# Thread: How much for a Cherry tree?

1. ## How much for a Cherry tree?

A guy at work wants to have a cherry tree removed from his property and was wondering what it would go for if he sold the tree. Anyone know about how much a tree would go for approx.? He said it's a little over 3' at the base and about 50'-60' high.

Thanks,

Joe

2. markus shaffer Guest
i would suggest to him that cherry is worthless and that if he was to have it cut down, you would happily come haul it off for him (laughs).

i wish i had some cherry that needed to be removed from my property..

-markus

3. It's maybe worth \$15 dollars. Maybe.

4. Join Date
Feb 2003
Location
Indianapolis
Posts
1,430
Tell him that it is just a single tree that has been near people for several years. It is, more than likely, full of wire, nails, etc., and has no value as lumber. He might be lucky to get someone to bring it down for the wood, but that is doubtful. Offer to help clean it up for "firewood". Seriously, I doubt that is worth near what he is hoping for.

5. ## Well - let's look at this

Joe,

There are several different parts to "how much is a tree worth?" that we need to consider.

Three points I can think of are:
1. Number of Board Feet
2. Embedded Metal
3. Overall Tree condition

Number of Board Feet

The first thing to do is figure out the quantity of lumber you can get.

Log Scales - Board Feet from Logs

The above link has several scales. When scaling a log, you generally use the small end of the log, inside the bark. Let's say the butt log (base, bottom part) is 24" inside the bark at 8' up. That allows for some real flare at the base. The scales show a yield of about 200 board feet. Let's say the next 8' tapers to 18" inside the bark. That's another 100 board feet. We're up to 300 board feet of lumber out of the first 16'. If the butt log tapers to 30" inside the bark, it's got 300+ BF of lumber in it alone.

I don't know about you, but 300+ board feet of butt log cherry is nothing to sneeze at.

Embedded Metal

Trees in yards frequently have metal buried in them. The longer they have been in a residential setting and the closer to an open space - the better the chances. When you cut the log down, if you see dark/blue stains when you look at the end of the log - that's an clear indication of metal in the tree.

Overall Tree Condition

Is the tree dead or alive? Does it look healthy? Is the bark full of worm holes? Does the tree stand up straight or is it leaning to a side because of a hill or prevalent wind? Those are all questions that can help you decide what the condition of the tree is and what sort of lumber you'd get out of it.

The latter 2 categories help you assess the quality of the lumber you're likely to get out of the tree.

What would I do?

Let's assume you can get 300+ feet of lumber out of the tree. With cherry, you want the heartwood, not sapwood and a larger tree will yield wider boards with more heartwood. A sawyer will probably want a \$100-\$300 to saw that tree up plus blade charges for any metal he/she hits. The rate will depend on how far the sawyer has to travel with the mill, how long it takes to mill the logs, whether you want it quartersawn, etc.

If there is no metal in the tree and it's nice wood, there could be a fair amount of valuable lumber in the tree. In my area, kiln-dried cherry 8" wide is almost \$7/board ft and 10"+ is \$.50 higher. Drying is under \$2/ft, so at \$5/ft retail "green" - there could be a \$1500+ worth of lumber in just the bottom 16' of the tree.

I'd offer the guy \$.50/board foot for clear, heartwood yield. That means you pay him for the useable, clear, stain-free, heartwood lumber you get out of the tree. If the tree is full of metal and all the wood is stained, he gets nothing. If the tree is full of nice, clear wood - he gets something for it. You'll need to agree on how you determine heartwood yield per board, but I'd use an average for each board based on measuring the heartwood. I say pay for heartwood because that's what you really want. It cuts out the sapwood which isn't what you want anyway. Another thing to take into consideration is the amount of pitch-pocketing on the wood. If the wood has lots of pockets and streaks, it's not worth as much.

I know this is a different perspective from the other folks, but a 3' cherry tree does have the potential for some valuable lumber. The thing your buddy needs to understand is that 1 tree does not a fortune make. Timber harvesters want tracts of virgin forest and typically won't go near a yard tree.

Rob

6. Join Date
Mar 2003
Location
Central Indiana
Posts
171
Sell ?? Seriously, most people in town would pay \$1000 to have it cut down if it's close to a home around here ! Maybe get some money back selling turning blanks he cut himself. Or, have a woodmizer guy cut rough lumber that he could air dry and sell. If it's away from property it could damage when felled, someone might cut it up for free wood working wood. I don't think anyone here would pay for a single tree standing in civilization. Most firewood gathering types around here don't even down standing trees. Most go for storm damage already cut up. This at least saves the bill for hauling all that nice wood away to the dump or mulch pile.

Rob has a great idea. The way it usually works, seems like a waste of money and wood...
Last edited by Eric Apple - Central IN; 07-16-2003 at 12:32 PM.

7. Thanks guys,

A guy from one of the other yards told him the Amish would probably give him \$900 (+ or - ) for it. I figured he might get a little more if he gets it sliced into boards and let it air-dry for a couple of years. He asked me to find out, so, I'll copy the advice and give it to him. Then he can decide what he wants to do. No matter what he ends up doing, I'll probably get a little of it.

Thanks,

Joe

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