When selling trees for lumber, start by assessing the trees in the stand to determine their value, and then advertise the sale to attract competing bids from buyers and obtain the best price. Enlist the services of a professional forester to maximize the value of the timber sale and to preserve the health and productivity of the woods during and after the timber harvest.
For most land owners, selling trees for lumber means selling standing timber rather than cut lumber, due to the effort, expense and tax ramifications of harvesting and processing the trees. By selling a stand of woods as standing timber, the land owner receives a fair value for the timber while leaving the harvesting to a professional. While cut lumber sales normally incur regular income taxes, standing timber sales usually receive favorable treatment as capital gains, which are taxed at a much lower rate.
The value of a stand depends on the species, size and quality of the trees it contains, as well as external factors such as site access conditions and proximity to roads and mills. To maximize the value of a timber sale, seek advice from a professional forester regarding the value of the stand. A forester can assist with conducting the sale and harvest to obtain the highest economic returns and to preserve the health of the woods for future productivity and value.