No announcement yet.

recycling old growth trees

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • recycling old growth trees

    OK, so on my way to work a few weeks back, I noticed we lost a very large old oak tree in the city I live in after some rough storms. I am sure it was a hundred or more years old. By the time I passed it again on the way home it was gone.

    Does anyone have any more information (web links are fine) about the possibility of milling these old hardwoods on site into rough sawn lumber so they can be properly recycled? I know I have read about the equipment and programs at other municipalities but I just can't find them right now. I want my local governement to take up this kind of program so some of my fellow woodworkers and I can save these hardwoods from the mulch pile.

    Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

    [ 06-06-2003, 09:22 PM: Message edited by: Jerry Jensen ]

  • #2
    The problem with residential trees include nails and bbs at odd places, so many sawmills will not process residential trees. I would laugh, except I ran into a horseshoe with a chainsaw - apparently had been hung in a branch 100 years before. The chain was lost far beyond resharpening, but fortunately didn't break.

    I have heard stories of people who did "amateur" sawing, either taking the risk to their saws because the trees were free, or with the owner "insuring" their blades. And after the residential trees are sawn and dried, there is still a risk of the buried bb ruining a planer blade (as happened to my brother). (His friend who work construction and "volunteers" to haul off the logs for sawing has to sell the residential wood for a fraction of the "commercial" price.

    Cutting the trees down so that there is good length for lumber is also hard to do in a residential area - long areas to "fell" the tree without hitting something, and heavy equipment to move the big logs without cracking the sidewalks.

    And then the amateurs who try to dry the wood without a kiln.

    Well, bottom line, firewood is often good.

    That being said, I will soon be picking up some hardwood from someone who cleared some woods ... hopefully fewer bbs and clothes lines than "residential" wood.


    • #3
      We have a member in our local woodworking guild that has a small private saw mill. When they run a log the run a metal detector ove it and few problems.
      Good Luck


      • #4
        No doubt a metal detector will find the horse shoe that wiped out my chain saw (when I lived in Virginia), and will probably find the traditional nails that held up the sign and the clothes line. But I have wondered if they would detect the BB like the one that wiped out my brother's planer? Especially if it is deep in the wood (farther from the metal detector).

        Where is your woodworking guild that saves the wood from residential trees? (I would like to support it). The construction worker mentioned in the previous post is in in Western New York (near my brother who discovered the BB, but sometimes buys the "cheap" hardwood). I will be picking up amateur-harvested wood while visiting Iowa in a few weeks, but I live in Texas.


        • #5
          Charlie P - good point, there are hazards to watch out for. I guess what got me going (and I have not yet given up) was the 4 foot diameter oak tree that fell in a recent storm. These things are a part of history that deserve a better outcome than the fireplace (for all I know they are already selling them to local mills).

          That coupled with some great success at drying wood in my attick (I live in Atlanta, can you say oven?) and then making a grandfather clock from it. I also have recycled a lot of old cedar from mine and my neighbors decks into patio furniture and adirondak chairs.

          I am not a total tree hugger, I simply believe in recycling as best we can.


          • #6
            Jerry, since this would be a local topic, what part of Atlanta do you live in? I'm near Stone Mountain. Gwinette woodworkers association has a very active membership, they may know something. -Robert


            • #7
              I am in the Greenille, SC Guild.
              The guild does not do this, we have a member that owns a saw mill. He is a hobbiest. He invites the guild out sometimes and cuts our logs this is not a regular thing.
              Our guild is in the process of opening a heavy duty shop for projects, mentoring and member use.
              Steve Dunlap


              • #8
                Robert - I am in Roswell, I have not made the time to join any local clubs, I do essentially all my work from 5am to 7am before my real job. The family gets whatever time is left over.


                • #9
                  Jerry, I'm not a member either but have made it to a meeting. I do know some people locally who are and can ask them. Thanks for starting this post. -Robert