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Getting paid to obtain fire wood

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by jimtmcdaniels, Oct 29, 2008.

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  1. jimtmcdaniels

    jimtmcdaniels New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    10
    Loc:
    Colorado Springs CO
    I'm trying to reducing my winter heating bill with a wood fireplace insert I installed before last winter and I am learning everything for the first time.

    I live in the town of Colorado Springs Colorado. The forest is a 25 minute drive and I can purchase a permit for $30 and bring down green wood that the forest service has cut down and delimbed. It's ponderosa pine (up to 20" thick) and some pole pine.

    I have to cut the wood into 13-1/2 inch lengths because that's the max length my small insert will reasonably accept.

    Last year I piled up about 4 cords at my house. Now a year later I am splitting the wood with a hand swing mauler which works well since most of the wood is dry now except for some large bottom pieces.
    I'm 43 and fit and I don't mind using the mauler, it's good exercise.

    Someone told me that instead of paying for a permit and getting the wood from the forest I should do what they do and start a small tree removal business in the summer on the weekends. This way I'll get paid for cutting people's trees down and have all the firewood I need for winter. This sounds really smart and my boy friend and I could make a great team at it.

    We have a lot of Elm - weed trees in this town where they were heavily promoted by our founding city fathers to turn this desert area into the micro climate it is today, that people need cut down.

    I think on the chart Elm wood has more heat energy than pine although I think it seems the sap in the pine wood may have some heat content of it's own in the fire.

    That sounds smart and I've fallen trees before after reading the chain saw manual about making the proper cuts and it went well.
    But I worry if I did it for winter wood, about a customer's tree falling wrong, on a car or fence or house or power lines, or me falling out of the tree... and I imagine I'd have to get insurance. It could be a real headache... and I wouldn't be removing stumps if the customer wants that.

    Does anyone have experience doing this or money?

    Thank-you for any info!

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  2. Dill

    Dill Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Messages:
    329
    Loc:
    Northwood NH
    Insurance. Tree removal isn't easy, its one thing to be dropping trees in the woods, and whole different ballgame in and around houses. In fact based on your lack of experience its going to be really hard to get coverage.
  3. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6,390
    Loc:
    S.NH- Mass's smoking section
    It's hard work, requires some training and insurance, as well as some capital investment (need truck for removal, good saws, maybe a chipper for brush...). On the elm- if you don't like splitting that p.pine- then elm will give you fits! It's nasty, stringy, seriously hard to split as a general rule. With a splitter it's a different story to be sure.

    On heat- don't think about the pitch in the pine- think about the density when it's dry (energy in the wood is proportional to density). Elm is definitely better than pine- there are charts of heat values per cord of wood readily available online (and here on Hearth). I'd guess that elm would be one of the densest woods you have up there.

    Welcome aboard!
  4. frwinks

    frwinks New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Messages:
    52
    Loc:
    The Hills of Mulmur
    a lot of pople won't hire you without a valid insurance certificate. The nice thing about not doing it for a living, you can pick and choose which jobs you want... if it's too risky, let the pros handle it and move on to something you can tackle yourself.
  5. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,700
    Loc:
    CNY
    I dunno Jim...there's few jobs more dangerous than harvesting trees as it it. When people are willing to pay for tree removal it mostly because it's a hard take. You need experience plus special skill sets to cut in an urban environment and to do it safely can take some apprentice time with a pro tree guy.

    I get asked all the time to cut trees down for others....for the free wood LOL. But in 30 years of cutting only once did I venture off my own land and took care of a nuisance tree for my sister...cause she's special. If you want to safely do this till old age and beyond you have to quickly understand what you know from what you don't know. Block and tackle jobs are beyond my skill sets...and there's no dishonor admitting that.

    Now if you want to make money cut enough wood and sell good guaranteed seasoned splits...people with money will pay crazy amounts for you to deliver and stack it for them.
  6. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,043
    Hi -

    Some folks have arrangements with churches, youth homes, farms, sportsman's clubs, even golf courses, etc... Hold harmless agreement, don't tamper with trees that are scary, minmize damage to ground.

    It's not that hard to get your hands on.

    What Savage said is true. Good seasoned, stacked stuf is precious.

    Enjoy!
    Mike P
  7. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,969
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    I have a friend that owns a tree service I can work under hes insurance some times i get paid sometimes not.He does most the felling and I get the bucking job and split the wood, when i can help.If you can find some one with experience work for free and find out what you are up against frist.
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