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Harnett County,
North Carolina

Cooperative Extension 

Where should a person seek answers to timber questions?


Question Where should a person seek answers to timber questions?

Answer Over 60 percent of North Carolina is forested. Unfortunately, not all private forest owners properly manage this resource. Many do not consider timberland a resource until somebody with a chainsaw offers them money for their trees. Therefore, the most common question asked is “how much is my timber worth?”

The answer to the “value” question depends on who you ask. Obviously, the unsolicited offer will probably be the lowest. If you don’t mind giving your trees away, then take the first offer you get. If you’d rather get the best price possible, then you need to know what you have and what it is worth. Research shows that timber sellers get an average of 28 percent more money when they use a consulting forester to help them sell timber. Typically these consultants get a percentage of the sales. Since their pay is tied to your pay, they have more incentive to get you the highest possible return.

Properly managed timber is even more valuable when harvest time rolls around. Again, consulting foresters specialize in guiding people through the timber management process – from planting to harvest. For a consumer’s guide to consulting foresters, visit

While the use of a consulting forester is common sense, there are other agencies available to compliment their services. Cooperative Extension provides information and educational workshops. The Division of Forest Resources (Forest Rangers) provides on-site visits, management plans, prescribed burning and much more. Farm Service Agency provides cost-share opportunities. Even the Wildlife Resources Commission and Natural Resources Conservation Service offer assistance in various formats. For more info on who can help you answer questions, visit If you don’t have internet access, then call me at 893-7533 or email me at

More and more people want to manage their timber while enhancing other dimensions of their land’s natural beauty. The Forest Stewardship Program helps landowners manage timber, wildlife, soil, water and recreation at the same time. This multi-prong approach is well suited for landowners who enjoy the bounty that nature has to offer. This program also helps landowners understand the benefits of being good forest stewards. For more info on the Forest Steward Program, visit

Hopefully, the person with the chainsaw is not wearing a hockey mask. If he is, then I would suggest you call the sheriff’s office. They will be able to answer questions like “whether to shoot this nut inside or outside your house?”

Gary L. Pierce

Horticulture Extension Agent

Harnett County

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