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Best approach for asking for a tree?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Slow1, Dec 6, 2008.

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  1. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Eastern MA
    Ok - so I've had this stove installed for 2 weeks now and of course I notice every single wood pile, downed branch, dead tree, etc as I drive around. I don't know if that happens to everyone, but in any case I think I'm stuck with it.

    At any rate, on my rather short commute to work, there is a house that has this nice oak tree laying in the front yard. It has been cut down and most of the branches removed (all leaves etc) but the trunk and some larger ones are still there. I has not been touched in two weeks as far as I can see (and I have been eyeing it at least once a day you know what I mean?).

    Each day I drive by I end up thinking.. Hmmm.. that tree belongs in my yard, not theirs. Mind you I don't have a chainsaw to cut it up, or a truck to haul it, or even a maul/axe to split it. But if I had that tree it would certainly justify buying at least the smaller of those tools, right? I'm sure I could borrow a truck, maybe rent a chainsaw until I figure out from you folks which one to buy etc...

    So my question is this - any advice on how to approach the home owner when I go ringing their doorbell asking for that tree? I figure I may be doing them a favor getting it off their yard, but have no idea how they view it...

    Any advice welcome.

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  2. Jeff S

    Jeff S Feeling the Heat

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    Honesty is the best policy "Hey I noticed you have had that tree laying in your yard for a while,do you have any plans for it or are you looking for someone to remove it for you?"You would be surprised of the answer ,a lot of people are just afraid to tackle the bigger stuff.
  3. free75degrees

    free75degrees New Member

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    What town are you in? I have done the exact same thing in towns like Wellesley, Weston, and Newton. Typically I go ring the bell and say "Hi, sorry to bother you, but I noticed that tree in your yard and was wondering if it is available." I have had success at least half a dozen times and have been turned down only once. These situations are the best because you are usually doing the homeowner a big favor. There's nothing like a win-win situation.
  4. free75degrees

    free75degrees New Member

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    Yes, this happens to everyone. Maybe we should start WBA (wood burners anonymous). The thing that kills me most is that downed trees in the woods that you know are just going to decompose into nothing.
  5. Stevebass4

    Stevebass4 Minister of Fire

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    Franklin MA
    there was a great post where a member would leave a note saying he uses wood to heat his home and asking for a tree with his phone number on it
  6. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

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    Slow one... Now that you are a wood burner it's mandatory you get at least a trailer, a cheap chainsaw, and a splitting maul. Those are the minimums. What you will find with the minimum is that your eyes are much bigger than your equipment or experience. Get the trailer, a decent (Stihl or Husky home model) chainsaw, and a maul with a few wedges. When you're all alone out there working in someone's yard and wondering how your going to get it done on the trunks, you'll have to split them to get them in the trailer. They don't look heavy, but believe me, they are! You could also cut them in half, but a lot of times it's just as easy to split it in half. Just make sure you clean it up good and take everything you said you would. I even offer to move the small stuff to a burn pile for them. It never hurts to ask, but make sure you can back it up before you do. I've got more wood to process right now, but keep my eyes on wood all over. Just a habit I guess.
  7. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    Leave a polite note in their mailbox, or amil it to then through USPS so you know they got it. Explain that you'll cut it up and haul it away for free and that you will be using it to help keep your family warm. Give them you contact info and leave it at that. Do NOT leave more than one note, do not bang on the door or anything else, just make one polite effort and if you don't get a call, let it go. Too much effort and now you're harrassing them.
  8. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    just knock and ask them if they want rid of that tree most are very glad to see you! Its fun to do because 90 percent will just LOVE you!(both sides win on this deal)
  9. rphurley

    rphurley Feeling the Heat

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    That REALLY gets me too! :mad:
  10. awoodman

    awoodman Member

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    K.C. Missouri
    Contact Tree Service Co. in you're area to haul off the trees they cut.
    May not be oak and such but it is free. I get lots of elm and mapel
    here in K.C.MO. These guys have to find some place to dump a lot of it
    if they don't sell it. I pull up to the job and they load my 16' trailer for me.
  11. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    SE Mass
    beg

    ( with the way the economy is slipping, it is an art form more of us might be becoming familiar with)
    Bring a couple young 'uns in tattered clothes, and leave the Escalade somewhere else.

    :)
  12. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Dont give out all the secrets may have to compete with him sometime!lol
  13. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Thanks everyone... I stopped by with my daughter (6yo) Anyway - the lady was very nice, but she said that they plan to keep it and "we ought to get that out of the front yard pretty quick so folks will stop asking".. very nice lady. Funny thing is that I don't see any chimney or woodpile so who knows what she is going to do with it.. perhaps a work in progress. I didn't see fit to ask her why she was keeping it, heh.

    On to the next project.

    Yes, I want to get well equipped, but rather need the justification first. I have a maul and hatchet. I have some downed oaks in back yard and neighbors don't mind my going into their yards (common woods) to pull out downed wood so that is all goodness too.. I pulled out a day's worth of wood today. Sad to say that I'm using an electric chainsaw though (I bet that will get laughed at here).. have to use what I have at the moment though. I'll get properly equipped once I find a worthy tree :)
  14. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    If it works for what you got its a great saw!
  15. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I guess there are no postal workers reading this, cuz I read somewhere that it is not legal. You could leave a Post-It note on their door.
  16. chad3

    chad3 Feeling the Heat

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    I'll usually ask them if they want me to cut it up for them (I know, but I enjoy just being out cutting, and usually they give me a bit). Last time I did that, a limb fell, I offered to cut it up for them. They ended up having me take down the entire tree and I got to keep it (24+ ash). All need to be nice.
    Chad
  17. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

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    I think that before asking about cutting and removing a tree you must be able to do it. No truck,
    no saw, is no wood. If the home owner says sure go a head and take it, and you don't have anyway
    of moving it you should tell them that up front.
  18. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I think you should also get some experience under your belt before you go freak out a land owner showing up with a price tag still dangling from a new saw. Find someone with experience and go out with them to a wood lot.
  19. woodzilla

    woodzilla New Member

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    With all the "green" sentiment nowadays, I like to tell people that I recycle the wood for heat. I've had people turning me over to their neighbors wood piles too. Good Luck, and just don't be shy! Just like high school the worst they can say is no.
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