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Free Wood--what is it worth?

[email protected]

CO2 Lover
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So is it worth it to cut trees if you can keep the wood to burn? Or only worth it if it is hardwood?

The question assumes the tree isn't leaning towards the house or power lines but just in general.

I bet all the tree companies just love these CL ads having people cut tree for free and saying they can keep the wood as payment.
 
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Marshy

Marshy

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It is worth it for me but it's not that cut and dry. A lot depends on 1) species 2) access 3) quantity/volume 4) quality and 5) distance. In almost that same order as well. Distance would rank relatively high and I don't go bogging out in the woods with my truck so access is ranked high as well. I'll drop, cut, split a tree or trees for a coworker, neighbor or friends but I expect to keep all the usable firewood unless they provide help. Then I'll split it 50/50.
 
Cheesecutter

Cheesecutter

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It depends on the tree, distance, time of year, ease of access, how much cleanup is expected, and even the homeowner. I have gotten trees from CL. I understand they want to save money as long as they understand there is a cost to me involved. I clean up the brush, but some will expect the yard raked.
 
sawinredneck

sawinredneck

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Are you licensed? Are you insured? What happens when something goes wrong, which it will, sometime. What then? That "free" wood ends up costing you a lot in the long run!
Yeah, they are looking for a deal, but don't think for a second they wont sue you if something goes south! Don't think for a second they won't throw you under the bus if you don't clean up right, or heaven forbid, tear up their lawn!
Too many things to go wrong for free wood, this isn't an ideal situation for someone looking for free wood. Get with local tree companies, many of them will be happy to have a place to dump wood close by.
 
Marshy

Marshy

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Well I buy logs too. The scrounging is a supplement to the logs I buy. It's a hobby, I'm not providing a service to anyone and it's not a business for me. If my friends or coworkers wants someone who will remove the brush and sweep their lawn they can go pay someone to remove it. It's easy to let the person know upfront what amount of work you are going to do and if they don't like they have the right to refuse your free effort. I haven't taken any free trees from CL however, only friends and coworkers who were fine with doing some cleanup.
 
olyman

olyman

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Are you licensed? Are you insured? What happens when something goes wrong, which it will, sometime. What then? That "free" wood ends up costing you a lot in the long run!
Yeah, they are looking for a deal, but don't think for a second they wont sue you if something goes south! Don't think for a second they won't throw you under the bus if you don't clean up right, or heaven forbid, tear up their lawn!
Too many things to go wrong for free wood, this isn't an ideal situation for someone looking for free wood. Get with local tree companies, many of them will be happy to have a place to dump wood close by.
:clap::clap:
 
Streblerm

Streblerm

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I can get firewood delivered for $200 a cord around here. That is already split and dropped at my house, probably not dry enough to burn. The typical price to drop and clean up a tree that would produce a cord of firewood is probably in the $800-1000 range if it isn't too technical. I would say that 1/3-1/2 of that would be cutting it down and the rest is cleanup. You might get a non pro to drop a tree for a couple hundred bucks with no cleanup.

I will pick up firewood for free that has already been cut down and I will trim and stack brush for the HO to remove. IMO just removing the burn able wood from somebody's yard is worth more in labor than it is in firewood. Keep in mind that wood in someone's yard isn't worth much until it is CS&S which is labor intensive as well. Cutting trees down and helping with cleanup is something I would only do for close friends and family, as a favor.

I get a kick out of the craigslist ads with a picture of a huge tree, up against a house, with power lines running through it. Typically the read "free wood. Just cut my tree down and clean everything up. You can keep the wood. Must be licensed and insured". Good luck with that.
 
haveawoody

haveawoody

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If a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?
If it falls on the house or snags power lines or damages a car does anybody hear?
If you get thumped when it falls does anybody hear?
If the chain breaks when your cutting up the tree does anybody hear?

All good questions for the local sheriff and insurance brokers and good questions for you to think about first.
IMO not worth the wood to screw up your life from an accident or legal problems with an insurance company or the law.
 
stihly dan

stihly dan

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If a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?
If it falls on the house or snags power lines or damages a car does anybody hear?
If you get thumped when it falls does anybody hear?
If the chain breaks when your cutting up the tree does anybody hear?

All good questions for the local sheriff and insurance brokers and good questions for you to think about first.
IMO not worth the wood to screw up your life from an accident or legal problems with an insurance company or the law.
I really would love to know the actuals on this. If your helping a buddy or a stranger what's the difference. If it wrecks something that's what home owners insurance is for. I by all means am not stirring the pot on this but it would be nice to know fact, not hear say or opinion on this topic.
 
Wood Doctor

Wood Doctor

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Free firewood logs do not exist and neither do free trees for processing firewood. There are costs involved and the amount of money required to process trees or even downed trees can easily exceed the amount that you could sell the wood for or buy it already processed and delivered.
 
haveawoody

haveawoody

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stihly dan,

If you damage something at a buddies house chances are your buddy will say it was him a total accident.
His house insurance usually covers it and everyone is ok with what happened, his premium goes up.
If you hurt yourself at a buddies and need a hospital visit it gets a bit more complex on what you say, possible to have charges laid on you unless it happened at home and I bet you would say that.
At someone else place you get hurt or drop a tree on something chances are the insurance company will come looking for a settlement and they always file accident reports with the local police so they may follow with charges.

Why tree companies are insured to the hilt and enter a contract when a tree to be removed and value of that service is agreed upon to avoid any legal problems.
Joe blow has no insurance, no saw license, marginal safety equipment etc etc and no real contract to perform a service.
Easy to see how insurance companies will baulk at fixing property damage and easy to see how the police can follow up.
 
stihly dan

stihly dan

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I can see that if you are doing it for a fee, that changes everything. Ha, felony tree felling. That should be the new name for scroungers.:) These days you can get sued for anything even nothing. I have a bad back, next time I come across a large log on the side of the road I should load it in the truck and sue big orange for cutting pieces to big. I bet I'd win.
 
pennsywoodburnr

pennsywoodburnr

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At someone else place you get hurt or drop a tree on something chances are the insurance company will come looking for a settlement and they always file accident reports with the local police so they may follow with charges.
I would hope that whoever is running the saw would be mindful enough to know when obstacles prevent a clean drop. They shouldn't be behind a saw if they can't at least measure distance or circumnavigate any structures in their way. But then again, there are plenty of YouTube videos of guys cutting and sending trees in the wrong direction (on houses, sheds, fences or whatever) just because they didn't apply a little common sense and look for lean, account for any wind, or anything else.

Why tree companies are insured to the hilt and enter a contract when a tree to be removed and value of that service is agreed upon to avoid any legal problems.
I think part of the reason for them being insured to the fullest is because they're always in such a goddamned rush to get to the next job to get paid. Think about it. They're trying to wrap up one job as quickly as possible to go to the next. When you hurry yourself to get something done as fast as possible mistakes will be made, like it or not. Yes these guys are trained pro's, but the allure of big money wins out sometimes. Often at the expense of a structure. I've seen tree companies who have left a homeowners front yard looking like landmines went off in it. I've also seen a tree company smash a front window on a car because instead of climbing the tree and taking down the branches section by section like they should've, the climber just went and topped it, and didn't account for the topped canopy to roll on it's way down.

Joe blow has no insurance, no saw license, marginal safety equipment etc etc and no real contract to perform a service.
You're right, a lot of the scroungers on the Firewood forum don't have insurance (myself included). I would be bankrupt trying to carry full liability for the handful of tree jobs I get a year. That being said, I don't tackle jobs where I'm almost 100% sure I can put the tree where I want it, safely. I let the homeowner know up front I've got no insurance, and they can decide accordingly. I'd be willing to bet a lot of the guys on here who do removals for firewood follow that example as well. Sometimes I get a little money thrown my way for my trouble, but often times not. Which is fine really, because I do it to keep my family warm during the winter. Saw License? Never heard of one of those. Must be a Canadian thing. :p
 
blades

blades

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I have ins. costs a mint- I do not take down trees on others property in city or subdivision settings or anywhere that property damage scenario might arise - just not worth the liability to me. I figure Murphy is always lurking , I do not need or want his help. When people ask I say have a service come in get it on the ground- I will take it from there.
 
haveawoody

haveawoody

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pennsywoodburnr,

Accidents happen even when you are very careful.
Chain break, saws skip, wind decides to crush a fell cut in the wrong direction etc.

I hear you on speed for tree companies, worked for a couple different ones and speed was the name of the game.
Insurance at least here in Canada is always to the hilt for them especially when they work at light speed LOL

A saw license in Canada is just proof you have knowledge and safe usage of chainsaws.
Most tree services or people seeking to be a lumberjack will be asked if they have one (yep insurance again)

IMO I think scroungers would be best served following the electric company saw vehicles around.
Knocking on doors for permission to remove wood already chopped to size and no need to saw anything sure is a cheap and safe way to go.
Or call a couple of tree services and ask if they need wood haulers no charge to them.
Chances are they will jump at the chance to have someone reliable remove all the wood and be able to migrate to the next job 50% faster.
 
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