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how much is beech worth

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how much is beech worth

Postby smojo » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:18 pm

Looking at a woodland to buy and it's mainly beech - about 30-40 years old. Nice straight stand about 40ft tall - trunk diameter chest high about 20-40cms. If I buy the woodland I might want to thin some out and wondered what the commercial value of the mill timber is roughly.
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Re: how much is beech worth

Postby Wendelspanswick » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:47 pm

Not a huge commercial value, its one of the cheaper hardwoods because it is so readily available and the grain is not that interesting figureally, although it can be steamed to bring out the colour and figure.
Commercial uses are:
Kitchen manufacturers
Uphostery frames
Traditional toys
Shop fitters
Plus it makes a good firewood.
We import a lot from the continent which keeps the price low.
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Re: how much is beech worth

Postby oldclaypaws » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:31 pm

Like Oak, the rotation on Beech can be as long as 120 years, so 40 year old wouldn't be considered to have much commercial value. It was planted often for furniture in ye good old days before globalisation and the march of MDF and Ikea. Good quality big trees often go for veneer for flooring and kitchen cabinets. The Chiltern Beechwoods were planted to support the furniture industry in High Wycombe (which has largely gone). There are a few specialist uses such as gun stocks, and the chips give a nice flavour in lager or for preserving and smoking various foods, (like squirrel?).

An interesting contemporary twist is spalted beech (felled, left to start rotting, discoloured by bands of fungus) is one of the most popular and striking woods for small decorative pieces of turning & woodwork such as mirror frames.
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Re: how much is beech worth

Postby Rankinswood » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:19 am

I felled some nice straight 55 year old beech last Sep/Oct 2013 and have left the trunks on the ground where they fell since at the time I had no real use for them. I wonder how long one needs to wait for the spalting process to take place and indeed if this will happen after the tree has been felled. Spalting is one of the natural defence mechanisms that the tree uses to put up barriers to counter the effects of invading pathogens and so if the felled tree are now dead I wonder if spalting will now take place ?

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Re: how much is beech worth

Postby oldclaypaws » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:38 am

I good explanation here of what spalting is, and how to encourage or 'cultivate' it. It also can be done to species such as Ash, but is most spectacular on Beech. I've also seen it on Hazel.

http://ohiodnr.com/Forestry/Industry/tabid/5255/Default.aspx

If you bought a small lathe and made smaller turned pieces of well spalted beech such as light pulls and small vases, a single 40 yr old beech tree could be turned into £100's worth of finished product. My pal Robert makes a good income predominantly from spalted beech chopping boards, coasters, tables, mirrors, etc.

It also just occurred to me our rather wonderful windsor chairs which a friend made professionally 20 years ago are made from beech. The constituent pieces (apart from the 'seat' are no more than 2-3" wide, mainly turned or steamed and bent. You wouldn't neccesarily require very large beeches to make furniture, provided it was based on interlocking smaller pieces.
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Re: how much is beech worth

Postby smojo » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:26 pm

Thanks for the info. The woodland deal has fallen through so back to the drawing board. I doubt the spalting will occur when the tree has been felled as you say, it's a result of the tree trying to protect itself from an infection.
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Re: how much is beech worth

Postby TerryH » Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:44 pm

Too bad the deal fell through but don't worry there is a perfect wood out there with your name on it I'm sure !

re: the spalting thing, I read it as multiple fungi types putting up barriers to eachother which causes the dark lines. So should happen in dead wood really...
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Re: how much is beech worth

Postby smojo » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:33 am

Cheers Terry. I couldn't believe it, the site was still for sale when I left to view it again. I fell in love with it and came home, about to call the sellers to say I wanted to buy it and just to be sure, checked the website. A big red SOLD sign on it. I feel like a jilted lover :cry:
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Re: how much is beech worth

Postby Dexter's Shed » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:27 am

smojo wrote:Cheers Terry. I couldn't believe it, the site was still for sale when I left to view it again. I fell in love with it and came home, about to call the sellers to say I wanted to buy it and just to be sure, checked the website. A big red SOLD sign on it. I feel like a jilted lover :cry:


that happened to me smojo when I was looking at goose wood, I purposely would not view it in person until the available funds were in my bank, so just checked it everyday online, after a few weeks, a big red sold sign appeared across the screen, felt like someone had hit me in the stomach, so I started looking again, found another plot in the same woods, but it just wasn't the same,lol, anyway my money eventually got to my bank, then received an e mail saying goose wood was back on the market as the sale had fallen through, quick as a flash we visited the woods, walked the boundary as it was too overgrown to get inside, and sent the e mail back saying we wanted it, 22nd dec 2012

so you never know, if that one felt right, keep an eye on it still
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Re: how much is beech worth

Postby oldclaypaws » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:37 pm

I had four or five woods fall through, which was the best thing that could have happened. The one that eventually turned up was my dream wood, I got it, and am so grateful for the previous disappointments, they were 'lessons' on the journey to the right one. Whats meant to be will be. You're certainly asking all the right questions and becoming more experienced as to how to appraise them, you're getting the tools to be able to make the right qualified decision when the right one comes along, but when it does, 'seize the day'.

There will be other plots coming up on the same large wood, another may suit you better, 2 acres although affordable is the lower end of most peoples ideal size. I'd say you'd be happier with 3- 5 acres.
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