Can I actually get cash for that Walnut tree?

My son was recently diagnosed as being allergic to walnuts, and coincidentally (?) we have a walnut tree in the back yard. I mentioned this to a guy I work with, and he told me I can get ‘big bucks’ for the tree, since walnut is a valuable wood.

Is this so? Google only returns Ponzi schemes on my initial searches.

I don’t know how big the bucks will be, since I don’t know anything about the size, shape, condition, age and exact species of the tree, and I don’t know how many avid woodworkers live on skid row, but yes, walnut is generally a nice wood sought after by many woodworkers. Depending on the factors I listed above, there will probably be guys who will want your tree and some who will even mill it down with a portable saw mill on the spot. Do a search on portable saw mills, Wood-Mizer, “selling walnut trees”, etc. You’ll find out a lot and eventually run into ads by guys in your area who have a portable mill. But don’t get your hopes up. It’s going to need a diameter (4 feet from the ground) of at least 18 inches, and preferably more, and it should be well away from the house and other structures, and have nothing embedded in it, blah, blah, blah. Urban logging ain’t always easy or desirable, but sometimes you find yourself with a gem. The problem with a backyard tree is usually that it has branches all over the place, which means that the wood of the trunk will essentially be “scarred” and thus less valuable. In a forest, branches tend to be higher up, and the long straight trunk provides lots of straight, unscarred, knot-free wood.

Are there restrictions in your area about cutting down trees? Lots of municipalities won’t let you cut down a tree, although it sounds as though you have a good reason.

Anyway, the message boards at (and the ads) will help you out quite a bit.

Lunar Saltlick covered most of the information. Here’s another resource to help you find sawyers in your area.

Most sawyers or buyers will not be willing to offer much money for a ‘yard tree’, even a walnut. The extra labor and risk involved in removing it will pretty much eat up their profit. Another problem is that a yard tree is very likely to have embedded metal that will damage a sawmill blade.

However, the tree may have some value that will help offset or negate the cost of having it removed. Don’t underestimate that because it’s a lot of work and it’s not cheap.

Your best bet would be to find some poor sucker like me that loves walnut so much I would cut it down and haul away the debris just for the wood. But, remember, somebody like me is not bonded or insured.

Is it possible to remove the tree intact? Someone may be interested in replanting it elsewhere, if it’s a nice specimen tree.