There's Gold In Them Thar Trees

If you own land with trees on it then the old cliché ‘Your sitting on a goldmine!” holds true for you and I if you own property that has a gold mine on it would you buy the equipment to dig for it? “Yes”, ytim.jpgou say. Well I would too. So why not buy the equipment to mine it? Buy a good sawmill and harvest the trees the same as you would if digging for gold.

We are intrigued by the yellow precious metal that when purified brings a lot of money. But when you calculate the risk of not finding gold, it could be pretty scary. This gold is beneath the surface and you cannot see it nor can you be assured that you will find it. You could put out a lot of hard labor and come up empty.

Very few people got ‘rich’ during the gold rush.

On the other hand trees can be seen, counted, and measured. The value they can bring is limitless because unlike gold, wood is used everywhere and everyone needs it. In addition, the risk in harvesting tress is little to none when done right. It is much easier to have an income from trees than if you are digging for gold.

So what is a tree worth? In the south we have a lot of Southern Yellow Pine. When we consider one tree that is mature and measures an average of 16 inches x 32 ft long. This single tree will yield a total of 416 bd ft. This can be used to make framing for houses, siding, or flooring. At a minimum this lumber is worth $.45 per board ft. with some of it worth $.75 or more. This tree is worth anywhere from $187.00 to $312.00. LOOKS like GOLD to me!!

Other sections of the country have similar types of trees that have value at or above the figures of southern yellow pine. The crosstie market is hot and they are sawn from Sweet Gum, Hickory, Sycamore, Red Oak, White Oak and a few other species. They have a value of around $.50 per bd ft. The common crosstie is 7”x9” x 8’8” and today the ties are bringing $22.00 to $24.00 each. A single tree can have 3 to 4 ties in it.

I personally think gold is a good investment. If you have trees, buy a portable sawmill and cut some trees and sell the lumber and buy some gold. As I write this the Stock Market plummets sharply. But a bandsaw mill is a wise investment! Here is why: There is an important factor that we must realize as the markets equalize back to realistic measures. There are babies being born every day, there are young men and women graduating high school every year by the thousands, and there are a little older men and women graduating college every year by the thousands. They need a house to live in whether rented or purchased. The ‘MOM and POP’ small businesses that run small to medium sawmills will fulfill this need of supplying the lumber to go into these homes. At the same time some of the larger sawmills have folded up, also meaning that loggers are folding up. So there will be a lot of good logging equipment cheap. Take the logging equipment and feed the sawmill and ‘Make Gold’.

In 2009, I predict that lumber will be in short supply in the 3rd to 4th quarter. If you are prepared and have your sawmill in operation, there will be contracts to fill. Look for specialty markets. Pallet stock is in short supply today because crossties are taking up much of the hardwood market. Either one of these markets is worth your research time.

I have a customer who owns an AC-36 mill and he likes to purchase a piece of land on a good road, then cuts some of the trees and completely builds small houses from the wood cut. He then sells the house and land for a nice profit. He tells me that he is making more money than he has ever made in his lifetime.

In my opinion, there is going to be a large demand for small houses because they are affordable. Houses will be more reminiscent of the houses in the 50’s, rustic and solid. In my opinion there are too many houses on the market that are unaffordable. The small mill owner can assist in solving this problem. North America needs small houses that are affordable. It is easier to sell an affordable house than a large very expensive house, especially in our current economy.

Many people ask me how to overcome the grade stamp requirement of lumber when building houses with your own wood. One person has reported that they hire a structural engineer, and with his oversite, build the frame in certain stages. With the engineer inspecting in stages the lumber and the structure passes all city and state codes. You should get a quote before I began a project including the engineer just so there are no surprises in charges.

I get asked "Is a portable sawmill a good investment and will it pay for itself in a reasonable time?" I have been around sawmills all of my life, and the answer is Yes! Band Sawmills have proved to be great investments, especially for those who love wood and are not afraid of work. They will pay for themselves quickly and they hold their value very well. I had one customer who purchased an AC-36 sawmill and in six months it produced enough profit to payoff the mill and in the next six months it produced enough profit that he purchased a new Harley Davidson Motorcycle all while only working the mill part time. His sawmill reaped him over $50,000 in paid for tangible assets in a matter of 12 months. I call that a great investment. This customer made a wise investment when he purchased a bandsaw mill. With the stock market bouncing around, a sawmill is a more solid investment than putting your hard earned money in the hands of strangers.

So what is keeping you from producing some gold?


aka... the "Saw Doctor"


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