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When are my pine trees ready to thin?

Most paper mills don't want wood that is less than 13-14 years old so they have to be at least that old. It is not a good idea to thin too soon because the trees won't prune up properly and the quality of the residual stand will suffer down the road. The short answer is when the diameter growth slows down. That can be determined by taking a boring from the trunk of the tree.
What is involved in a timber sale?
In order to conduct a timber sale we have a lot of work to accomplish:
  • Inventory and evaluation of the timber stand.
  • Check and mark the boundary lines.
  • Establish a minimum acceptable price.
  • Develop a list of constraints to be included in the timber deed to protect the landowner and his property.
  • Develop a market strategy so timber will be offered on the market at its highest point. Depending on what products you have to offer, timing of the timber sale is very important. I might have to wait several months for the right set of market conditions. Don’t get in a hurry.
  • Depending on the timber products, market conditions, and location, We will then decide what would be the best way to market your timber products. The two most common sales methods are the lump-sum sealed bid and pay-as-cut. Each has its advantages and disadvantages and We will explain both sides when the decision is made. If a sealed bid sale is the way we go, We will write a sales prospectus and make sure anyone interested in that particular set of products gets an opportunity to bid on it. You will pay us when you are paid. If we go with a pay-as-cut sale, we will collect the scale tickets and stumpage checks for you and you will pay us when the cutting is complete. Our fee for a timber sale varies from 6-12% of the sale proceeds depending on tract values and what is involved (marked sales are 12% for example due to the extra labor involved in marking) most sales average 10%.(this includes sale and supervision through reforestation)
  • We will check the logging job frequently to make sure the constraints in the deed are adhered to. We have found that if things are going smoothly and there are no problems, We average one visit per 25 loads hauled. That usually means a couple of checks a week.
  • After logging is completed and deemed necessary, We will help you with the cost-share process and supervise the site preparation and tree planting. Today it cost $200.00 per acre for reforestation. Expect to pay approximately $100.00 out of pocket for reforestation.
  • On average from start to finish, this whole process will take approximately 2 years.

Mississippi Forester
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