommend for getting offers or bids?

image Single offer
image Oral auction
image Sealed bid

Potential Buyers

What insight does the forester have about specific potential buyers?

Contract Review

Look specifically at the extent to which the items included within the Sample Timber Sale Contract are included. If they are missing, is that acceptable to you?

Foresters Role During the Sale

What does the forester do once the sale becomes active?

Will your forester scale the wood as harvesting progresses?

image Yes (Frequency?)
image No

How often will your forester check the site?

Foresters Role after the Sale

What can you expect from the forester once the wood is removed and the sale is closing?

image Assistance applying for cost share monies
image Help finding a reputable tree planter
image Monitor tree planting activities
image Assistance filing appropriate tax forms

image Suggest next step(s) in the management of your woodland (activities and timing)

Forest Recovery Process

What will my forest look like immediately after the harvest ends? Five years later?


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Woodland Stewardship: A Practical Guide for Midwestern Landowners, 3rd Edition Copyright © 2019 by University of Minnesota Extension is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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