watersheds.org the world in your watershed search
homewhat's newabout ussite mapcontact us


Farm and Forest Adding Value to Logs

Woodland Management: Adding Value to Logs 

More profit from timber in the Ozarks requires doing more to logs here, where they're cut. If land owners were able to realize more value than they now get for raw logs, fewer trees might be harvested before they mature to their highest value. The value of logs "on the stump" would be higher and there would be more of a premium paid for quality wood. One way to maximize profits is to use all of every log as efficiently and at the highest value possible. By adding value, local producers can profit. 
  • Milling: An efficient sawmill cuts boards with little waste. A narrow blade wastes less wood by cutting a thinner path through the log as each board is cut. 
  • Kiln Drying: Boards are heated in a kiln to dry them. Kiln-drying adds value by reducing the moisture in the wood so it doesn't warp and shrink once its been used in a product, like a house or a piece of furniture. Dried lumber sells for much more than green, undried lumber. 
  • Planing, Manufacturing: Planing adds value. Planing smooths the wood and ensures uniform dimensions. A local producer can use dried and planed lumber to manufacture wood products like furniture, flooring, cabinets, doorknobs or toys. 
  • By-Products: For greatest profit a local operation will use or sell every by-product of production, including slabs, bark, and sawdust. Bark can be sold for landscaping use. Sawdust is often burned for energy. Slabs are slowly burned to make charcoal. 
  • See also: Low Grading vs. High Grading

    For more information on sustainable forestry, see the Value Missouri web site.

    Written by David Haenke.