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After tornado in Dallas, all those big beautiful trees!

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Forum topic by Carl Harada posted 10-23-2019 01:56 AM 825 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Carl Harada

36 posts in 1962 days


10-23-2019 01:56 AM

Is there any coordinated effort to try and save the lumber after a tornado or natural event takes place? I hate to think it all goes to landfill…

-- John 3:16


11 replies so far

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ocean

188 posts in 1371 days


#1 posted 10-23-2019 02:30 AM

I feel the same way but if you are one of those people in that disaster zone the last thing you are thinking about is saw up logs to haul away. I know because I live in the Fl Keys. After Irma I had two mahogany trees (8-10” diameter) in my neighborhood that would have some nice lumber upwards of 8’ long. But the truth be told I also had I also had about 45 other trees (6 in my yard) nice tropical species that would have made nice furniture. Problem being I had a screen porch enclosure completely torn apart, solar water heater panel missing from my roof (3×6 and 75lbs), broken branches enough to fill two or three large dump trucks, NO electricity, No gasoline, No help – 15 days with no A/C (95 in the shade) for a week and the list go on. Saving nice logs for future lumber is the last thing on my mind. Sad to see it go but you had to be realistic about the blood, sweat, and tears to come.

-- Bob, FL Keys

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CaptainKlutz

1948 posts in 2032 days


#2 posted 10-23-2019 03:53 AM

Lived in tornado alley in Midwest as young man, IME: furniture quality lumber logs are not often wasted.

Is the effort coordinated? Maybe.

1) Lumber/firewood logs are significant revenue stream to Tree Service companies. Tree companies offer best logs to the urban sawyers, but only if they are willing to pay for it. What ever doesn’t sell to sawmills for lumber, gets sold to firewood dealers, or is hauled back to yard for later sale. Very little of the wood from disasters is ‘free’, unless the property owner gives it away personally to an individual, and also pays the tree service company extra to compensate them for lost revenue they get selling lumber.

2) The urban sawyers in area usually offer free tree removal in exchange for the usable lumber.

3) Most city clean up crews that recover usable lumber logs on public land, have local lumber folks on speed dial, or haul them back to yard and let crew take them home. Known several municipal workers who pick up logs from job after work, and sell logs/lumber/firewood on side for extra money.

4) Another important point:
Transporting green lumber or firewood across county/state lines has serious restrictions in many places of USA due all evasive pest quarantines. The list of rules and names of agency that administer lumber transport varies by state, and it challenge to find sometimes. This site has good starting point:
https://www.dontmovefirewood.org/map/
Unfortunately when local restricted market does not have enough local sawmill/kiln capacity, these wood movement restrictions force surplus wood into local firewood market.

Personally know of a least 4 medium sized sawmill operations near the disaster area, so I expect to find some inexpensive Texas lumber in very near future. Guessing there might be some Ash, due emerald ash borer infestation near that area; but you never know what mother nature decides to cut down. :-(

YMMV

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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Carl Harada

36 posts in 1962 days


#3 posted 10-23-2019 01:00 PM

I live in the DFW area, so transporting them over state lines is not an issue. I have read, though, that authorities are asking everyone to stay away for now until basic utilities are repaired.
I’ve decided to join with my church to aid in relief and will ask about lumber if and when an opportunity arises.
From my experience with past storms, the trees are cut down into short pieces for removal to landfill as quickly as possible to gain access to roads and home repair.
There are/were gorgeous and mature ash, maple, pecan, oak, etc. trees in the areas hit.

-- John 3:16

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splintergroup

2991 posts in 1760 days


#4 posted 10-23-2019 05:41 PM

Be aware that these trees have gone through an enormous amount of stress potentially making them useless for planking out boards that are crack free.

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CaptainKlutz

1948 posts in 2032 days


#5 posted 10-23-2019 08:20 PM


I live in the DFW area,
- Carl Harada

If you live in area, then YOU have to be proactive about getting lumber grade logs from the clean up crews.
SO If you have means to load/haul big logs, then call every tree service in area and city/county streets dept, and tell them you will haul away lumber grade logs within an hour of being called. They will call several folks as the don’t have time to waste, so fastest one to arrive and load gets the lumber.

Like another posted, much of wood will be distressed, with cracks and internal damage. You are not allowed to be picky and only take perfect logs either, if you don’t take it when there is an emergency underway and they called you; they stop calling quickly.

IME – The firewood guys will be sitting down the street with empty trailer and couple fresh chain saws, just waiting on clean up crews to let them enter danger zones to haul away free lumber. It’s always a challenge to be nice, follow rules, and be allowed to access the scene during emergency clean up, BUT; If you have a business/contractors license and liability insurance covering your work, they usually give access to ALL capable log haulers. YMMV

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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Peteybadboy

1285 posts in 2487 days


#6 posted 10-23-2019 08:30 PM

Belonging to a County Club in Ft. Myers and know the Green Supper and GM, I had them save one Mahogony and one large oak. We had the man power to just leave the trunks and loaded them on a trailer I rented to take to a mill.

-- Petey

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

4086 posts in 1925 days


#7 posted 10-24-2019 07:28 PM

There is a lot of damage so there is probably going to be so much that most will either go to the landfill or to composting. There just aren’t enough mills around here that it even occurs to them to look for them as an outlet. Anyone that wants some will probably have to scout out the good stuff themselves.

I was thinking that this would a good opportunity for turning clubs to salvage some nice bowl blanks that they could sell as a fundraiser for storm relief charities.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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tomsteve

975 posts in 1757 days


#8 posted 10-28-2019 12:02 PM

this company might be doing something
http://txurbansawmill.com/

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Lazyman

4086 posts in 1925 days


#9 posted 10-29-2019 03:54 AM

He’s down in the Austin area I believe and I think even posted here on LJ a couple of years ago as he was getting started.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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northwoodsman

257 posts in 4284 days


#10 posted 10-29-2019 11:34 PM

I drove through part of the mess on Saturday on my way to my favorite wood supplier. Many of the trees are cut up into small sections for the ease of handling and to just get them out of the way. I would feel guilty stopping to ask if I can have some wood without spending the day helping with clean-up, salvaging, or rebuilding. It’s going to be a long process. Earlier this year we had severe storms take down many trees in the same general area and as of a month ago there are still piles of trees and debris piled on the curb in many areas. With all of the scammer contractors converging on the area a lot of people won’t even let you in their yard. Back in March I had $40,000 worth of hail damage late one Sunday afternoon. I had over 30 contractors stop by in just the first 3 days. Everybody had a way to scam the insurance company so I would pay a deductible and most wanted at least 50% up front. No thanks.

-- NorthWoodsMan

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pottz

6663 posts in 1522 days


#11 posted 10-29-2019 11:51 PM



Be aware that these trees have gone through an enormous amount of stress potentially making them useless for planking out boards that are crack free.

- splintergroup


good point splint once that wood is milled the stress fractures are revealed and it’s a waste of time trying to salvage,probably better for firewood sadly.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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