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Ask the Arborist: Can I cash in on my tree removal?

In short, probably not.

Trees are valuable.  Homeowners spend a lot of time and money on the planning of a landscape as well as the maintenance and removal of trees. But wait a minute!  Those trees are made of wood that could be used for lumber, right? Our certified arborist is asked this question a lot. A customer wants a tree removed and has heard somewhere that the tree could be of value. So they are thinking it's possible to break even on a tree removal, or even make a few dollars.

Unfortunately, the chance a tree will be able to generate any money for the owner at the time of the removal would be very slim. There are several factors that come into play when harvesting wood for lumber.

  • Tree Species

Not all tree species are wanted for lumber production or will they be valuable enough to be worth the trouble. Some woods are Cherry and Black Walnut are the most desirable giving you top dollar.

  • Growth Pattern and Height

Straight, upright growth is needed for harvesting.  Knots in the wood would also discount it from being used for profit.  The greatest problem we often run into with urban trees is foreign material.  Remember that one time you hammered a nail into the tree to hang the “Happy Birthday” sign?  Well that nail causes major issues.   Trees also need to have at least 8ft 6in of usable trunk length to be milled.

Wood ready to be milled.

  • Room for the fall

As a tree service we perform many safe removals in various places.  There are always obstacles to avoid, houses, other trees, fences, pools, etc.  In order to complete this tree removal safely and effectively our certified arborist usually “dismantles” the tree into sections that are easier to control and maneuver.  If you are harvesting a tree for lumber, you need lots of space to let the tree fall in one long piece and also space for the machinery to come and pick it up.

While the removal will cost you, our estimates won’t! Call or click today, and we’ll send our certified arborist out to your tree.  For a digital estimate request, click here.

Fun trivia fact:  While agriculture refers to the growing of food for consumption, silviculture refers to the growing of trees for human uses.