Property owners who have trees often ask whether logging would be the right thing to do if they are considering selling their property.  The answer to that question depends on several factors. Will the logging significantly change the aesthetic value of the property?  In other words, what will the property look like when logging operations are complete?  Is the loss of aesthetic value worth the income you might receive, or will the logging actually enhance new growth and make the property safer from wildfire and open it up for better growth?  Will the property be left with nothing but thick stands of worthless seedlings that need to be thinned?

     Every logging project will change the aesthetic looks of a property, but most can actually improve the looks if it is done carefully and properly.  By contrast, some loggers have little concern for what is left when they walk away.  Choose a logger who has a reputation for improving the property instead of damaging it.  Most of us call that “raping the land” when someone cuts every possible marketable tree and leaves only the broken, misshapen or diseased trees, instead of leaving some of the best trees for seed and aesthetics and thinning out the undesirable or weak trees.   While some stands of trees (all of the same age) may require an aggressive cut so that the remaining unprotected stand doesn’t blow down in the next windstorm, most stands of timber in this area have enough reprod (reproduction or young seedlings and second growth) to allow a property to look reasonably good when the loggers leave. 

     Ask your logger about how they fall and skid trees before you hire them.  They should have concern for protecting the remaining stand of reprod, instead of falling trees willy-nillly and damaging most of those as the marketable wood is removed.  What the property looks like when they are done cutting and cleaning up the slash is very important.  How will they clean up the slash?  Will they pile it and burn it or will that be left up to you?  Reseeding a variety of grasses once a logging job is completed is one way to keep noxious weeds at bay (whose once-dormant-seeds will now be exposed to new growth opportunities).

     If the question of whether to log prior to a sale is only about monetary gain instead of what will make the property better, then the motivation to log may be imprudent.