If you own a mature black walnut tree, you are fortunate. Black walnut is a valuable hardwood used in the production of ultra high-end furniture and cabinetry. To maximize the timber value and your potential cash payout, you should enlist the services of a qualified professional logger and have the logs evaluated by a grader who has received formal training from a recognized educational institution. Initiating this process is easy if you have some spare time.
Call or email several professional loggers. Explain that you have a mature black walnut tree you wish to sell.
Meet and interview each logger. Request local verifiable references and a blank copy of their contracts.
Check each logger's references. If you find one or more with favorable reviews, negotiate the terms of the contract. Typically, the owner and the logger will split the profit equally. Sign a contract with the logger whose terms and reputation seem most favorable.
Allow the logger to determine when to drop the tree. If you live in a snowy climate, it may be best to drop and sell your black walnut tree in the winter time; the tree will be free of leaves and the snow will help to cushion the impact of the fall. Also, you will have one last opportunity to harvest the nuts.
Schedule the log sale. If the logger has an established relationship with a reputable hardwood buyer, consider using this company. In many cases the buyer will also be a qualified log grader. If not, he should be accompanied by a log grader who will measure the logs and calculate their board footage. Attend the sale in person and insist upon receiving an itemized listing of the board foot calculations and agreed-upon price. Most hardwood buyers/graders issue checks at the time of sale.