Wood sales from private forests

April 5, 2018

Felling and selling wood from private forests is a key part of forestry and economic management for a forest owner in France.

Felling is thus the most important forestry management operation in the life of a stand. Wood is often the leading source of forestry income, followed by the lease of hunting rights and concessions.

Wood sales, a major economic operation

In the context of forestry management, it is an operation that implies certain knowledge of the wood market. Who buys wood from public and/or private forest owners in France? Papermills, wood panel manufacturers, wood merchants and sawmills are all key professional contacts.

They are fully familiar with the prices on a market that fluctuates in line with climate events and demand, which is now global.

What are wood sales?

Wood sales are crucial to the forest’s sustainability. They generate revenue from the wood found in the forest. Wood sales are a key stage in forest management in France, coming after the forestry work.


Wood sales may seem complex but with a little knowledge and information, things soon become much less abstract. To sell wood, you need forestry machines or lumberjacks to cut the wood that is fit for sale. These are the logging operations.

How do you sell wood?

When it comes to selling wood, you have two choices:

  • You can entrust wood sales to a professional consultant who will guide you through the various stages of the operation. Depending on the criteria defined and the agreements made with the owner, the consultant will select the most appropriate type of sale and logging practices.

The two parties will agree on the consultant’s fee, to be deducted from the price of the wood sale. This varies from one company to another and depending on the service provided. Working with consultants is highly recommended as they can usually obtain a better price, given their knowledge of the sector, the market and the region.

  • You can also take care of wood sales yourself, deciding how to manage your forest and sell the wood it produces. In this case, you will need certain knowledge, such as how to proceed with logging. What type of sale is best? Which trees should be marked and how do you work out the volume of the marked trees to calculate a price? You will need to know about the markets, decide on the logging practices, the terms of payment after the sale, and so on.

What are the different types of wood sale?

  • Block sale of standing timber: a price is set in advance for the complete plot, before logging. A sale that cannot be modified subsequently, regardless of the volume actually attained. Logging operations are headed by the timber buyer.
  • Timber sold at roadside: the price is set for the trees deposited on the roadside (accessible to logging trucks). The owner is responsible for the felling operations. When setting the price, they will take into account the value of the timber plus the cost of felling.
  • Sale per unit of product: a price is set for each product quality (fuelwood, pallet timber, joinery or carpentry grade timber, etc.). The transaction is completed after scaling of the felled timber. The timber buyer thus takes charge of logging.

At Forêt Investissement, we have contacts in this sector and are able to help you choose a consultant, in line with your requirements.

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