Considerations for Marketing Timber

March 9, 2022

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Video Transcript

 - [Lyndon] This discussion of considerations for marketing timber, with Kathy Smith, out of the Ohio State University. Kathy started out as a watershed forester. And since then has spent 20 years in Woodland stewardship program at Ohio State University. She's helped us answer some questions during last time block and seems very knowledgeable. Kathy, what can you tell us about marketing considerations for timber? - Well, I think we had a great lead in Julie's presentation, laid out some of the management things to think about. There's some things in here that may overlap a little bit. But hopefully, this answers some questions for folks who are thinking about timber management. And Julie, kind of laid bare this, that you get these phone calls, someone knocked on the door, and they offer what seems to be quite a sum of money. for all those trees grown out back. I'll give you $30,000 for all those trees you have out back. So what do you do? And my question back to most landowners at that point is, what else do you own, that you would sell to the first person who knocks on the door and offers you money, without knowing what it's worth? What they offer you for the trees that they want may be a great price. But how do you know? What do you know about your woods? Have you worked with somebody so that you understand what's sitting back there on the stump? It's a cautious. Think about it. Is there anything else you'd sell without really knowing the value of it? And I hope not. Because timber is a crop, I know that it's hard to think of it as a crop, you need to treat it like a crop. It's not corn and soybeans, where it has an annual rotation. It has more six, to seven, to eight year rotation depending on what you're trying to grow. But it's a crop. And so we need to think about it in those terms. I suggest that any landowner who has woodlands takes a little bit of time to learn about that commodity that you have sitting on the stump back there. So that if somebody knocks on the door, you kind of know where you're going with whatever answer you're going to give them. And usually, if you look at the National Woodland Owners surveys, selling timber is not at the top of any of our lists for why we own woodlands. I'm a woodland owner, I've got 80 acres here on the farm. But timber is not the top reason why I love my woods and why I'm managing and doing things with the woods. So if you decide you're gonna sell, you have to figure out the method, and you also have to figure out if it makes sense for what you're trying to accomplish. So ask yourself some questions, why do you own your forest? There's a lot of reasons out there. There's a few listed here. I always liked the one that says, well, it came with the farm. Okay that means though, that you still can learn about what's back there. When I was a field forester in western Ohio, I was sometimes amazed with landowners who would give me a call, let's go walk the woods. And they'd never been back in the woods because I'd say, well, you lead the way, you know your woods and if I see something we need to go towards, but you lead the way. And that's what, why I don't spend any time back here. I don't know what's here. So that always kind of catches me. But I was the little kid that you couldn't keep out of the woods. So maybe you shouldn't. A lot of folks will say, well, I want wildlife habitat. And as a forester, that's always a great answer. But what kind of wildlife because every wildlife species has a little bit more habitat needs, different habitat, different resources that they need to have in order to be successful. And so there's a lot of things that go into, why do you own your forest? What are you gonna do with it? If you're gonna sell timber, why? Are you trying to recover some of the initial investment when you purchased the property? Is it a point in time where you need income? I used to have farmers that would call and say, Kathy, I need a new piece of farm equipment. Let's go to the woods and mark some trees for sale. A different way of managing their woodland but their woodland was their kind of bank account when they needed equipment or needed supplemental income for equipment. So is it a step in achieving your management goals and objectives. So you've got those right now, you know what you're trying to do. And selling timber is kind of that next step. We talked a little bit here in between the two presentations about salvaging downed trees from storm damage or insect outbreaks, a lot of us have had to deal with the emerald ash borer issue. And I was one of those that we did a sale here, I guess it was 2018. And the really focus of the sale was to get some of the dead and dying ash out of the woods, I had some sections that were heavy ash. And I knew that if I left them, they were just gonna fall apart and fall down and recreation in the woods was gonna become next to impossible because it wouldn't be safe. And there were folks that were out there looking for ash material. And so we did a sale that was a heavier sale than I would have liked to. But we were trying to reduce the ash stock that I had on the farm. And sometimes that's a land use change. And so if you're going to make a land use change, I'd much rather see the trees salvaged and used versus bulldozed and piled and burned. So there is some income there, and let's figure out how to sell it. So storm damage, I think a lot of us, we had some here in the last few weeks, where we had high winds and ice, which did not do our trees, a whole lot of good, our white pine around here now look like sticks. So that's something that we have to deal with. Sometimes it's insect infestations, and I did not stage this photo. We found a gypsy moth caterpillar on a dead ash tree, which is where all the galleries are from emerald ash borer. So both of them can create issues where we might have to deal with some trees that need to come out. And then I think Julie did a really nice job talking about the early successional forest habitat, that's one of our habitats on the wildlife side that is in a world of hurt, we don't have a lot of early successional forest habitat. So you may decide to open up gaps in your forest or at the edge of your forest to create some of that successional habitat for those wildlife species that you want to favor. So figure out whether that timber harvest is gonna help you meet your ownership objectives. It should be outlined in your management plan, if you have one, or maybe dictated through some kind of tax law or other program where you have to have a management plan. In Ohio, we have a couple of forest tax laws that require management plans, or landowners just dive into a management plan. I'm one of those that have said, I don't care what your management plan looks like. It can be in your head, it can be written on napkins, it can be written or it can be fancy in a computer program. Just as long as you kind of have that roadmap, that when something like this comes up and somebody knocks on the door, you can kind of go and look and say, well, is this a time that we should be thinking about a harvest, or is it not the right time? And you wanna make certain that you don't sell and knock yourself off track of what you're trying to accomplish with managing your woodlands. And let me say that I have told many of landowner that, if you go through all the pros and cons of doing nothing in your woods, you've still made a management decision. You've weighed what the pros are, what cons are, of hands off management, and you're okay with that, then you still have made a management decision and kind of have a roadmap in front of you that you're gonna be hands off, and not a super active woodland owner. But get assistance. There's a lot of foresters out there from a variety of areas. And we did this publication years ago and haven't had it back in print for probably 15 years or more. But it was based on trying to explain to folks why, if you've got a forester working with you, typically, you're gonna cut fewer trees and perhaps make more money, leaves you a future harvest potential if it's there. The harvest should contribute to your goals and objectives. You protect the resources, and hopefully the visual impact is minimized so that it doesn't look like a bomb went off in your forest. Because if you call Julie or I, afterwards, there's not a lot that we can do. I mean, we can make some recommendations, can give you some pointers. But whether you can recover from something, a harvest, that was just not what you thought it would be, it's really tough. A lot of times, it's a case of you need to leave it grow. And it's gonna take time, but you may just have to step back and let everything grow until there's something to work with. So where do you get assistance? I think Julie had some great resources, I didn't wanna dive too deep on those, because I knew that there were a lot of different ones, and that she was gonna talk about those. But whether you're talking State Foresters or Consulting Foresters, or Industry Foresters, there's someone out there to help you. And you need to reach out and get that assistance. I left this here, our Ohio chapter of the Society of American Foresters. This is our new directory website, that you can look for foresters. So I thought, some folks, you might wanna just check it out, I do believe that there's one or two of our consultants at least Michigan, that they're close enough to the border that they will go north. But you can kind of see what their qualifications are. And maybe that will help you when you go to ask questions of consultants as you're kind of interviewing them. And then the other option is the Call Before You Cut program. So it is in Ohio, but it's also in Michigan, and all of these other states. So if you go to Call Before You Cut, you can pick your state. And if you click on Michigan, here's your Michigan Call Before You Cut page. And so there's info here, there's resources here, you can ask questions, and some stuff will be sent to you. So it's a great resource that you get beyond today. And you're thinking about now having a harvest, but it's been a while since you were here, you can go to the Call Before You Cut website and pick up some more information. So what's the next step, you know why you want to sell? Now you have to figure out what you have to sell. And that's where that professional forester can really come into play. You allow them and even though I could have marked our own sale, this last sale we did in 2018, we hired a consultant, because I wanted someone who could focus on the sale. And with my job, there was no way that I was gonna have the time to be able to mark and focus and everything that needed to be done. So we did hire a consulting forester. Trees should be marked. And I'll show you some images of that here. You then tally by species and volume, so that you can advertise the sale of what you have on the property that is up for sale. Always make certain you know where your boundaries are, and that those that are coming in to look at the species know where your boundaries are, the last thing you want is to have a timber trespass case where they accidentally mark or harvest trees on your neighbor's property. That never goes over very well. And in this case, so this is actually our farm here in Monroe County, you can kind of see how in some spots our woods are really easy to see. But that southern boundary is a toughy. And we tried to make certain when we had the sale, that Southern piece on this map was almost all ash. And so I can honestly say we won't be back down in there for a while to do any harvesting. But you need to know where your boundaries are, you need to be able to show whoever's coming in to look at the trees knows where the boundaries are so that everybody's working off the same page. You should get a tally from the forester. And they can look a lot different. They can be each individual tree, this tally just kind of grouped by species so that we know we had a total of 40,000 board feet that's up for sale. You know how many of each species are out there. And this is what the buyer is gonna use when they come look at the site to make a bid on. And that leads us into how you're going to sell. So sometimes we have folks that want to cut the trees themselves. And this image is actually from a farmer about three miles from where I am, that one day when I came home down this road, he was stacking these logs out along the road. And I thought, oh, wow, so he's cutting his own trees, he's probably got somebody who's gonna combine them, it can increase profits, but logging is a dangerous job, and I never recommend that a landowner venture into it unless they feel like they have the right experience. And once the trees are cut, they have to be sold. Otherwise, they're gonna sit there and they're gonna start to decay, you can't put them back on the stump. And so don't go cutting and stacking like this, unless you've got somebody who's ready to buy the trees. And I can tell you, honestly, these trees sat for most of the summer in this location, they were definitely starting to decay before somebody hauled them off to a mill somewhere. And there you can see the ends later in the year that getting a little dark, having some issues. And so this is one of those places where it may have made sense initially, but he probably lost value in stacking them there and hoping to sell them to somebody, he didn't already have somebody ready to buy. What most of us deal with when we're talking about methods of sale, we're talking about selling trees as they stand on the stump. The beauty of selling stumpage is if you get bids, and you don't like any of the bids, you can just let the trees grow. And put out a sale call later on, a year, six months, nine months down the road, maybe when the market changes. So it is something to think about. But most of us would say sell stumpage because it's much safer for you. And then you have a couple of options on the payment side. But again, most of us would lean towards the lump sum sale. So before a tree is cut, or any equipments moved to the site, you get a check up front, for a lump sum payment of what they bid on when they bid on the trees. It's the easiest and for the landowner, it's the safest because you have money in hand, before anything gets cut. You can sell by unit so that you're scaling the trees when they come out of the woods. But you have to trust the person that scaling those trees that they're doing a good job, and reporting accordingly. So lump sum stumpage are the way that most of us, I think, would recommend that you go. Marking trees, lower paint spot, upper paint spot, so that you can, once the tree is cut, you've got to paint spot on that stump to know that that tree was part of the sale so that if you end up with stumps with no paint mark, then they probably took a tree that was not listed on the tally that they should have taken. There's a lot of ways to mark them, you can kind of see here's a couple of another way. But they're gonna measure these trees at four and a half feet off the ground. That's one thing, you wanna make certain that everybody's working at the same point of measurement. So diameter breast height, four and a half feet off the ground so that everybody is using the same method. Typically, we look at the height in 16 foot logs, you're going to calculate the volume of the trees to harvest and then mark them, and they ended up on that tally that we looked at a little earlier. So when you sell stumpage, you can do a single offer. I've had landowners do that, they've got somebody that they have a good relationship with. So you have a tally, you have just one offer that comes off those trees. I have never worked very much in the oral bid or negotiations. It's an option. And I do know that there are some folks that do that. But it's typically again, a low number of people that travel down that path. Most of us look at written sealed bids. And so when you put all the info out, you're asking for a sealed bid that will be open at a specific given time, so that they know, those that are trying to buy, know that on this date at this time, you're gonna open all the bids and make a decision on who is purchasing those trees. It's always interesting how many bids do you get. I think this last sale that we did, maybe we had almost 400 trees for sale, which was a lot for an 80 acre woods. But we still only had three bids. And they were, there was one that was really high and then the other two were kind of on the lower end. So it's good to get multiple offers because you never know what that logger has in a way of contracts that he has to fulfill. And if you've got the tree species he needs, he's probably gonna be willing to pay a little more than somebody who's just buying a general stand mixed hardwoods. There's many things that impact our selling prices, the species. At one point, ash around here was going for about 10 cents a board foot. It had come up, as ash started disappearing. The quality of the trees, how easy is it to get in and out of the site, market conditions, how far are you from the mill, the number and the size. And Julie was talking about smaller acreage is maybe not as willing for folks to come and harvest. A lot of times, what I'll put as a rule of thumb is you probably have to have 20 to 30 trees that are of a good species and quality that may attract some buyers that normally wouldn't. So don't give up. But also on the smaller sales don't expect necessarily the same robust reaction to your contracts out there. You advertise, you're gonna send buyers of standing timber, your information, your location, the tally, and type of sale that you were expecting to do, and when can that buyer get in to inspect the trees. If you're dealing with sealed bids, and you have to tell them when they'll be open, you need to tell them upfront how the payment is to be made. So if you're doing a lump sum payment, you need to tell them that. Are there major conditions or limitations on sale? So it has to be sold by and removed from the site by a certain date and time. That helps them decide whether it fits into their current schedule of sales. If you are going to require a performance bond from them, you need to let them know that as well when you advertise the sale, so you don't catch them off guard if that's something that you want to have. So what is the value of your trees? Could be less than $100 an acre, could be greater than $1,000 an acre, it just depends. There's no easy way to put a dollar value on somebody's woods unless you've really walked it. And some of this we just talked about. Timing is one of those things. So if let's say their access to the woods goes through a crop field, then they only have a window between crops, unless you work with your farmer to create a pathway for them to access the trees. And so all of that has to play into the value. Gas prices are gonna play into the value. As we watch gas prices go up, you may have some mills that say you can go, instead of saying you can go 150 miles out around the mill, they may come back and say you know what, we're only gonna go 100 or less than 100. And so those kinds of things are things we can't necessarily plan for. But they can impact what the value is and what the mill offers for the trees standing in the woods. So one of the things when Bruce asked me to do this, he wanted me to talk a little bit about the Ohio Timber Price Report. We've been doing the Ohio Timber Price Report in Ohio for several decades. It used to be done by the Agricultural Services. At one point they hit kind of, it's not that valuable of a service, so we're not gonna offer it anymore. There was about a year and a half before we at Ohio State picked it up with the help of the Division of Forestry and restarted the Timber Price Report. And so we offer it twice a year. I took this snapshot of the website prior to me posting the January 2022 report. It is up now. But you can kind of see we do January and July. How accurate is it? I say that when I did our sale, I had the timber tally. I took the prices from the price report. And I felt like I at least was in the ballpark to know what to expect from the bids that came in and I was kind of very much in the middle of the offers that did come in for our trees that we sold. So one side of it is prices paid for saw logs. And you can see just an example here. And then the other part of it is stumpage. So we send out surveys to our mills and I have to say that we have lost quite a few mills in the last probably three years. And it's something that we're gonna have to discuss, because we need more mills reporting than what we're getting in order to really be more robust in our numbers. But I still feel like we're in the ballpark. And I think you guys can use this as well. Just understand that it's not gonna nail the price. But it may very well at least give you an understanding of what's out there. And there's some historic ones here, I think we have all of them back to the first Timber Price Report that was done in Ohio. And we're one of the few states that still does an individual Timber Price Report. So you need to select a buyer. And you can say get all those bids in and you select who wins the bid. And now you get to talk about contracts. I'll show you, you don't have a handout here, but I'll show you the fact sheet, we have that kind of outlines the important points in a contract. And this is where the details count. And I always tell folks, if there's something that's important to you, I don't want you crossing that driveway with that culvert. Or if you use that driveway in your bus, the culvert, you need to fix it. So those are the kinds of things don't think that everybody assumes put it in the contract, if it's important to you. You can't access this field from May through July, or whatever that may be. And so details in the contract are important. But you also don't wanna get so tied up in the details that you turn the buyer off, and there's just too many hoops that they have to jump through. So think about what's important and negotiated into the contract where it needs to be. These are just some bullet items to think about, when we're talking about what needs to be there, there's a lot of other things that can be there. If you're working with a consulting forester, more than likely they are going to have a contract. And so if this can kind of help you make certain things that are important to you or also in their contract. That's a great way to look at it. And last but not least, are the BMPs or the best management practices. In Ohio, we have a pollution abatement law that requires best management practices on silvicultural operations. So for us, it's something that we have to have and we have to address. But just some examples, haul roads where you've got it shaped to the right point where the water flows off, and you don't end up creating a muddy mess. Your roads should never, ever, ever look like this. Because man, you're not gonna fix that. That's long term damage, that just, it's gonna take time. And so think about those kinds of things, that's the last thing you want to see you in your woods. There's other practices like this open top box culvert that can be used to move the water off the road, the skid trail. There's a lot of options out there when we talk about best management practices, but they should be tied to your timber contract. So that you don't end up with things that the logger says I have to deal with that we didn't talk about that in the contract. BMPs when it comes to stream side management zones, having been a watershed forester, these are couple of nightmare slides that I don't ever wanna see. The caveat is if you don't have to cross the stream, don't. Because they're tough to deal with. It's easy to get it wrong. And if the buffer isn't there to help maintain things, you can have some real large issues about sedimentation in the stream. And so don't cross the stream unless you absolutely positively have to. These are examples not to follow both great examples of where the water flow was not managed well. The one on the right actually ended up with massive amounts of mud in the township road. And the group was fine because of all the the mud that had to be removed from the township road and repairs that had to be done. So think about it. Make certain that the soil stays on the site and the water doesn't take it anywhere that it's not supposed to go. There's also practices out there for closing the sale. Whether you just want things grass down, or you want water bars depending on what kind of slope you're working with. But again, if there's something that you want, you need to talk about it with them and put it in the contract so that it gets done properly. And just quickly, our woodland stewards website, these fact sheets are pretty basic, but follows most of what I just talked about is the getting the most return from your timber sale, about marketing it. We have a fact sheet, which I know, Michigan State Extension does as well, measuring standing trees to look at the merchantable and then the timber sale contract one that really is just a little bullet kind of definitions of what you should think about to put into a timber sale contract. So when the guy knocks on the door, know what your resource is worth, to you and to the buyer. Determine if a harvest is going to help you meet your ownership objectives. Don't do a harvest just because the money sounds good. If it's not going to help you and maybe hinders you, then it's not what you wanna do. There's a system out there, use it. I mean, make good use of it, it's well worth the time and effort. You determine what you sell, how you're gonna sell. You detail it on the contract. And one of those things that I would talk about a little bit in the contract is if you don't do the lump sum, do not do the, I'll pay you 50% upfront and I'll pay you 50% when the last load of logs leaves the landing. Well, if the last load of logs on the landing are junk, and they never come back to get them, they don't owe you that other 50%. And so while it sounds like a good deal, those little things can happen. I've had to deal with some landowners that were in those kind of scenarios. And it's not a good feeling. So try to do it as best you can as stumpage and a lump sum payment upfront to protect your interests with a timeframe that they need to be in and out and have the trees harvested. Some other things to think about is, do you want the tops for firewood? Or are you willing to let them have the tops and maybe subcontract to a firewood dealer. All of those things need to be thought about before you go ahead and have the sale. And so with that, I think we're here ready for questions if you have some. - [Lyndon] Oh, we hope more questions will come in, but real early into the program, gentleman asked How about management for veneer oak methods. So management for veneer oak, what are the methods to do that? - So veneer is an interesting product. (Kathy laughs) I think that, so when we're taught veneer we talk about three sides clear or at least two sides clear. But some veneer buyers have a different look at veneer tree. So I have looked at some veneer logs on log yards here in the last decade or so and just kind of scratched my head and said, veneer? I wouldn't have called that veneer on the stump. So, veneer's hard to manage for. And if you think you have a tree that the first eight foot log is clean of knots, normals and anything on at least three sides, and then it's worth pointing out to somebody that you feel like that's a veneer tree and you've marked it as a saw log tree. I mean it is worth, that's where knowing your woods really does pay off. You can kind of say, well, I think this one over here. And I've had folks do that and kind of challenge the buyer and say, well, you know if you're not gonna pay me for veneer for this one and you feel strongly about that. Maybe we'll just take it out of the sale and sell it later or something. But veneer is a tricky one. We don't have as many veneer buyers as we used to. Some folks just don't even look at trees for veneer. And some mills aren't necessarily treating veneer logs like veneer. And so the veneer market it's a tricky one and I can't say that you can necessarily manage for veneer unless you're starting with very young trees that you start pruning really early, so that you have those clean sides. But by definition, veneer should have at least three sides clean. - [Lyndon] Anything to do that we can do as far as management to try to create that situation? - Well, if you're starting with small trees, yes, then, you know printing that first 16 foot log, so that you do have a clean log goes a long way. It's that early hands on young tree management. And so pruning of those young trees, when they're in that eight inch range, you're starting to prune them up until you get to where you've got the first 16 feet, which would be the first log, prune fairly clean, and then it grows that way. And you end up with the veneer on that outer source. Once the trees get to 20 inches plus and are considered veneer. - So when does that trimming? At what stage is that trimming could be serviced? - So you wanna trim as early as possible, you really do. So if you've got a plantation that you have planted, when the trees are up in that two inch, three inch, you can start then and so that you have a nice, in your trimming that tree to have a nice, straight for 16 feet. - So Julie, the next question, can you see that? Julie's asking the question, my family has a 60 acre, more or less of red pines, white pines, and some hardwoods that should be thinned or wildlife openings for canopy, et cetera. In southern Michigan, we're concerned about introducing oak wilt, or post harvest pests. - So we don't deal as often with the pine side, whether, you know Julie wants to jump in on that. But introducing oak wilt, it's about pruning at the right time when you're dealing with oaks. So you don't wanna be pruning in season. It wants to be dormant. So after October, November, because you don't want the picnic beetles, which are the ones that carry the vector for oak wilt, that you wanna be certain that you're pruning it that dormant season, do not prune oaks when we're in the active growth stage because that is making them vulnerable to things like oak wilt. For a lot of sites, there are some conifer pests, just depends on whether you're gonna replant back conifers, red pine, white pine, or you're going to just leave it grow and regenerate naturally. But it's about pruning and removing at the right time of the year. And the oak wilt question is a great one to ask in definitely dormant season. And you do not want live tissue that's attracting picnic beetles, which are the ones that carry the vector. - [Lyndon] I think a follow up question here is, is there anything I can do in the timber contract that will help minimize the spread of oak wilt? - Sure, you can specify the season. So let's say, the stand of trees cannot be harvested before November 15, up to whatever that spring date is that you wanna be safe probably sometime in March. So you give them a window, that, especially for the oaks, you're gonna have to harvest in this dormant season. And I think that's fair, because the last thing you want is to have fresh cut stumps that transfer in the vector for oak wilt and so specify, that's why I said if it's important, specify it in the contract. - [Lyndon] Okay, great. Please put your questions in the question and answer and we'll try to bring them forward. The next one I got here on my, actually somebody sent it on my cell phone. Steel and trees is that a death sentence to selling lumber, and then ex cetera, hunting steps, chains and straps. - Yeah. So one of the things I always laugh at is that we get folks who have this perfect walnut in their front yard, that they're certain is straight and clean and worth a lot of money. The more metal or the opportunity for metal to be in these trees, the less these guys are gonna put out on a bid for them. Because nobody wants to have a tooth of the saw hit some kind of metal. And I think about when I was a kid, we were playing in the neighbor's woods, in somewhere, I believe in a red oak tree in that woods. And that Woods is gone now. So somebody probably found it, we left a machete. And so if you think about it, you put that that log on the sawmill platform, and that's just not good for the teeth of the blade. So if they know that that stuff is there, it's if they're gonna take it at all, they're gonna put a low price on it. Because they're taking a chance. There are some methods to be able to X-ray and look, sometimes effective sometimes not. So just depends on what kind of chance they're willing to take with the saw blade teeth, because that's expensive to have to depending on whether what kind of saw they're using in the mill. - [Lyndon] I Know, some of our smaller furniture grade lumber mills that are using band saws will buy those things on the risk, but they pay accordingly. They pay less accordingly. - Right? Yeah, we're working with a group in Columbus to do live edge pieces. And they're buying our university campus trees, we've kind of worked out a great deal to put money back in our tree planting program. But they're not paying anywhere that those trees would be worth out in a rural setting, because it's on a campus. Who knows what students have into those trees. And so yeah, I mean, the saw blades are expensive, and they're just not gonna put out big bucks. Or in that scenario, what we're lucky is that when they sell the furniture, there's a percentage that comes back to the tree program. But for what we're talking here, that's not an option. - [Lyndon] Yeah. So yeah, I got plenty of pictures of steel plates that are grown in chains that are grown into wiser trees (indistinct). - Yeah, barbed wire fence, woven wire fence. Yeah, and sometimes if they think it's just fence, the guys will cut above it, and harvest what's above it. But I've always figured if there was fence in it, the odds of something else being in it are probably fairly high. - [Lyndon] Is there any other questions coming in out there? I gotta say you're dealing with a topic. I've always worked in the livestock industry, and now in the crop irrigation industry, but I've been in extension office for 32 years. And there are more horror stories about lumber and timber sales and how it affected the family than about any other industry I deal with? - Oh, yeah, it is amazing. And then the problem is, for every 10 great buyers to work with, there's the one that does the reputation like I said, the 50% on the landing is junk, and they never come back. And other horror stories like that. And you feel bad for everybody, the family. They thought they were doing everything right. But you had somebody on the other end that just was a little shady. And that's hard to deal with at times, especially in a scenario where the family owns, you got multiple owners for a property that never goes over well. - [Lyndon] Right. And then a lot of our woodlots are owned by older farm families. And I'm surprised at how low of a chunk of money it takes to get in the door and have a cup of coffee and talk about a farm sale or a woodlot sale from the farm. That's a real challenge. - And sometimes they do the whole, they figure out who in the community is kind of the community leader and they do a really good job for those individuals, but then the farther removed from that sale, you start having other problems. And so it's just, I can't stress it enough, know your woods as best as possible or at least have a great relationship with a consulting forester that knows the woods. And then work with that professional. In our case, I was blown away by what we ended up with, for all those ash. But I had a buyer who bid that had a contract that he needed ash. And so we hit the right amount of species and size and quality to fulfill his contract. And he paid more, and he paid lump sum up front, and we were good to go. So it's worth understanding the process. - [Lyndon] So also, from my person here, with the steel in the trees from all the deer hunters, is this discussion about, by thinning the deer, can I improve my woodlot? And how thin do they have to get to be able to reestablish the oak wilt log? - At that point, you can talk to, depending on the consulting forester or wildlife biologist, to help you figure out kind of what the carrying capacity of your site is that 15 deer are suitable for the site, but you got 25. So you need to bring that number down. It's also you can manage in, what I have done, when I start seeing a large amount of deer doughs issue, I put my foot down with my hunters, and it's like a dough, you need to take a dough, I understand you want the rack. But you have to help me out for my woodland management and take the dough. So we don't have so many newborns that come out next year. And so there are ways that you can manage that population and try to get it down to fit your site. And that's where I would probably talk to a wildlife biologist to help you figure out what that carrying capacity is. And then how to monitor your deer, wildlife cameras, what are the state wildlife folks track? Sometimes their data can help you with that. And so yeah, you just have to understand how many you have. And where that spot is that okay, my woods, my property can support 15 deer out here, but we got 20, 25, we need to reduce that load. - [Lyndon] So that I don't end up on the gender bias problem list, explain why you said shoot the doughs. - Because the doughs are the ones that reproduce. One of my wildlife faculty always says every time you shoot a buck, the deer, the other bucks are just like, yes, that means more doughs for us. So you want to reduce the dough population so that you don't have so many doughs that end up reproducing. It's the doughs that make the number difference. I know the antlers look great on the wall. But if you're trying to manage your deer population, it's the doughs you wanna target first. - [Lyndon] Thank you. - No problem. I have a nephew in law that insists on telling me how many doughs he sees walk by the deer stand before he'd found the buck that he wanted. And then we get into a heated argument. (Kathy laughs) - [Lyndon] We get into that over crop management and there's places you have to take five doughs before you're allowed to take, so you may have to hunt a whole season before you can take a buck. But the bucks, the incentive is the taking the bucks. I don't know why people like eating those antlers. - In my case, my niece's husband, it's he wants his picture in the paper with a rack. That's what drives him. So we all laugh about it in the family but that is truly what drives him, he wants his picture on the paper with us big rack. - [Lyndon] So do you have in your area, Do you have anybody renting their woodlots for mushroom hunting for the deer racks? - Yeah. And actually, I have one hunter. If I could charge family, I probably would but I have one hunter who does pay to come hunt. He works for the university and so I know him fairly well and I've never asked him to but at the end of the season, he'll pay in gift cards or something. Just so that he has access to a place to come hunt. So, yes, and there are more discussions on leases for hunting to deal with some of these issues - [Lyndon] Help with the population and an extra income. - Right. - [Lyndon] I don't see any more additional comments or questions coming in. She listed her email address on the first slide. So that will be on the recording. When we see that, please contact us if you want Kathy to answer a specific question, or I'm sure she's available through the Ohio directory. Thank you so much for being with us today.