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Old 02-23-2022, 09:17 AM   #1
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Default A lot of Timber harvesting on Long Island

Out here on Long Island we’ve had 5 different properties that did some major Timber-clearing this Winter. Out of all of them, there’s only one that looks like there’s some project going-on. We’re lucky to have Fitzpatrick Land Clearing right here on the island. They have the most amazing equipment I have ever seen, and their expertise in operating all of it is evident. All of the properties trimmed and stacked the raw timber in an accessible part of their lots, and a log-truck came down to take it away. Since only one of the properties seems to be doing a project, it made me wonder if there might be a financial reason for selling timber right now. I would guess that Fitzpatrick would have the access to buyers and passes-on the financial benefit to the owners… We're not talking major land tracks here - these properties are an acre or less, so not huge volumes of timber (but I guess if you add them together, it's more than one log-truck).

So my questions. Understanding all the things that have to happen to turn timber into lumber, is there an actual market for Timber that is subject to “Ups” and “Downs” like any other (I guess) commodity? Is there something about the current market that people may have chosen to clear their land for cash right now rather than actually clear it for another reason (maybe a pandemic spike)? Do people elsewhere around the lake see similar harvesting going-on this Winter? Finally, I had thought that people sold their timber essentially to avoid the hassle of getting rid of it themselves, and that it couldn’t be that lucrative – in other words a low-cost or no-cost way to just have someone take it way instead of having to pay for someone to do it. But now I’m wondering, is there maybe more cash in your pocket than I was thinking?

Does anyone know enough about the ins and outs of this business and market and maybe can answer some of these questions? Just a passing interest to throw to the Forum experts, and I’m not a major landowner myself…
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Old 02-23-2022, 10:07 AM   #2
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i had a property down our road(much larger maybe 10-15 acres) that the person bought the land solely for timber rights. They spend a year thinning out the trees and has done nothing else with the property. So must be enough profit in timber to cover the cost of land and harvesting
it's tough to make predictions specially about the future
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Old 02-23-2022, 10:10 AM   #3
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I was wondering about some of these same questions about some property being logged along Meredith Center Road near the Laconia transfer station.
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Old 02-23-2022, 01:33 PM   #4
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Default 1 acre harvest

I'm a trustee for ~135 acres of conservation land, managed as a tree farm. When building material prices started rapid growth, we considered accelerating the harvest schedule. The advice from our forester was that the high cost of building materials was mostly driven at the retail level and land owners were not seeing increased profits. I don't think there's money to be made harvesting one acre at a time, but the timbering contractor will get a day's pay.
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Old 02-23-2022, 07:43 PM   #5
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Sort of.
Locally our softwood either goes to softwood pulp - most often sold to biomass generators - or to dimensional lumber (1x6, 1x8, etc); dimensional lumber on the board foot price as not increased dramatically... it has actually been fairly stable.

The increase in prices has hit the hardest on engineered lumber, and structural lumber. A 2x4x8 stud has five and a third board feet in it... even at current cost it is selling for less than two dollar per board foot; as a dimensional stick it would sell for closer to three and a half depending on grade.

With the tariffs on Canadian lumber, we did see regional mills try to create more structural lumber, but that meant eating into their dimensional lumber supply. So it would be unsustainable without a 2x4x8 going to twenty dollars or so.

Shortages in dimensional lumber have been at most sporadic.
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