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Party's over

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by yooperdave, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. yooperdave

    yooperdave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Well, after years of getting firewood at a huge discount (or free) I now have to join the ranks of burners that overpay for their fuel. In years past, I woould get enought firewood from logging sites in the woods around the area I live at. Lately, the logging sites have been "super clean" due to the chipping process used to harvest any "left-over" wood at these sites. Also, the logging yard that used to sell "cull" logs (logs that were too crooked, crotchity, gnarly, etc.) has decided not to sell any more. So I had to pay $700 for 10 cord this fall...instead of the usual $450. Next year, the price will probably be $900 as iI got a good deal this year.

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  2. timusp40

    timusp40 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    266
    Loc:
    Lake Orion, Michigan
    yooperdave,
    Not good news. Brother lives on Thunder Lake. Only heat is wood. Never had a problem getting his fuel from cutting sites and others. But they are bringing in these huge chippers now that can devour several entire trees at a gulp. One operator said that they make more money selling the chipped wood than they can selling firewood. Less work. Just grind it up no matter what it is and truck it off.
    Take care,
    Tim
  3. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    So Cent ALASKA
    Making wood pellets has improved the use of timber company waste.
    They cut it all, good wood logs to the lumber mills, everything else, chips to pellet mills.
    Saw dust from the saw mills & other wood processing mills go into the pellet processor's too.
    Pellet mills are still a growing business.

    Add the OSB & particle board mills.
    Free or cheap fire wood from timber companies will get even more expensive & difficult to find.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  4. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
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    1,592
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    This is growing trend, there is an incredible demand for low grade wood for pellets and very soon bio-coal. The strange part is that there isnt a lot of demand for high grade wood due to the housing bust. Generally its not economic to do a timber cut for just low grade wood so there is less cutting overall and a lot of firms fighting for the low grade. The US has now become the biggest exporter of wood pellets in the world so its going to keep going. I live up in the woods of NH and green wood is going for $200 plus a cord cut and split with dry wood closer to $250. I have the biggest biomass boiler in the Northeast going in nearby and when it goes on line next year, its going to be sucking in 1,600 tons per day of low grade wood, luckilly I have access to a wood lot that wont be cut but I expect the price of firewood in my area is going to go up substantially.

    How I get access to a wood lot is that I work with the owner to do timber stand improvement on a small scale. I leave the good trees and cut the ones that are not so good and sucking up nutrients from the good trees. Its a PITA as I have to lug the wood from the woods to my truck but it beats buying it. Forget it with a major landowner but if you can find a small owner you might be able to work out a similiar deal.
    ScotO likes this.
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Michigan
    Sorry to hear that Dave but good to have you back on the forum. Around here they are telling us there is a larger market for low grade logs than for the good stuff. So most tell folks to keep the good stuff for 10 more years and the price will be back up then. I hope it is sooner.
    Thistle likes this.
  6. flatlandr

    flatlandr Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    Berks County PA
    I'm finding this here in PA also. I watched 30 acres of mixed hardwoods go into a chipper, it was enough to make me sick. Only bright spot is that when they pulled out they left about a dozen oak logs about 12 feet long by anywhere from 30 inches to 48 inches diameter.the two that i cut had fence in them so I imagine that they all do.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  7. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    They must have metal detectors & scan before they go to the chipper.
    Next new generation of chain saws, gonna have to add that feature ;)
  8. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Central IA

    That would sure save me a ton of headaches when milling some old yardbird.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  9. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    northwest Virginia
    I have noticed this around here as well. After logging operations in the National Forest near me, it seems like there's nothing left. Used to be they left the tops that would make several loads for me, but not anymore. Hearing those prices makes me really grateful I'm able to cut my own!
  10. Realstone

    Realstone Lord of Fire

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    Loc:
    Southern ON
    Shall we add this to your Xmas list?:


    [​IMG]
    albert1029 and Thistle like this.
  11. Realstone

    Realstone Lord of Fire

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    Southern ON
    Is it possible we are seeing the beginning of a trend?
  12. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    NE Ohio
    So we throw a fit in the pellet room and tell them to quit stealing our wood!
    Realstone likes this.
  13. tcassavaugh

    tcassavaugh Minister of Fire

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    Southern Maryland
    that sounds like a plan....;lol

    cass
  14. Realstone

    Realstone Lord of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
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    852
    Loc:
    Southern ON
    It's going to be hard letting go of my Jotul to buy a (shudder) pellet stove <>
    tcassavaugh likes this.
  15. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    So Cent ALASKA
    I think there is a trend, but that don't mean no fire wood. It means more of the wood cut for mills is going to be used.
    How much wood does the average fire wood burner get from scrounging logging sites? Not much.

    Pellet mills don't pay $800 to a $1,000 for a 10 cord load of logs. Log lenght loads will still be there at a reasonable price, may just have to shop for it more.

    Wood isn't the big cost, it's labor. If we are willing to process our own wood, it'll still be a cheaper heat.
    Scrounging , state wood cutting sites, log length loads & private land will keep
    firewood burners , who process their own wood, in reasonabl cheap fire wood for a long time.

    Not many folks out there crazy enough to do all the hard physical work to CSS their own fire wood.
    We will be fine.
    Realstone and Backwoods Savage like this.
  16. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    What has changed in the past 4 years here is that many dimentional lumber and peeler mills in the PNW shut down for good during the "great recession". This means less scrap wood from mills for sawdust and chips. Also many logs are going to export yards along the Columbia River, so they are being milled overseas (in China). So there are no scraps from those logs feeding the wood aftermarkets here either. What I have seen here lately are odd logs that would usually go into slash piles and be left as cull logs being hauled out for sawdust, chips and pulp, the 'utility' grade logs. Utility doug/hem/spruce logs here are going for $120 (pond price) per gross MBF. At 2 cords per MBF, if you figure 3 to 4 MBF per truckload (typical for PNW trailers) you get a price of $960 for a load of low grade firewood logs here. Alder utility logs are over $300/MBF, so that drives that price way up for firewood.

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