The black walnut tree is a deciduous tree native to North America. This tree is quite useful, and it is prized because it can be easily worked with and because a lot of people like the rich brown color of its lumber. Aside from its uses in construction, this tree is also prized for the distinct taste of its walnuts.
There are actually a lot of black walnut tree cultivars. They can either be bred specifically for the lumber they can provide or for their nuts. Today, it can be very hard to find black walnut trees that are in good condition simply because many of the areas where they grow have the thousand canker disease.
This disease is causing a decline in the tree population. To assess its value, you need to consider its allelopathic characteristics as well as its slow aging process towards maturity. These trees cannot be easily grown together, and it will take decades before you can use them.
Factors To Consider Before Cutting Or Selling The Tree
Before trying to cut or sell a tree, you need to consider making sure that it is large enough so that you will be able to sell it for a good price. In some cases, the tree will need to have at least 14in. In diameter before they can be sold for a good amount of money. The bigger the diameter, the higher the worth.
The tree will sometimes be valued depending on its financial and biological maturity. Some buyers will also grade the tree depending on the quality of the wood. The tree can either be graded as veneer quality or lumber quality. Veneer-quality trees are rare, which is why they are more valuable.
For a black walnut tree to be given a veneer quality, it needs to be as much as 19 inches in diameter, and it should not have defects. Although you can now sell a tree this big, some would suggest that you keep growing the tree until it will have 25in. In diameter so that it will be able to have a higher value.
Some experts also say that as soon as you see a tree that can potentially be graded as veneer quality, you should try to let it grow to at least 24 – 26 inches in diameter. As for lumber-quality trees, you might still be able to sell them for a good price because walnuts are known for their high-end lumber.
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What Is The Worth Of A Black Walnut Tree?
When it comes to selling black walnut trees with a lumber quality grade, one with a 14-inch diameter and a 16-foot log can have as much as 50 board feet. Since each board foot has an average value of $1.00, you can get as much as $50 for this specific tree.
For trees that have an 18-inch diameter and the same length, you can get as much as 100 board feet. For trees that have a 24-inch diameter, you can get as much as 220 board feet. The stump value of both trees will be $100 and $220, respectively.
For veneer quality trees, on the other hand, they need to have at least 22 inches in diameter as well as an 8-foot log that is in good quality. This tree can make as much as 170 board feet, and since it can be sold for around $3.00 per foot, you can get as much as $510 for it.
If the veneer quality tree has a 26-inch diameter, it might fetch as much as $1300 in the market. In some areas, a 19-inch veneer log will only be valued at $700 – $800, while a 25-inch veneer log will have a price of $1400 – $1600, depending on the current market conditions.
If you want to sell the nuts, on the other hand, you should know that cultivars that have very high yields can produce as much as 2,000 pounds of walnut per acre. In the U.S., you can sell these walnuts to a Hammons Products buying station for around 13 cents to 45 cents per pound.
On the other hand, freelance buyers may buy black walnuts for as high as $1.00 per pound. This shows that there are a lot of factors to consider when trying to determine the worth of a black walnut tree. From its diameter and grade to its intended use and current market conditions, all play a role in determining the value of this prized tree.
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How To Sell Your Trees for Timber
Taking a systematic and informed approach is essential if you’re considering selling your trees for lumber, especially valuable ones like Black Walnuts. Here’s how you can go about it:
- Engage with a Professional Forester: Start by consulting with a forester. These experts have a deep knowledge of the timber market, from wood grades to potential buyers, and can guide you through every stage. They’ll advise you on which trees are best to harvest, the most effective harvesting methods, and what volume and revenue you can anticipate.
- Take Stock with a Thorough Inventory: With the forester’s assistance, undertake a comprehensive inventory of your trees. This detailed record will be instrumental when you’re negotiating prices. When creating your timber inventory, consider:
- Different Timber Types and Their Prices: Understand that each timber product has its market value.
- Size of Your Trees: Generally, bigger trees fetch a higher price.
- Species of Timber: Due to their demand or rarity, some species can bring in more profits.
- Quality of Your Timber: High-quality wood will command a better price in the market.
- Volume of Timber: The more you can offer, the more revenue you generate.
- Distance to Market: Think about transportation. Local mills might offer better prices due to reduced transportation challenges.
By following this structured approach and tapping into the knowledge of forestry professionals, you’re positioning yourself to maximize profits while ensuring you’re harvesting timber sustainably and responsibly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the disadvantages of the black walnut tree?
The black walnut tree is distinguished by its unique leaves, bark, and significant value. However, a notable disadvantage is its production of juglone, a chemical that inhibits the growth of surrounding plants. This allelopathic effect can limit the variety of plants that thrive in its vicinity.
How can one identify a black walnut tree compared to other trees?
Black walnut trees can be identified by their pinnately compound leaves with 15-23 leaflets, distinctive deep-furrowed bark in mature trees, and round, green fruits that contain the familiar walnut seed.
How does the thousand canker disease affect the black walnut tree?
The walnut twig beetle in combination with a fungus causes thousand canker disease. The disease gets its name from the numerous small cankers that form around the beetle’s galleries under the bark. Over time, these cankers coalesce and girdle branches, leading to dieback and, eventually, the tree’s death.
What is the recommended spacing if you want to plant multiple black walnut trees?
Due to its allelopathic properties and growth size, black walnut trees should be spaced at least 40-60 feet apart if planted in a grove or for timber production. This allows for healthy growth and minimizes competition.
Are black walnut trees safe for pastures and animals?
While the wood and husks of black walnuts contain juglone, which can be toxic to some plants, horses are particularly sensitive to black walnut shavings. Exposure can lead to laminitis, a painful hoof condition. It’s essential to ensure that black walnut shavings are not used in horse bedding.
Do black walnut trees require any specific soil conditions to thrive?
Black walnut trees prefer deep, well-drained soils with a pH level of 6-7.5. They grow best in rich and loamy soils but can also tolerate a variety of soil types as long as there is adequate drainage.
Black walnut trees are very valuable today because they are known for their quality lumber and delicious walnuts. Although they can be worth a good amount of money, especially ones with veneer quality, you should know that these trees cannot readily give you a return on investment.
This is because you will need to wait for as long as ten years before these trees can produce walnuts. You will also have to wait for as long as 30 years before nut production can reach its peak. If you want to sell the logs, you must wait 50 – 80 years before you can get the best value.
In general, black walnut trees are worth a decent amount of money, but they are not good from a business or investment standpoint. If you want to sell them, you should look for veneer quality ones as these trees can fetch a higher price in the market.