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What's an oak tree worth?

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MikeG.

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A farmer has cut down an oak in a wood near me, and was going to chop it up for firewood. He'll sell it to me if I make him a sensible offer (I have a friend with a Woodmiser). There's about 450mm diameter of heartwood at the base, and about 4.8 or 5m of decent straight stuff. He's a friend, so I don't want to take the mickey. What do I offer him?
 

Bodgers

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MikeG.":3izacfm6 said:
A farmer has cut down an oak in a wood near me, and was going to chop it up for firewood. He'll sell it to me if I make him a sensible offer (I have a friend with a Woodmiser). There's about 450mm diameter of heartwood at the base, and about 4.8 or 5m of decent straight stuff. He's a friend, so I don't want to take the mickey. What do I offer him?
What's it worth to him in firewood?

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shed9

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Bodgers":1oei7v26 said:
What's it worth to him in firewood?
^ This and also factor in the hassle / time / fuel the farmer will have in chopping, moving, storing and disposing of the brush. There is a cost to the farmer in doing the work himself.

Perhaps you could offer to have dried and cut firewood delivered to where he wants it in exchange for the tree. Maybe offer two tonne bags of firewood. Should set you back about £80. He gets his firewood all nicely delivered and you get your milled oak.

Also, not sure if you have done this before, but milling a tree even a small one is hard work. Bear this in mind before you take the jump. It's worth it my opinion but I often find people underestimate the work involved if they haven't done it before.
 

screwpainting

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It's from near you, it will have provenance of a sorts, I think you have to pay him 10% on top of what it would cost him to chop it up for firewood.
I would want it quite badly if I had a property that was/would be constructed from English Oak

You have to have it Mike! go on, treat yourself, or even the wife.

What woman wouldn't want, or doesn't deserve, a locally grown Oak tree for Gods sake!

Loads or brownie points all round.

You know you want it.
 

MikeG.

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screwpainting":36m042s0 said:
It's from near you, it will have provenance of a sorts,........

You know you want it.
You're absolutely right. To be sitting at a dining table and be able to see the wood where the tree from which the table & chairs were made grew........well, that means quite a bit to me.

-

The "firewood plus" thing doesn't work. He'll chop it up himself. He likes playing with a chainsaw, and it's about 400 metres from his house. Turnr77's link suggests it's worth £120 to £150 (I'll measure it properly tomorrow), and it's certainly worth a lot more than that to me.
 

Inspector

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I found a chart and calculators that will tell you how much wood is in a tree. With the volume or weight and the cutting costs factored you should be able to figure out a fair price and if it is worth pursuing. Don't forget the wood turners that would like the crotch woods etc for bowls.

https://wunderwoods.wordpress.com/2011/ ... -in-a-log/

http://www3.telus.net/findNchoose/board ... lator.html

https://www.spikevm.com/calculators/lumber/

http://www.woodweb.com/cgi-bin/calculators/calc.pl

Here is an app for your phone.

https://www.norwoodsawmills.com/en_us/n ... mobile-app

Pete
 

Mike-W

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i'm a volunteer director of our community managed wood. In 2014 we felled and sold 24 tonnes of Sweet Chestnut to a local cleft fence maker. He paid us £40 a tonne roadside, at the time that was about the best price being paid for a single lorry load of sawgrade S/C timber.
(We were and still are selling mixed hardwood firewood for the same price).

Assuming the log at 450mm dia. is the average diameter you have about 25 cubic feet of timber (before waste). If felled with the sap down it will weigh about 770Kg.

Since 2014 British hardwoods have rocketed in price, additionally oak should fetch more than Sweet Chestnut so i would suggest £70 a tonne for your Oak log would be a good starting point.
btw I would expect little more than 50% usable hardwood from your log once milled and air dried.
 

Sgian Dubh

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Inspector":1micbkb5 said:
I found a chart and calculators that will tell you how much wood is in a tree. Pete
In addition, if you wish to undertake some calculations yourself, here are formulae you might use, basically lifted out of my book, Cut & Dried, and tweaked a bit.

The Hoppus Feet yield of hardwood round logs (sawlogs) and veneer logs is calculated by taking 1/4 of the log’s girth in inches (usually) at the log’s midpoint length, squaring the result and dividing this by 144. Finally the number of log length feet multiplies the result of the previous sum. The formula is written: Hoppus Volume (h ft) = ((Mid Quarter Girth in inches)²/144) X Length in Feet.

Example: Let’s say the girth of a 16 foot long log measured at the midpoint of the length is 69 inches. The quarter girth measurement is therefore 17.25 inches.
Calculate:(17.25² / 144) X 16 ft = 33.06 h ft. One Hoppus foot equals 1.273 true ft³ or roughly 21 percent greater than a true cubic foot including an allowance built in to the h ft for the loss of material during the milling of a butt or log. 33.06 ft X 1.273 = ~42.1 ft³.

If you want to go all North American on it you could use the Doyle Scale as follows:

The estimated volume yield is calculated using the log length rounded down to the nearest foot length and the diameter at the log’s small end, i.e., the end at the top of the living tree trunk. The diameter of the log is measured under the bark twice at the narrow end, once one way and then again at right angles to the first measurement. The result of the two measures is averaged and used for subsequent calculations.

The formula for the Doyle Scale is: bd ft = (D-4)² X (L/16) where D = log diameter at the small end inside the bark, and L = log length.

Example Sum: Using this formula where the diameter (D) = 20 inches, and the log length (L) is 16 feet the sum is,
(20-4)² X (16/16) = 256 bd ft, and to convert to cubic feet, 256/12 = 21.33 ft³.
Note: A bd ft is 1/12 of a cubic foot. Slainte.
 

shed9

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All these calculations are way-over-thinking it.

This is a tree that has been designated firewood, it needs processing and at least two years of seasoning to even be that. At less than 18" diameter (and that's not even at breast height) he is going to get less than a cord out of this tree, probably more like half.

Your offer price will be dependent on your understanding of him. I know people who will always ask more than I offer regardless of the offer itself, whereas I know some people who will ask for less than my initial offer as well. If he's a friend that makes it easier and remember as much as you want to offer him a decent price, he needs to reciprocate in selling at a decent price. I know the guys down at Wentwood timber, their price guides are based on them having the resource themselves and the end result worth the effort to both parties. In the case of one tree, a lot of that equation is moot.

Offer him £150 as a starting guide based on a firewood tree, not the family heirloom you think is buried in there. You are taking a gamble on this tree, you don't know the quality of the timber in terms of shake, growth, etc and even then you take the gamble of drying it to a satisfactory usability.
 

eezageeza

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I seem to remember a TV show a few years ago ( cant remember which one!) where a guy was building using locally felled oak, and they said a tree was about £100.
 

MikeG.

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shed9":1gvjbi2s said:
All these calculations are way-over-thinking it.
Possibly, for this tree (turns out there are two), but it's all really useful information, and actually very interesting to me anyway. Even if it doesn't apply to this tree, I have decided that buying whole trees and milling them is the way to go for me.

Offer him £150 as a starting guide based on a firewood tree, not the family heirloom you think is buried in there. You are taking a gamble on this tree, you don't know the quality of the timber in terms of shake, growth, etc and even then you take the gamble of drying it to a satisfactory usability.
I'm going to take a chainsaw to it at the midpoint, and if it looks OK, then that's the sort of figure I had in mind. £120 to £150, anyway. The top half of the tree is dead, so I need to see how that has affected the trunk.
 

shed9

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MikeG.":1p3sbo15 said:
I have decided that buying whole trees and milling them is the way to go for me
Totally agree.

Gone that way myself, setup up a Logosol F2 chain saw mill with 4 meter capacity last year. I live in a forest so it always made sense for me. I just have the awkward situation of running low on stock whilst waiting on drying the new. I'm currently looking for new suppliers in my area to fill that gap but going forward I should be fine.

Whatever happens, good luck and we all expect pictures (or it never happened) :D .....
 

woodbloke66

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MikeG.":2bi3iszx said:
The top half of the tree is dead, so I need to see how that has affected the trunk.
That could be the deciding factor Mike. You don't really know what it's going to be like until you open it up; it could be great or you might have bought yourself a very large white hefalump :D - Rob
 

MikeG.

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Indeed, Rob. Next time I've got a spare hour I'll toddle over there with a chainsaw and see what's inside the tree, and if it isn't good, I won't buy it.
 

Inspector

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Spaulted Oak can be gorgeous if it hasn't progressed to the point of being soft. Like I said woodturners might be interested in the parts you don't like.

Pete
 

custard

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There's something very satisfying about knowing the exact location of the tree that went into a piece of furniture, and doubly so when that location is only a biscuit toss away from where the furniture will reside.

What's an Oak tree worth? Under those circumstances I'd say quite a lot!
 

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