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How to sell timber - A harvester's perspective

How to sell timber - A harvester's perspective

Victor Barber, harvesting manager with Western Forestry Co-op gives some valuable tips when selling timber. He explains various timber sale methods, the importance of a pre-sales inventory and much more. This video was made for Virtual Talking Timber 2021.

This video was released as part of Virtual Talking Timber 2021. The full recording of the event can be found on the Teagasc Forestry YouTube channel here: www.youtube.com/teagascforestryvideos

Get organised – allow two years

Selling timber requires to have in place a valid felling licence and appropriate road access. Financial support may be available to construct a forest road. Make sure that you start this process well in advance before timber harvesting needs to take place: allow two to three years to do so.

Sale types

Timber is sold in Ireland either standing, roadside or delivered-in to the mill.

Standing sale

You agree a price per tonne with the timber buyer in advance of harvesting. You can agree an average price across the board or per product category. The buyer is responsible for harvesting and haulage.

Roadside sale

You organise the harvesting of the timber and place it roadside. The timber is then sold to the buyer(s). The haulage is covered by the buyer.

Delivered-in sale

You organise the harvesting and haulage, delivering the timber to the mill. The buyer pays for the timber delivered to their yard/mill.

Know what you're selling – get it measured

When you bring cattle to the mart, you'll have a pretty good idea about the weight and grade of the animals you hope to sell.

Selling timber is very similar: you don’t know if a potential timber buyer is giving you a fair, realistic price if you don’t know the quantity and quality of timber you're hoping to sell. You are flying blind without this knowledge!

A forestry consultant with harvesting expertise can do a pre-sales measurement for you. And yes, it may cost a few hundred euro to do so but you'll find that it is money very well spent!


Never, ever consider selling your timber without a written contract in place. It will protect all parties outlining legal, environmental and health and safety responsibilities. It also outlines the agreed prices, payment terms, harvest timelines as well as commencement and finish dates. The best template to use is the Tree Sales Agreement template developed by the Irish Timber Growers Association (ITGA) and can be downloaded from the ITGA and DAFM websites as well as www.teagasc.ie/forestry


The Teagasc Forestry Department issues an article on a Forestry topic every Friday here on Teagasc Daily 

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