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Typical & Max Veneer Trunk Length

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From: Ryan Drabek
Durand, IL
What are the typical and maximum truck lengths you have experienced on veneer grade black walnuts? I know that one might cut the trunk to about 9' lengths, but in trying to estimate how much board feet is in a standing tree, is there an absolute maximum (20', 30', 40')? I have some trees that "look" to be very straight with no visible defects or limbs up to 30 or even 40 feet. I know there are many variables to determining what is veneer quality. My walnuts have grow naturally and are very straight and tall due to fighting other trees for the sky and light. I do plan to have a consultant out to appraise my stand per what I've read from your other posts. Thanks for the great reading and info so far!!

Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Hi Ryan:

Sawlog lengths are solely dependent on the quality (# defects) and potential veneer or sawlog lengths that can be achieved or maximized when bucking tree-length material to sawlog / veneer log size.

Minimum lengths I've observed on a mill's log deck for black walnut is 7-feet; more common lengths are 8' 6" to 14' 6." YES, log buyers and veneer mills take longer lengths and will definitely pay a PREMIUM for said longer logs.

Therefore, here is my recommendation: If you're felling your own trees and bucking them to length...buck them to the "maximum tree length" possible that way the winning buyer can buck them to their preferred market veneer or sawlog lengths based on the surface defect characteristics of each potential sawlog / veneer log. Many shipping containers are 20-40 feet long, so that is also a consideration for export markets.

From: Ryan Drabek
durand, IL
Great, thank you for the info.

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