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)

Taking wood from the side of the highway in CT?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Brian26, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Brian26

    Brian26 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    Messages:
    65
    Loc:
    Branford, CT
    I travel all over the state for work. There is soo much wood on the side of the highways around here. It seems the CT DOT cuts the wood to perfect stove length and then leaves it on the side of the highway. I know it may be considered stealing but I have been grabbing it. State Police have driven by me multiple times and have not stopped. They recently did a lot of tree trimming on 395 near the casinos. I have actually seen guys out there with saws processing and loading up their trucks. What is the consensus on this? I am not going to lie that I have a ton of wood taken from the side of the highway. Most of it pretty well seasoned as it was from hurricane Irene or Sandy.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,679
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    I had seen downed trees on an exit ramp that was left behind from a state crew, I called the state DOT, and was told if it's there after 10 days, have at it. I see guys all the time grabbing wood on the side of the highway, I don't see a problem taking it, I would think it would save the state $$$ by having you take it, and it'll heat your home....win-win all around......and the State Police just drive by.....definitely grab it
  3. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,426
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I suspect the DOT is unofficially hoping you'll take it. They need the wood gone, but openly inviting people to take it would incur some degree of liability. They don't want to be responsible if you hurt yourself, and they don't want to mediate disputes if more than one person wants the same pile of wood, but if their problem happens to evaporate while they're not paying attention, that's just great.
    Snotrocket likes this.
  4. Brian26

    Brian26 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    Messages:
    65
    Loc:
    Branford, CT
    It seems that way. They could easily just leave it but they seem to go the extra step to cut it down to almost perfect wood burning pieces. Almost asking for you to take it. Here is a example of some of my recent highway wood. Nice maple rounds about a year seasoned. I got about 15 of these rounds on a recent pickup.

    I also got a ton of nice red oak that probably fell 2 years ago during Irene. Its the log on the left and some of the same split wood is behind it.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
  5. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,902
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    I say do it. Or keep doing it, or whatever. If anyone asks you're just picking up litter. And act all disgusted that someone would make/leave/dump "a mess like this" right next to the road.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
    OldLumberKid, Snotrocket and Scols like this.
  6. mustash29

    mustash29 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    Messages:
    444
    Loc:
    SE CT
    That stuff does not last long around here, a couple days if that.

    CL&P had an army of contractors in my area this summer trimming the power lines WAY back. Something that had not been done in years and I believe it was a result of the massive outages and subsequent fallout we experienced during Irene & Sandy to a lesser extent.

    What really burnt me up is that all the cutting in my area occurred in the death heat of the summer, while we had lots of people at work on vacation and my schedule was chocked full of vacation coverage. It's hard to find the time to scam that stuff when working 60 -75 hrs per week on rotating 12 hr shifts.
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  7. AnalogKid

    AnalogKid Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2012
    Messages:
    183
    Loc:
    CT
    Totally acceptable and legal, and almost encouraged to take. Have at it!
  8. BillLion

    BillLion Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    503
    Loc:
    Greater Hartford, CT
    As a fellow CT resident, thanks for keeping the highways clear & efficiently using resources -keep scrounging! ;)
    OldLumberKid and GS7 like this.
  9. Scols

    Scols Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Messages:
    242
    Loc:
    Springs New York
    Its yours to take,not stealing at all.
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    There are indeed some areas where it is okay to do this. However, if it is along private property, technically it still belongs to the land owner. In northern MI in most places, it is okay to get wood along the roadways but most of this land is State, Federal or perhaps owned by large land owners like pulpwood companies, electric companies, etc.
    TreePointer likes this.
  11. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    15,453
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Up here in Maine I was talking to a fellow wood burner and he said he knew someone who attempted to take some wood off the side of the road after a crew came through and left several tempting piles of stove length wood . . . Maine Troopers stopped and supposedly gave him a warning as they said having him parked along the highway was a violation of some sorts -- traffic hazard or something like that.

    For the life of me I don't know why the crews would cut the wood stove length though . . . too much of a temptation for a state that has many, many wood burners.
  12. PSYS

    PSYS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Messages:
    137
    Loc:
    WISCONSIN
    If the wood has already been cut or is downed, I wouldn't see any reason why it wouldn't be free for the taking. :)
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  13. mustash29

    mustash29 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    Messages:
    444
    Loc:
    SE CT
    I'm only 4 mi from the RI border as the crow flies & work with a few guys from RI.

    IIRC it is illegal to take it in RI. Maybe that was downed wood in state forrests though, not 100% sure.
  14. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    280
    Loc:
    Sandyland
    Reminds me I gotta print out a few copies of that New York State PDF you can fill out yourself for transporting wood.
  15. Knots

    Knots Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013
    Messages:
    332
    Loc:
    Alfred, Maine
    I used to live near Bridgeport. One Saturday evening I saw a lot of wood along the Merritt Parkway. I went at first light (mostly so there was less traffic) the next day, in a light drizzle to get some. There was only a little left! That stuff goes fast now in the age of cell phones...
  16. Standingdead

    Standingdead Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    161
    Loc:
    Saratoga county, NY
    Do you need that PDF if your just driving on local roads?
  17. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,679
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    Actually, I think there is a law where you cannot transport wood outside a 50 mile radius from where it was cut down......also, cannot cross state lines
  18. BillLion

    BillLion Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    503
    Loc:
    Greater Hartford, CT
    I didn't know about the 50-mile law. I do remember seeing TONS of signage in Rhode Island on my way back to CT about how transporting firewood across the state border isn't permitted.
  19. GS7

    GS7 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    Messages:
    114
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    I've never heard of it being an issue. There is wood all over CT beside roads and highways. You're helping clean up. Call the state or the town if you still have concerns. It would be a waste to let that wood rot away so grab all you can...
    woodpile.JPG
  20. BillLion

    BillLion Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    503
    Loc:
    Greater Hartford, CT
  21. gac17

    gac17 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    24
    Loc:
    Manchester, Ct
    The current Firewood movement regulations not only prohibit transport across state lines, there are also quarantines in affect in New Haven, Hartford, Litchfield, and Fairfield County. So no firewood tranport across these county lines as well.

    Additionally, "When transporting firewood within Connecticut, a document stating the origin and destination must be with the transporter".


    http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2697&Q=508886&depNav_GID=1631
  22. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,092
    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley, MA
    most of my scrounged oak and maple came from power line trimming, I had no issues with the police, until I was parked in the turning lane (guardrail kept me from pulling past the line). I had stacked a bunch first while parked out of the way, but it didn't fill the trailer so I cut some more and loaded it. I still had room for 4 or 5 more rounds when the police showed up. After they told me I shouldn't be blocking a lane (a turning lane that goes to a street with 4 or 5 houses on it) they still let me cut one more tree and to fill the back of the trailer.

    recently I drove to central vermont, the tree crews had been busy, I couldn't believe how many miles of cut trees were lying there with only one or two places people were cutting. made no sense to me, the land wasn't posted and it was out in the woods
  23. Scols

    Scols Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Messages:
    242
    Loc:
    Springs New York
    I beleive you do need that document for local transportation. However, you're only supposed to get a warning for a first violation. The whole thing seems kind of ridiculous since it relies on the honor system. A dishonest firewood seller who is transporting wood over the legal distance is going to falsify his info anyway, so this is just another burden on people who are only trying to heat their homes in an affordable way.
  24. Knots

    Knots Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013
    Messages:
    332
    Loc:
    Alfred, Maine
    Maine has stops sometimes at the border checking for firewood coming from south and west. We still don't have adelgid, EAB, or Asian Long-horned beetles up here. It'll happen eventually, but they are trying to keep them away.

    My experience in SW CT is that wood on the side of the road doesn't last long. In the town I grew up in, you'd better know the cop over-seeing the utilities work in town, because otherwise he was holding that wood for himself or someone he knows.
  25. lazeedan

    lazeedan Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Messages:
    269
    Loc:
    SW Michigan
    A guy at work was prosecuted by a private land owner for taking firewood from the roadside. He thought the county cut the tree. The land owner cut the whole tree up and was returning to get another load and found this guy working on his third load. The land owner refused to work it out when the cop arrived. The guy from work was found guilty of criminal trespassing and had to pay some fines.

Share This Page