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Our farm has a large population of wild Black Cherry trees of all sizes. I have done research and heard they are valuable for producing furniture. Is there a market for the trees if I cut them myself and try to sell them or is my best bet to hire out the cutting of the trees? Any help/advice is appreciated.
 

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Say My Name.
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Your best bet is to engage the services of a professional forester to evaluate your stand, and, if it makes sense, for the forester to market your trees to buyers of standing timber.

At the end of the day, you'll be better served. Probably more $ net in your pocket, less aggravation, less likelihood of being taken advantage of by a logger, and almost certainly better forest stewardship.

For a list of consulting foresters, check out the Michigan Forest Association. I suggest you join 'em, too - $30 a year.

http://www.michiganforests.com/

Click on the "List of Foresters" link.
 

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We had a timber sale here last winter with a few black cherry trees included. They are indeed a valuable species IF you have the right kind of trees- ie high grade sawlogs. Many, if not most, cherry trees that I see are not those kinds of trees.

I would call a few sawmills in your area to see if there is interest.

NB

They are valuable for wildlife however.;)
 

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farmlegend said:
Your best bet is to engage the services of a professional forester to evaluate your stand, and, if it makes sense, for the forester to market your trees to buyers of standing timber.
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I will also agree with FL. And that's what we did also. Most consulting foresters will come and take a look at your woods and give an opinion on a gratis basis. We had our forester set up and manage the entire sale. IMHO its well worth their fee for doing this.

NB
 

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I buy Cherry logs, highest grade only, and I pay lot's for them. Looks like you've got some good advice from some of the posters here, but I'll add a couple of more cents to this.

1. Typically in the UP when you hire somebody to log them for you, they will also sell them for you. You can bid this out to different cruisers. This step will eliminate the hassle factor for you. Somebody like yourself would not be capable of selling to me just due to lack of equipment and volume.

2. Typically you will not get all consistent grades, so it helps that this type of forester is involved, then they can sell the highest grade to whomever uses this and on down the line. This maximizes the amount of profit that you get.

3. Typically you will split the proceeds of what is sold. I have expected about 50% of total invoices sold in the past.

4. The highest grade Black Cherry on an export market will get you 12.00 per board foot. You WILL NOT GET THIS:( It all depends on the tree quality and where you are located. Michigan Cherry can be very nice, but Cherry from out East is hands down the best.

5. Make sure that you get somebody REPUTABLE. Make sure that you are on the same page prior to cutting. Make sure that they don't butcher your land. Make sure they are honest.

Good luck!
 

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Size wise, you want to leave them between 9-12' if they are super logs with no bumps and smooth bark patterns. If they're saw logs, not sure, but would bet they still want 8' minimum, and 8' doesn't mean 8' on the nose, it means 8' 6-11", but will be scaled to 8'

Diameter wise the bigger the better. Super high grade logs will be 16-20+" in diameter.Saw logs I believe go down to 8", but not totally sure.

There may be some info on some industry forums such as timbersource.com
 

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If the trees are smaller than 9 or 10 inches and the sap wood is heavy on them there will not be much yield in the colored wood. I have some that a guy brought me to saw that are 8 inches and they have about 1 1/2 of sap wood on a side so they won't have many boards in them. Most of the buyers around here will not touch a tree that is under 12 inches. How big are your trees and how many do you have?
 

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Try calling MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY....they can possibly help...but be persistant...and get to the right person...They are unbiased...and their agricultural studies division is known Worldwide.....:) .....best of luck..
 

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Cherry makes for some BEAUTIFUL furniture. Mills well and is quite durable. I made a butler's tray table about 15 yrs. ago out of some clear cherry, finished it with clear oil and wax, and the patina that's developed is just gorgeous. Nice stuff!
 
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