Help Me Get My Ash On!
June 27, 2018 3:19 PM   Subscribe

I'm in the market for an ash branch, at least 4'-5". I'll be working with this wood for a project, and have my heart set on using it. Unfortunately, given the state of the ash tree in Central Park (I am in New York City), I doubt the Parks folks are gonna let me mosey on in there and take down a branch. Or sell me one. Which leaves me looking for alternate roads to getting the branch that I need. I'll be checking with local lumber yards in the morning, but where else can I look? Etsy had a surprise dearth of options. Thanks, y'all!
posted by Ashen to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total)
Response by poster: Edit: 4-5'! Though I will happily take home a longer branch.
posted by Ashen at 3:20 PM on June 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Actually, most Parks departments are having to remove ash because they are dying and become hazard trees- if you can find the right person they might be willing to give you one.
posted by scrute at 3:30 PM on June 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Call the local tree trimming/removal companies and tell them you'll give them X dollars for an ash branch that meets your specs and that you'll pick it up.
posted by jamjam at 3:31 PM on June 27, 2018 [6 favorites]

Best answer: You're probably not finding anything online because of heavy restrictions on transporting ash wood due to the emerald ash borer. Like, can't-even-move-unknown-species-firewood levels of restricted.

And seconding jamjam - a lot of woodworker folks get to know a "tree removal guy" in their area for exactly this purpose.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 3:33 PM on June 27, 2018 [7 favorites]

In addition to park departments, you can call your local utilities to see if they are currently removing trees from under power lines. My uncle makes ash walking sticks and this is how he goes about obtaining his ash trees.
posted by Elly Vortex at 4:01 PM on June 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

I would try contacting RE-CO Brooklyn -- they are in NYC and specialize in reclaiming fallen trees around the City to turn into lumber and products. I would tell them what you are looking for -- maybe they could try and keep an eye out even if they don't have anything in their stock right now.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 4:02 PM on June 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: All great advice above! Yes to tree removal companies, park departments, etc... with a caveat that the regulations on moving ash wood are absolutely true and important. Let them know that you understand that the wood must stay local in your ask. Going straight to the folks who are dealing with wood disposal will be your cheapest option; most might give it to you free if they don't chip all their wood on site. Many municipalities and larger tree care operations also have their own wood collection yards where material is taken before they can grind it all at a later date. Those yards would be another good option, though they are unlikely to be sorted by species or size of material, and every community differs in how much access they give to those yards. Finally, if none of those ideas work out, as This_Will_Be_Good suggested, you can check in with salvage/reclamation operations. You can find more of those near you by searching for "urban wood" businesses, though any wood from them will likely come with a bigger price tag. (I work in this realm, so feel free to PM me should you need more help.)
posted by hessie at 6:59 AM on June 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: When I asked the question, I definitely thought that it would be a one-time and personal project. Now,'s increasingly becoming an area of commercial interest. Thanks so much for your help and clarity, y'all!
posted by Ashen at 3:23 PM on June 28, 2018

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