1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Cutting wood road side ?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by wellbuilt home, Dec 14, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. wellbuilt home

    wellbuilt home Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Messages:
    532
    Loc:
    NY
    My sister tells me she has no wood . Ive been telling her to take a utility trailer and pick some wood up off the side of the road or in the woods 200' or so . She tells me its to hard ? I went out yesterday and cut a load of wood off a power line a few miles from the house . I'm cutting downed trees( white oak ) The bark is gone its very dry and half the weight of fresh cut . We moved it a few 100 feet . The truck bed is 12'x 7' 4' We where done start to finish in 4 hours . My truck is on the side of the road and we walked the wood out . It is some one else's property but not in any kind of nabiorhood . since the trees are down most of the branches are gone and i clean up as i go not to leave a mess . I get payed to cut trees all the time but don't keep extra wood on hand My new stove seems to burn more wood then the old one and I don't want to run out of wood in February when we are snow covered . It just seems like the Police ,DOT, DEC , DEP etc Have been milking the American working man more then normal around here . I'm starting to feel like a big nipple. I am definitely paying my share of the bail out. Any one see a problem with this ?John.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Cazimere

    Cazimere Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    224
    Loc:
    Delmarva
    If it's on private property and you don't have permission, then you are a thief.
  3. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,354
    This sounds remarkably similar to some of the posts over at the deer hunting forum I frequent:

    "So uhhh...there's this land that isn't posted near me and I'm not sure who owns it-is it ok if I hunt there?"

    Why not do what I did and just ask the landowner? I solicited a guy about one tree that had fallen on his property out near the road and he ended up giving me permission to take every piece of downed wood (6 trees total) on the property!
  4. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,514
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    Huh?
  5. atvdave

    atvdave Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    203
    Loc:
    Newburgh, IN
    Amen brother

    Don't do it. That wood belongs to someone els, even if they just let it rot. If you ask and they say yes, then it's OK.
  6. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    452
    Loc:
    Central New York State
    Am I missing something here? If you are cutting wood on any land that you don't own, you're stealing it unless you've gotten permission from the owner.

    This sort of thing has happened on my road a few times. A few big trees come down on the side of the road, and someone will start cuttting it up and taking it home. I've stopped a few people and almost had one guy arrested. Most town roads are not owned by the town- the town or county usually only has a right-of-way, that's all. Even if the town has to send a crew to cut down a tree in that right of way, they have no right to the wood either.

    All land is owned by somebody, or some entity. Doesn't matter if it looks like it's being used, or not. This is sore subject with me since I own a couple of hunder acres of woods in several areas of New York and Michigan. There's always somebody acting like they've got rights to it.
  7. PA. Woodsman

    PA. Woodsman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    1,014
    Loc:
    Emmaus, Pennsylvania
    ALWAYS ask and find out who you have to ask to get wood. Most times, the answer will be "go ahead and take it". Just yesterday I went and got a decent load of Black Locust that was trimmed in the city of Allentown, PA. I called the parks department, explained that I had seen the section of the tree that fell in a field, and saw the tree cleaned up and the log lengths set in the woods (where they most likely would have rotted), and asked if I could have it. "Sure, help yourself" was the answer as it is most times when I inquire about wood. And ALWAYS get the name of the person that you talked to and told you that it was okay, so there are no problems later on.

    There's a line in a John Mellencamp song "Minutes to memories" that says "an honest man's pillow is his piece of mind". Fits for firewood, too...
  8. caber

    caber New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Messages:
    291
    Loc:
    Western Maryland
    I had some trees knocked down during an ice storm. the power company came by, removed them from the power lines and left them sitting on our property right along our fence. Before I had a chance to get up there and cut them up, someone came by and took them. I consider it to be a theft. The trees were on my property. It was quite clear the land was owned by someone since they were laid right up next to our fence. They belonged to me, I wanted them and some sob stole them. If I ever catch anyone one my property with a saw, I'll have them arrested.
  9. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,514
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    Around here anything in the right=of-way is free game.
  10. atvdave

    atvdave Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    203
    Loc:
    Newburgh, IN
    If it's lying in the street, it's one thing, but if it's lying on someone's property, it's theft.
  11. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,938
    Loc:
    Peru, MA
    Why is this even a question? If someone were to leave their car parked on the side of the road in front of your house, walked into your yard and started taking stuff...would that be ok with you? You're stealing from someone and doing a pretty good job convincing yourself that its not stealing since its not a neighborhood and you're not making a big mess. You need to stop doing this immediately and start securing permission from the property owners.

    Well if you're worried about running out of wood in February, how about you start keeping some of that wood you're getting paid to cut or maybe take some of that cake and buy some.

    I have no idea what this is all about. We all are. We pay taxes.
  12. 67ref

    67ref New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    115
    Loc:
    Ontario Canada
    Cellmate #1: hey, what are you in for ?

    Cellmate #2: stealing wood for my sister !
  13. Risser09

    Risser09 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    179
    Loc:
    Lancaster, Pennsylvania
    It sounds like you'll either get shot at, arrested, or both. You are blatantly misdirecting your government hatred towards a private land owner who probably would have let you cut the downed trees anyway if you had asked permission. You're not Robin Hood. Buy your own land, or ask permission.
  14. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    452
    Loc:
    Central New York State
    Interesting if actually true. Who owns the roads in your area? Check your tax map. Most public roads in the USA are not owned by governments. Right-of-ways for public use exist, that's all. Most public roads are owned by homeowners/landowners nearby. The right-of-ways are usually nothing more than that - a right for the public to cross "over" your property. If a tree falls across the road, there are public rights to clear the road and keep it open and usually no rights to remove the wood without owner permission.

    Right-of-ways for public roads usually are created two ways. The most common is "highway by prescription." Basically, this means a private path became a public road, over time, simply by use. With these roads, to be absolutely technincal, the town or county doesn't even have the right to widen the road - the only right-of-way is on the path of travel.

    Another way is by negotiated and recorded right-of-way. This is a legally binding document and is subject to whatever is written in it. Very rare here in rural New York. In fact, I checked out our town's highway inventory and our town owns only one road, has three recorded right-of-ways and all the rest are "highways by prescription."
  15. wellbuilt home

    wellbuilt home Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Messages:
    532
    Loc:
    NY
    Well you guys talked me out of road side cutting real fast. I guess it was a bad idea .

    I think you guys are being kinda harsh. Things must be diffident in other parts of the country. Shot ? I dont think there are to many hillbillys around here. We have lots of large lots with homes , there are power lines, gaslines and vacant land owned by Developers that are no where to be found and could care less about downed fire wood . I thought a little clean up would be in order. I have lots of land to cut trees from It just seems wast full when there are so many rotting trees every where. You guys could stand down Put your guns away your wood is safe from me . Thanks for your thoughts
  16. GKG-MO

    GKG-MO New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    38
    Loc:
    Gray, PA
    My cousin works for the local Elec. Company. He told me last year about some trees they were trimming back close to my house so I figured I'd check it out. In order for me to take the wood I had to get permission from every landowner the trees came from. The trees belong to the person that owns the land. One guy told me he wanted the wood for campfires, No problem I left it there. That was almost a year ago now and the wood is still stacked along the road. I don't like seeing wood rot and go to waste but it’s his wood and he wanted it.

    If you need wood for your sister hit up some lumberyards or pallet shops in your area. Around here lumberyards and pallet shops will give you they’re scraps most of the time just so they don't have to pay to dump them.
  17. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    452
    Loc:
    Central New York State

    I don't see it that way. Either you own something, or you don't. When you don't, ask before doing anything on someone else's property. Taxes and insurance on owning property are enough of a penalty of ownership.

    It's a sore point with me since I've lived in rural areas my entire life and own many woodlots - some 1000 miles from where I live.

    In the past 10 years - here are few things that happened to my own properties.

    Jefferson County New York - a logger, with his chainsaw and bulldozer, built a road through the middle of my 100 acre woods - wide enough to drive his log-carrying tractor-trailer through. I got the state police involved, and he got arrested. His main argument was - he built me a free road and improved my property for me.

    Jefferson County, New York -another wood lot and swamp I own - 50 acres in all, adjacent to State forest. My family and I drove up to go camping on our property. Got there and found a man and his two teenage sons cutting large trees down for firewood (all ours). They had also built a large tree-stand for deer hunting. So, I confronted him. He told me he had thought it was State land and didn't realize it was privately owned. Funny thing is - even if it WAS State land, it's still not legal to go in and cut.

    Otsego County, New York - (at my farm).

    Town of Worcester work crew illegally widened the dirt road that cuts through my property. Cut down some 100 year-old hard maples and let town workers take the wood home. I got all the wood back and put the road back to where it was. Since then, the town has threatened to take my land by Eminent Domain.

    Farm land I own not in sight of my home. I drove by and found a crew, with Bobcat loaders, dump trucks, and a backhoe -removing stone walls from my property that had been built in the early 1800s. Why? Because this type of field-stone has become valuable. Their argument? Nobody seemed to be using the land for anything.

    Hamilton County, NY - Woodland I own in the Adirondack mountains. So far, twice loggers have gone in and stolen trees. Never caught them yet.

    Presque Isle Co., Michigan - half a wood lot I own (red pine) was clear-cut, all wood taken. The guy got caught and got fined a couple of hundred dollars.
  18. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    14,755
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Around here cutting wood on someone else's property is a major issue . . . and this is in one of the most heavily forested states in the Union (so it's not like we have a tree shortage.) As mentioned, as described . . . taking a tree (or anything else) from someone else's property (regardless of whether they're there or not) is theft.

    I don't know how it is in NY, but here in Maine some areas with gas lines, powerlines, etc. are still owned by landowners . . . with the land leased or folks given a right of way by the companies. In other areas the land is owned by the business . . . but in either case it's still theft when something is taken without permission.

    While we may not always agree with how other folks manage their land (i.e. selective cutting vs. clear cutting, allowing trees to fall down and rot vs. cutting out dead trees and poorly growing trees) the fact is we have no responsibility, duty or obligation or right to go on to someone else's property and manage (or "clean") it for them.

    Also, having recently had some wood taken recently from my property I am a bit sensitive to folks taking stuff without asking . . . long story, short . . . the guy who took the wood wasn't being malicious and I had some fault in this as well . . . the town hired an arborist to take down a dead elm on my property but in the town's road right of way . . . the crew took down the tree in sections and left it beside the road . . . Selectmen asked me to clean it up so snowplowing would not be affected . . . I started cutting it up and had most of it chunked up except for a 12-foot section of the very large trunk . . . in the meantime unknownst to me the town asked a guy to clean it up for them . . . which he did just as they said . . . not knowing or realizing the reason I had cut up the chunks in firewood sized pieces and rolled them next to my stone wall was because I was going to use them for firewood myself . . . in the end I contacted the guy, he apologized and said he was just doing what the town asked him to do and I took back half the wood, giving him half to promote good will and good karma and as a lesson to me to stay committed to a task the next time.

    End of rant . . . this said . . . ask . . . you never know what folks might say . . . and in some cases they might view your work as doing them a true favor.
  19. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,528
    Loc:
    USA
    If I saw you pulling this crap on my property, I'd put a bullet in your azz. I have no use for trespassers or thieves...
  20. awoodman

    awoodman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    167
    Loc:
    K.C. Missouri
    I THINK NATIVE AMERICANS SAY NO ONE CAN OWN THE LAND WE ARE ONLY CARE TAKERS. BUT THE WHITEMAN IS A TAKER NOT ONLY OF LAND BUT OTHER COUNTRYS RESORCES.
    STICK THAT IN YOU'RE STOVE AND SMOKE IT..................
  21. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Messages:
    551
    Loc:
    Whitman, Mass
    That is not the case in my neck of the woods. Sure there are a few private roads, but all the highways are owned by the state, and most local roads are owned by the towns. The town usually owns between 10-20' back from the edge of the pavement too.
  22. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    452
    Loc:
    Central New York State
    Are you sure about that? You might get a surprise when you look at a tax map - but - I have no idea what area you live in.

    Often newly developed areas, or cities, take ownership of roads to avoid conficts. In rural and suburban areas, most roads are privately owned unless they are planned devolpments that the towns have gotten involved in. There's a big difference between a "private road" and a "privately owned road." The former is not maintained by any government entity, whereas the latter is and the public is free to use it. By law, all a town has to do, is maintain a road for 7-10 years - and if nobody stops them, it automatically becomes a public highway. They don't get to own it, just get the right of public use and maintenance.

    I've found that many people assume roads are owned by the town, county, or state - and are not.
    Maybe not true in your area - I can't say. If you live on the side of a road - simply read your deed or . . . look at a county tax map. Most homes along a road own to the center of that road. In my case, I have land on both sides of the road and own the entire road. The town claims a 33 foot wide public right-of-way.

    Tell me what county you live in, and I can verify in ten minutes.
  23. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    452
    Loc:
    Central New York State
    Go try to take over an Indian casino and see if them injuns try to stop you. Bet they will.
  24. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Messages:
    551
    Loc:
    Whitman, Mass
    I am a surveyor and Engineer. I live on a state owned road. Property line ends 15 back from the edge of the pavement just like everyone else in my town.

    My parcel was cut out 60 years ago.
    I do not dispute that out in the sticks that some roads and right of ways cross private land. But in my neck of the woods, the towns and state are the majority land holders.

    The only thing a county does in Mass is fund the prisons and decides what court house you get to go visit when you have jury duty. (Plymouth County BTW).

    If I see wood sitting in a pile within 15 feet of the road, I will gladly fill up my trunk without asking.
  25. crazy_dan

    crazy_dan New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    857
    Loc:
    Missouri
    I can tell you here the county claims a 15' from the center of the roadway easement but the land owner own the whole easement not the county. the easement is for you to travel down the road and provide a place for you to pull off in case of an emergency and a place for public utilitys to run. that is all their easement allows. I Know this for a FACT here as they a few years back they wanted to take the trees down back another 15' from the road so it would thaw and dry quicker since most of the road even in the winter did not see much sun, so when they asked me and the road commission had us great talk about property rights and easement rights etc.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page