Selling Timber as a Landowner

A lot of beginning landowners only get a fraction of their true value because they don’t know what they have or how to sell it for the right price. Remember selling your timber on your property is a once in a lifetime business experience. You have to be ready to sell, especially when the market is high because it can easily change. 

The first thing to do is to get into contact with a forester.  You might ask “Why do I need a forester to help me sell my timber?”. It is the same reason why you would go to the doctors when you are sick.  They are experts at their jobs and they know what they are doing.  To learn more please go to Landowner Guide 1.1.

Photo by: Chris Evans, University of Illinois,

Private Consulting Foresters- offer a responsive service for a fee. They work to get the best value for your timber and, they can make your forest healthier and a lot more valuable. The total paid for their service is outweighed for all the work they did and how much they increased your revenue for your timber sale.

Public Consulting Foresters – They work for the state or the federal departments. They can answer questions about managing your wood and develop your forest management plan. Sometimes landowners don’t get help right away.

If you choose public or private forester, we would consider landowners to get in contact with them so they can help you throughout the process of selling your timber. They will get the most money out of your timber lot. Here are a couple of different things they can provide for you:

  • Expand present and future value by identifying trees and which to harvest or to remain in the forest.
  • Prepare a proper inventory of what’s going to be offered for sale, including species, quantity of trees, volume, and quality.
  • Market the timber effectively to get the most value.
  • Oversee harvest activities to make sure you are satisfied.
  • Help with income tax that is relevant to the timber sales.


A landowner working without a consulting forester can be taken advantage of.  Time after time landowners have learned that getting a professional forester was a great idea for increasing profit and making the processes of managing and selling lumber easier. If you decide not to have a professional forester, then you should try to a lot of offers for your timber and make sure that the hired harvesting company signs contracts, knows your property boundary, follows all the laws, knows which trees you want harvested, and understands what you want your land to look like after the timber is harvested. And make sure you obtain a written timber sale contract


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