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Village of Le Roy moves to market timber

By Raymond Coniglio

The Village of Le Roy has tapped the expertise of a veteran forester to facilitate the sale of timber.

John Eisenhard will help market timber on village-owned land along Oatka Creek adjacent to the Sewer Treatment Plant on Red Mill Road.

The Village Board voted Dec. 16 to hire his company, Eisenhard Forestry of South Street Road, for a 6-percent commission on the eventual sale.

The idea to sell timber originated at the treatment plant, where walnuts were falling into outdoor settling tanks. Superintendent Steven Carroll approached village officials about having the trees removed, and they contacted Eisenhard.

He spoke to the board for about a half hour about the village property and woodlot management.

The village owns several wooded acres along the creek bank, as well as a wooded island in the creek. Black walnut predominates, and there are about 81 walnut trees large enough to attract buyers, the board was told.

Eisenhard said culling mature trees should make the property more valuable in the long term. Underbrush is smothering the growth of new trees, he said.

“When you walk in the woodlot it’s pretty obvious you're not getting the typical regeneration (expected) in typical woods,” Eisenhard said. “You’re lacking a dramatic amount of seedlings and you’re lacking a dramatic amount of saplings.”

Eisenhard has helped more than 300 landowners market their timber in the past 13 years, according to information provided to the board. He stressed that he represents landowners, and neither works for nor represents any lumber company.

The Village Board will be asked to authorize bids when it meets next month.

Eisenhard said bidding information would be sent to at least six companies. He did not speculate how much the village could expect to receive, but said sale offers vary widely based on the available markets and sawmill volume needs.

Eisenhard advised the village act soon to sell at least the ash trees on its property. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has severely restricted the movement of ash lumber, in an effort to slow the spread of the emerald ash borer.

This invasive species that has killed millions of ash trees since it was first discovered in the United States in 2002. The insect — which has been confirmed in Caledonia and Darien — kills individual trees within two to four years of infestation.

Eisenhard said ash lumber will likely fetch a higher price during winter months, when it can be sold to buyers outside the area.

“I would recommend you sell every commercial stick ... on the property because they’re going to be dead in five years,” Eisenhard said.

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