Find a Timber Buyer
Landowners should have a Management Plan that considers their long-term objectives. Management plans consider forest health, water quality, wildlife habitat, future income potential, and other factors important to the landowner. How timber is harvested will affect all of these and much more. Remember, any mistakes made during harvest may take years to correct as nature heals slowly. So, get a Management Plan before you harvest!
Consulting foresters, industry landowner assistance foresters, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologists, AFC County Foresters or other forestry professionals can assist in the planning process. Usually, landowners with professional assistance receive more income than landowners without professional help. The timber stand after harvest is also generally left in better biological condition when professional assistance is used. If you need a Management Plan, AFC County Foresters will examine your property and write a management plan at no cost. Deciding when to harvest trees on your property is the most important timber management decision you will make. Harvesting done properly promotes healthier forests.
This timber buyer’s list is available to Arkansas landowners to assist in the marketing of Arkansas’ timber resources. The Arkansas Forestry Commission does not assume responsibility for the actions of individuals or firms listed and do not imply endorsement of any particular listing. The AFC offers their programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or handicap, and are Equal Opportunity Employers.
Recommended Guidelines When Conducting a Timber Sale
- Have a forest management plan or harvest plan developed well before the harvest commences.
- Determine exactly what you are selling. Marking the individual trees to be removed in a selective harvest provides no room for misunderstanding.
- A diameter cut generally "high grades" the stand and is not recommended.
- Plan to regenerate after a total harvest. Set aside timber sale money to do this. Information about cost share programs for site preparation and re-planting costs can be obtained from your local AFC County Forester. A list of forestry vendors and a list of Consulting Foresters is available on the AFC web page. Develop a plan and make your forest sustainable for many years to come.
- Clearly mark or survey harvest boundaries, and inform all adjoining property landowners of the proposed timber harvest.
- Mark or define any place on the property that is unique, has ecological value, or is historically significant.
- Solicit the cooperation of others in watching over your trees. Absentee landowners are particularly vulnerable to timber theft. Get to know other landowners near the property. Neighborhood Watch groups work in the country as well as in the city.
- A hunting club lease should include year long monitoring of the property for unlawful trespass or theft have lease holders report any illegal activities to you and local law enforcement authorities.
- Do not disturb threatened or endangered species’ habitat.
- Property located in the city limits may need a permit before the harvest begins.
- Is there a mortgage on your land? If so, obtain the mortgage holder’s written permission before selling any timber.
- Determine the tax liability of income generated from a timber harvest before selling. Many expenses associated with a timber harvest are deductable. Timber Tax information is available from the National Timber Tax web site, the USDA Forest Service, and the USDA Forest Service Southern Region. Forms and publications are available through the IRS.
- Determine if it is a good time to sell the particular species and products on your tract. Talk to consultants, foresters, or neighbors that have sold timber in your general area in the recent past. Quarterly timber market reports for Arkansas called Timber Mart South can be obtained from the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service’s county offices. These reports contain average prices and may not necessarily reflect how much your timber is worth. The distance to the mill, size of the tract, accessibility, time of year, tree quality, and tree size all affect the price of timber.
- Don’t accept the first offer. Solicit as many bids as possible. Do some planning and pre-sale work before advertising for competitive bids. Prepare an "Invitation to Bid "packet for prospective buyers.
- Develop a good timber contract that protects both the seller and the buyer. Don’t use the "hand shake" method when selling timber. Have enough provisions in the contract to protect you and your property. Overly restrictive contracts may "scare off" prospective buyers. A sample Timber Sale Contract (sample 1 and sample 2) and Bid Form (sample 1 and sample 2) are available from the Forestry Commission.
- Logger references can be checked from other landowners having their tracts harvested or you can examine previous harvest areas.
- Logging contractors should have adequate liability insurance.
- Make sure the logger uses Arkansas’ Best Management Practices (BMPs) to protect water quality and soil productivity.
- Consult with the logger who is harvesting your stand. Make sure he knows where fences and property lines are and what you expect upon completion of the harvest.
- Monitor the logging operation to make sure the contract provisions are being honored.
- Upon completion of the harvest, make sure the tract has been "closed out" properly.
- And finally, follow your property’s forest management plan schedule for your next timber harvest!
Additional Harvesting Information
Volume Conversion Factors
Arkansas Severance Tax Laws Use the Following Conversion Factors
- Pine - 8 Tons = 1 Thousand Board Feet (MBF) Doyle Log Rule
- Hardwood - 8 Tons = 1 MBF Doyle Log Rule
- Pine - 2.5 Tons = 1 Cord
- Hardwood - 3.0 Tons = 1 Cord
These conversion factors are averages. For example, 1 MBF of large pine sawtimber can weigh 5.9 tons while 1 MBF of small pine sawtimber can weigh 9.8 tons. Hardwood log weights vary between different species.
Other Conversion Factors Used
- MBF- International-1/4 x 0.74 = MBF Doyle Log Rule
- MBF - Scribner Log Rule X 0.78 = MBF Doyle Log Rule
- MBF - USFS Scribner Log Rule X 0.814 = MBF Doyle Log Rule
- Pine/Hardwood - 85 Solid Cubic Feet = 1 Cord
- Pine/Hardwood - 128 Area Cubic Feet (4’X 4’X 8’)= 1 Cord
Approximately 750,000 acres of Arkansas timberland is harvested annually either by the selection, seed tree, shelterwood, or clear-cut methods. The value of this annual harvest is estimated at $625,000,000.