Make like a tree and leaf
August 22, 2012 1:34 PM   Subscribe

How do I get rid of a tree? Catch: The tree is already in pieces.

When we moved into our house, a large tree that was in the back garden had been cut down. There is a big pile of branches taking up one corner of the garden. Some of these branches are rotting, others still have perfectly healthy leaves growing from them. There seem to be various other bits of vegetation growing through the pile. We're getting around to tidying up the garden now, so obviously something needs to be done.

It's been a wet summer here so far, so the whole pile of branches is kind of damp. What are my options here? I've started sorting out the dead branches from the still-living bits and stacking them somewhere they can dry out a bit (it's been a rather wet summer here so far), with a view to maybe burning them in a big bonfire at some point in the future. Is this sensible? I'm guessing that the leafier foliage can be composted?
posted by xchmp to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
Sorry if this sounds obvious, but if you two can afford it then I'd recommend hiring a tree removal company...
posted by livinglearning at 1:43 PM on August 22, 2012

Can you rent a wood chipper and a chainsaw? Now you have wood chips for the garden or whatever!
posted by Wretch729 at 1:45 PM on August 22, 2012

If you have the space on your property to safely have a bon-fire, then that is your best bet.
You can cut and sort the pile one bon-fire at a time.
posted by Flood at 1:59 PM on August 22, 2012

How much of your pile would be usable as firewood? An ad on craigslist or freecycle might get you someone who was willing to take that away.
posted by CathyG at 2:15 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Judging from the profile, the OP isn't exactly in wood-burning stove country, so the "bring your own chainsaw and pickup" Craigslist approach popular in the US may not work in this instance.

I'd probably just call around the local tree services for a rough estimate on removal (I found a few via a quick search) rather than have a bonfire, because the tree services can dispose of the remnants more efficiently.
posted by holgate at 2:37 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Open fires/bonfires are restricted in many parts of the US because of air pollution concerns. OP should be aware if there are similar restrictions in his area if he considers trying to burn the damp wood.
Doesn't seem that Sheffield, UK is experiencing the drought which afflicts much of the US.
posted by Cranberry at 2:54 PM on August 22, 2012

What kind of wood is it? Some types of wood you can sell, and of course if you were giving away a valueable type of wood on craigslist or freecycle you can get rid of it within hours.

If you are legally able to burn the wood in an open fire as a chore, there are probably people who would happily pick it up so as to have their own bonfire for fun.
posted by yohko at 3:13 PM on August 22, 2012

Large piles of rotting wood and related debris? I'd call a local hauling service and simply have it hauled away. In our area (West Coast, USA) you can find many gardening services that will do this for you, especially the "up and coming" ones that don't have a full slate of regular companies. You're basically paying for unskilled labor and a truck, and perhaps some saws and/or a chipper, depending on the size of the job. I have a friend who used to do this sort of thing when he was just starting his landscaping business, and indeed, it was a big part of what he did before people began to pay him to design their yards. One truck, two or three guys, and a few power tools, and this sort of thing is usually cleared in half a day.
posted by mosk at 4:45 PM on August 22, 2012

"companies" above = "customers"
posted by mosk at 5:07 PM on August 22, 2012

Is the clear sacks service offered in your area. Looks like it might be able to care of some of the tree at least.

Cranberry, Sheffield is pretty rainy at the moment. Sheffield is always pretty rainy though :)

Saving some wood for a chiminea might be a good idea though! Just in case we ever get a summer.
posted by SuckPoppet at 9:47 AM on August 23, 2012

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