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Large American Oak Tree in Bedford, New York is Free for the Taking

3765 Views 11 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  33706
Hey Lumberjocks, want some free Oak wood?

A lady emailed me this morning saying that she has a large American Oak Tree that needs to be removed from it's current location. It's too far from Kansas to Bedford, New York, so I thought I would alert the lumberjocks to see if someone else could benefit from the tree. She wants it to go to a good home, someone that will use it.

The tree can be taken for free.

Measurements are 6'-0" approx. trunk Diameter, and the main trunk is about 20 ft tall.

If you are available to remove this tree from the site the week of October 25th, 2010, email me and I will give you the contact information for the owner of the tree.

Mark DeCou
email: [email protected]
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I'd love the tree but I want it growing in my yard.
I'd would lend someone one of my old crosscut saws, but I don't think I have one long enough. <:)O}&
I really love these people.
"Hello, I have a really big tree, and some people have quoted me high prices for it's removal, but alas, you are a woodworker, you would certainly want the wood, right?"

I can't count how many times people post these requests on Craigslist…"Cut down my tree…keep the wood!"

Let's think about what it would take to get this tree into usable lumber…
-Removal of the whole crown. Branch material makes horrible lumber, so it's all waste, hauled away at my expense.
-Cut the trunk into one (maybe two) pieces.
-Get a crane to load this trunk onto a flatbed and delivered to a sawmill. (it's going to be big folks.)
-Mill lumber.

Now my local lumberyard has Oak on sale for $2.35/bdft (s3s) . That is the small quantities price. If I'm looking at 500 bdft or more, I can expect at worst $2.00/bdft, (s3s)

Why would I even think of taking on this tree?
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( I would take it anyway, as long as it's not too far from my place, and mill it myself. That's what I already do with smaller trees BTW.)
Please tell the woman in Bedford, New York that 'Edziu' is not interested in her generous offer.
I am interested…I do this for people in my town all the time…I have gotten some great lumber cheap this way…I have 3K worth of Walnut I got for 1100 bucks doing it like this. But, I have a friend that mills for me and I air dry my stuff in the shed. And I use all the branch wood and make firewood for the old ladies on my block.
Sorry Edziu that this post set you off, really I'm sorry. If you don't want it, just move on and leave the rest of us alone. We can all very easily calculate the cost of wood and equipment, it's what I, and many of us, do for a living. I have built many a project out of trees that someone gave me, sorry it doesn't work out for you. It's very possible that if the guy plans accordingly, he could have a trailer there when the excavator is on site for the dirt work, and a ball cap could get it loaded. Ball caps have loaded a lot of stuff on a trailer before, and didn't require renting any equipment.

If I want oak boards for a run of the mill project with mismatched random plain-sawn grain, I buy them from a wholesale lumber supplier. But if I want large slabs, or book-matched pieces, or want it cut just like I want for quartersawn material, I have to gather that wood myself and arrange it's cutting. George Nakashima made a great career from large slabs from rare trees like this one. And a tree such as this one is a perfect candidate for a guy that has his own lumbermill, of which there are thousands of people all over the country. Additionally, oak firewood is well worth the effort to gather and split it from the branches. I like to mix oak in with other wood when I burn it in my stove, but I never turn down a chance to cut and haul oak firewood.

Also, there are emotional ties to trees that customers have, and that goes way beyond the lumberyard price buying mentality of the lowest board foot cost. For instance, I built a dining set and china hutch for a family, where the wood was to come off of their property. They walked around their ranch looking at the trees, and finally decided that they couldn't sacrifice even one oak, so I bought logs from someone else's ranch.

It doesn't make sense for this tree to be hauled to Kansas for me, but if it was Walnut, or Curly Maple, I just might arrange that trip. This specific situation is why I would love to have a simple adjustable rail system with a 6' bar chainsaw on a rack.

no, thank you,
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Thanks again Mark!

I think this is a generous offer for anyone that could handle it.

You might get someone who is interested.

It would be a shame to see it end up in a landfill.
I guess I came off a little angry about this. I shouldn't be angry about anything. Not right now at least.

I guess I'm jaded about this subject. A while back, I did take smaller trees (that had been felled by other people) and chainsaw milled them up for usable lumber for various projects. Some folks got wind of this and approached me about trees that were on their various properties. This round of people was absolutely terrible.

A woman was ok with the milling in her backyard, but demanded that there not be one divot from any equipment, 'her lawn was too precious.' She also noted, "you had better not need to use a bathroom while you are here, because that's not happening." I responded, "I'll use the bathroom at the McDonald's down the road" She quipped "darn right you will." I wished her a good day and departed. The tree still stands.

Craigslist is all too often loaded with requests from people who just want a tree removed for free. One guy said something along the lines of-Use the wood for whatever you want-I just want my tree taken down for free.- At least he was honest, right?

I never meant to insult someones line of work (sawyers and the like), nor was I discounting the sentimentality of certain trees. While I never have been able to create such a legendary piece of furniture from family-owned trees, I have built things made from materials from my own childhood home; it's comforting and rewarding.

Also, I do appreciate the quality of a piece of furniture made from sequential and book matched boards. Wharton Esherick did too, but him and his sawyer got along, I also get along with my sawyer.

So I want to clear this up, I have a problem with cheap people-I have no problem with people who whole-heartedly see the value of the lumber, and want to see it used for something other than mulch or firewood.
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Free is good… and unless EVERY SINGLE THING you see on CL is a good deal, the assumption is if you don't respond to an ad, then you're obviously not interested in the offering. No obligation to the offeror! This week I got an estimate, $2300 dollars to trim back the branches of our four Siberian Elms. No usable lumber, everything will be once again chipped regardless of diameter. Approx 4-5 hrs of work for 5 men. I'm sure that I could get someone to cut them down for free, in this lumber-starved community. Where is the justice in that? Come to think of it, the City pays contractors to cut and haul standing trees to the landfill. A sawyer has set up shop there, milling anything he can into lumber, or making elm flooring. There's just got to be some dollars to be made there!!!
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