Next up at the PMFLC forest practices workshop? A trip to TimberWest’s Shoal Island log sort, nestled beside the bustling Catalyst pulp mill in majestic Crofton, B.C.

Under the thoughtful tutelage of Geoff Martin, a log marketer from TimberWest, workshop participants learned about marketing, manufacturing, sorting and handling logs.

A detour past the “sin bin” quickly revealed just how important it is to take good care of your logs. Ignorance can lead to disrespected, damaged and mistreated logs that nobody wants.

Here are Geoff Martin’s Top 5 Tips to Help Capture the Best Value From Your Logs (or, how to avoid the “sin bin”):

1. Educate yourself and work with experts. There’s a lot to know and learn about harvesting, handling, manufacturing and marketing timber. The more you know the better position you’re in to get the best value for your logs.

2. Know where your timber is going before you harvest it. Different markets require different log lengths. Find your buyer and ask their preferred length before you harvest your timber. Harvesting to match the buyer’s preference gets the best value for your logs.

3. Don’t leave your logs on the ground for too long. Think of your logs as “spoilable” fresh produce. The longer your logs lie on the ground the greater the chance bugs, water, rot and weather will cause damage and deteriorate the value of your logs.

4. Don’t put your red alder trees through a log processor. Processors are efficient, but they easily cause damage to red alder logs. In the end, the damage to the logs decreases their value and negates the efficiency of the processor. A chainsaw is a much better idea for maintaining the value of your red alder logs.

5. Spend the time to love your logs! It takes up to 100 years to grow a marketable tree. That’s a lot of time. It makes sense you’d spend some of that time making sure you get the best value for your logs.

Check out the video below for a closer look at the Shoal Island log sort.

Thanks to Geoff Martin for his time, his knowledge and his passion for logs.

Did we miss anything? Leave a comment below: your own tips, advice and helpful hints for maintaining the best value for your logs.