Timber Harvest Resources

Be sure to call a professional forester to help plan your sustainable timber harvest.

If you're considering a timber harvest for the first time, your best bet is to contact your County or District Service forester to get information and counsel free of cost. He or she can help you determine if a harvest is right for your land and your goals for your woods. If you already work with a forester, he or she can also guide you in this decision.

If you do decide to harvest timber, we strongly recommend working with a forester. In most states, you will have to work with an independent or consulting forester because service foresters do not assist with timber sales. Even if you choose to manage the timber sale yourself, do use a forester's help to plan the actual harvest (i.e. what trees will be cut, when and how) so your woods are not damaged or compromised.

Another option is to hire a timber sales contractor. He or she can help with the financial aspects of managing the sale, but may or may not have the expertise to help you plan a sustainable harvest that maintains the health and beauty of your woods.

If you choose to manage the sale process yourself, please inform yourself thoroughly about the contracting process. Contact the following resources:

Call Before You Cut

If you live in Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio or West Virginia, you have an additional resource available to answer your questions about your timber sale and harvest. Call Before You Cut is a project to keep woodland owners informed about the timber sale and harvest process.

There’s a toll-free number in each state that can connect you with knowledgeable foresters who will answer your questions.

Call Before You Cut offers an information packet for landowners, and can assist you with finding a forester or logger, developing your timber sale contract, and getting up to speed on tax issues after a timber sale. It’s a useful resource, well worth taking advantage of.

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