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So what's going to happen to the firewood market?

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6 minutes ago, gdh said:

We very nearly planted willow, got as far as ploughing the field but the other local growers dropped out so we couldn't justify getting the harvester here.

 

I can't remember the figures now because it was a long time ago but it was something like 5 years of growth then harvest every other year using a pellet maker.

 

With the wood price going up it would be much more profitable now.

I would certainly be worth looking into now. Whether it was harvesting for logs or harvesting for biomass, you'd make a good return on either.

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44 minutes ago, Big J said:

I would certainly be worth looking into now. Whether it was harvesting for logs or harvesting for biomass, you'd make a good return on either.

Makes interesting reading

 

Edited by Woodworks
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Taking about planning ahead wasn't Woodland relatively was cheap to buy a few yrs when alot was sold off by FC but now expensive.

 

 

Maybe actually owning woodland is the only way in future to make decent money from firewood?

 

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1 hour ago, Stere said:

Maybe actually owning woodland is the only way in future to make decent money from firewood?

There'll be an opportunity cost calculation to make, if the alternate market pays more for a standing tree then why try and sell firewood?

 

Back in the day I used to have gleanings from the tops after sawlogs had been extracted for free on those estates that wanted the site tidied . Others, especially shooting estates would have the felling company pile and burn it with a Cat 751 and powerfork as they wanted the site clear quickly. Now I walk through our local woodlands after a harvester has been through and see easily enough  branchwood  to get firewood from.

 

I see plenty of small woodlands, particularly woodland trust properties where  trees are cut to waste and stacked as ecopiles. These are often woods that I worked for pulpwood and it was only the  crashing of the roadside price by large scale harvesting that meant owners shut the gate. If firewood is truly rising in price then there will be the opportunity to offer these owners a standing price again even though the fell and extract price will be much more than a large scale harvesting operation.

 

Talking to a chap I used to work with; he said his outfit cannot afford to do sites less than 1500m3 as the cost of low loading a harvester and forwarder became too significant, often they bring in a 360 for a few days to reinstate ( i.e. scrape over the damage to leave a superficially clear site). It should still make sense to harvest the smaller sites by reverting to winter felling and summer extraction with a tractor-trailer-grapple  and 40kph gearbox and  transport ~9m3 direct from stump to yard on a 10 mile radius. I say this as I would no longer risk leaving a tractor on site so if it has to come home it may as well carry a load.

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21 hours ago, Gary Prentice said:

One thing also mentioned about imported kiln dried logs is where they are actually coming from. I’m not a great believer that, particularly in certain parts of the world, they’ve been produced from renewable and sustainable sources.

Gary i believe that poland and lithuainia are cutting and exporting timber at a alarming rate that by the year 2025 there wont be that much left, so that is not from a substainable source at all.

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On 01/09/2018 at 21:26, Big J said:

I could only suggest that an effort is made to educate customers about the market pressures of supplying very small quantities of pristine hardwood, and how difficult that is. 50:50 loads the norm, with pure hardwood loads a real rarity. 2 cube plus deliveries to bypass the moisture content rules, and ideally get them to buy ahead and throughout the year, to spread demand. 

 

Pipe dream stuff maybe, but I think that there is still plenty of wood around, but customers need to be much more flexible and savvy.

Nice ideas but I have no customers that buy ahead,   if they did they would be looking for added discounts.     I had a guy last week buying his first wood,  complained that he had leaves ( about three hand fulls)  in his bag and  bucket full of chips from the splitter in the processor.   

 

I have not been able to source decent cord for 5 years or so hence I import kiln dried.  Plenty of people have told me they can supply,  I order 100 tonnes or so for delivery May- Sept and nothing appears.

 

Having said that with the price of decent hard cord at £70 ride side plus transport at £10 plus a ton I have plenty of perople selling at £100 a cube delivered inc VAT,  that is simply not on unless getting the wood for a lot less.

 

I can see quite a few used medium size processors coming onto the market in the next couple of years.  All I am currently processing is fallen trees from the farm and the farm next door.

 

A

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Alycidon said:

Nice ideas but I have no customers that buy ahead,   if they did they would be looking for added discounts.     I had a guy last week buying his first wood,  complained that he had leaves ( about three hand fulls)  in his bag and  bucket full of chips from the splitter in the processor.   

 

I have not been able to source decent cord for 5 years or so hence I import kiln dried.  Plenty of people have told me they can supply,  I order 100 tonnes or so for delivery May- Sept and nothing appears.

 

Having said that with the price of decent hard cord at £70 ride side plus transport at £10 plus a ton I have plenty of perople selling at £100 a cube delivered inc VAT,  that is simply not on unless getting the wood for a lot less.

 

I can see quite a few used medium size processors coming onto the market in the next couple of years.  All I am currently processing is fallen trees from the farm and the farm next door.

 

A

 

 

 

You don't paint a pretty picture. Hard to know what to suggest when you have customers that are that fussy. I think a lot of them forget that all you are doing with firewood is burning it. 

 

 

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There'll be an opportunity cost calculation to make, if the alternate market pays more for a standing tree then why try and sell firewood?
 
Back in the day I used to have gleanings from the tops after sawlogs had been extracted for free on those estates that wanted the site tidied . Others, especially shooting estates would have the felling company pile and burn it with a Cat 751 and powerfork as they wanted the site clear quickly. Now I walk through our local woodlands after a harvester has been through and see easily enough  branchwood  to get firewood from.
 
I see plenty of small woodlands, particularly woodland trust properties where  trees are cut to waste and stacked as ecopiles. These are often woods that I worked for pulpwood and it was only the  crashing of the roadside price by large scale harvesting that meant owners shut the gate. If firewood is truly rising in price then there will be the opportunity to offer these owners a standing price again even though the fell and extract price will be much more than a large scale harvesting operation.
 
Talking to a chap I used to work with; he said his outfit cannot afford to do sites less than 1500m3 as the cost of low loading a harvester and forwarder became too significant, often they bring in a 360 for a few days to reinstate ( i.e. scrape over the damage to leave a superficially clear site). It should still make sense to harvest the smaller sites by reverting to winter felling and summer extraction with a tractor-trailer-grapple  and 40kph gearbox and  transport ~9m3 direct from stump to yard on a 10 mile radius. I say this as I would no longer risk leaving a tractor on site so if it has to come home it may as well carry a load.

Are you talking only hardwood here?

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1 hour ago, Big J said:

 

You don't paint a pretty picture. Hard to know what to suggest when you have customers that are that fussy. I think a lot of them forget that all you are doing with firewood is burning it. 

 

 

It's odd, but I have a lot of customers who like the knarly, twisted bits, dense wood that burns for ages. It's so true about the fussy ones, blimey it's going to be totally ruined in seconds and you care what it looks like! I certainly don't loose any sleep if one log is more attractive than the other but wouldn't dream of telling them that sometimes I stick 2 pins in their face....

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If bio mass power generators are sucking up so much logged timber, are they creating a viable market for ARB waste?  I guess no one can provide the bio mass plant the guaranteed volume, but the firewood producers can pick up the ARB waste to fill the gap in logs?  I know it doesn't go through processors, so cutting and splitting is much slower, which costs, but given the waste is cheaper does ARB waste make up the gap with a small increase in price for the end customer?

 

I'll keep on scrounging up the wood and stockpiling my personal supply to give me 2 or 3 years security.  Can't go beyond that, I'll have no garden left for the kids to play!

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