Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Walnut trees are lucrative for lumber men

Dear Answer Man, I've heard that black walnut trees that are cut down in the woods along the Mississippi River are often exported to China. How much are those trees worth? — River Rat

This question has been sitting on my desk for quite a while, and it just so happens that my boss was talking to a guy in a bar in Pepin, Wis., Sunday who knew something about this. The lumber man, who had a striking dragon tattoo on his face, was from Miami and has been working in the blufflands of Buffalo County, Wis., for a few months, cutting walnut trees.

He said a 60-foot-tall walnut tree that's maybe 4 feet in diameter can yield about 1,100 board feet of lumber, worth about $8,000, he told my boss. The log or lumber goes to auction and generally does get exported to China, this guy said, where it's sliced for veneer finishes.

When trees have that high a price on them, people take advantage of land owners , so if you happen to own some walnut trees and somebody wants to log them, do some research and make sure you don't get had.

There's also a certain amount of hype about walnut trees currently, not unlike the "sand rush" that's under way in the area. A lot of people think they're about to get rich because they have some sand on their property. Again, do your legwork.


Black walnuts are big business in Wisconsin. About $4 million worth of logs and lumber for veneer are produced annually, a state report says, and Wisconsin has an estimated 19 million walnut trees, a;though I have no idea how they come up with a number like that.

I have some walnut trees in my back yard and they're lovely. They also keep the squirrels fat and happy.

My boss, who's a heckuva reporter, said the guy in the bar at Pepin (the Pickle Factory, if you must know) also had a great story about timber rattlers, but I'll save that for another time.

U.S. 63 WORK-AROUND:If you tried to get to Rochester on U.S. 63 from the north today, you already know that the road is closed at 75th Street for construction of a roundabout intersection. In my Friday masterpiece , I noted that MnDOT has a detour route that goes over hill and dale to get traffic around the northeast side of Rochester. Once the detour hits East Circle Drive, MnDOT's recommended route is north on Circle Drive to reconnect with U.S. 63 (North Broadway) near Shopko.

Travelers headed downtown, though, will more likely continue westbound on 14th Street Northeast. I erroneously called that 12th Street in Friday's column — sorry about that. Interestingly, there is no 12th Street Northeast, except for a tiny stub off of 14th Avenue.

What To Read Next
Get Local