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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i bought the 3 acres surrounding my shop. there is about 1 acre of BIG cottonwood trees, for those not familiar, a pretty soft wood, not very desireable for firewood. i want to clear the property, and put up rental/storage units. hauling these to our landfill is cost prohibitive. 2 cents a pound plus cost of trucking.

i took the excavator, and knocked them all down and have them piled up. now to get rid of them. about once a year, a guy comes in with a BIG horizontal grinder to take care of the city's tree waste. i can hire him, but it's damn expensive.

young competitor friend of mine bought an excavator mounted carbide tipped asphalt/concrete milling unit. it will fit on my hyundai. he claims it'll work slicker'n snot on a doorknob to turn the trees/strumps into chips, and he's offered me a damn good rental rate on the unit.

have any of you ever tried this? does it work?
 

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Are you not allowed to burn it? Not as firewood in a fireplace or camp fire....just burn it to get rid of it. No can do??

To answer your question, I have no idea how the grinder would work, but I would think if it can mill concrete, etc. some soft wood shouldn't be a problem.
 

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Are there no pulp mills close to you? Usually I can get rid of scrap timber for free as the pulp mill rate will usually cover the cost of the trucking.
 

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My only concern would be the Cottonwoods shredding and bogging up the concrete mill. Can't place the machine so I'm not sure.

What diameter sre the trees?

How about a tree outfit with a big chipper?

We have an outfit called Tree Inc. out here that chips up some good size stuff.

If nothing else chip the slash and limbs and haul the logs to the dump or offer them as free firewood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Are you not allowed to burn it? Not as firewood in a fireplace or camp fire....just burn it to get rid of it. No can do??

To answer your question, I have no idea how the grinder would work, but I would think if it can mill concrete, etc. some soft wood shouldn't be a problem.

thanks!
i'd love to burn them
problem with this is....i'm out of the city limits, by only 33'. there are homes 200' away, NICE homes...we're seperated by another bunch of trees. i start throwing smoke their way, they'll have a fit, and rightfully so
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Are there no pulp mills close to you? Usually I can get rid of scrap timber for free as the pulp mill rate will usually cover the cost of the trucking.
bad thing here is...you can literally go for MILES here without seeing a tree. i think the nearest pulp mill would be about 300 miles away in northern minnesota.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My only concern would be the Cottonwoods shredding and bogging up the concrete mill. Can't place the machine so I'm not sure.

What diameter sre the trees? abut 3'-4' at the base of the trunk

How about a tree outfit with a big chipper? that's "kinda" what i'm looking at

We have an outfit called Tree Inc. out here that chips up some good size stuff.

If nothing else chip the slash and limbs and haul the logs to the dump or offer them as free firewood.

my thought here is if i can get rid of the stuff from 4' diameter down to 1' diameter....and run an ad in the paper for free campfire wood..come cut as much as you want, it would be gone. it's just getting rid of the big stuff.

griz, this mill is excavator mounted. i'll try and find the link to the manufacturer. my shop sits along a river bank, and i'm allowed to build a leveee to protect my property...i can't bury the tree as a whole, but chips can "disappear" in my fill if you know what i mean. that's why i'm thinking if i can get it down to 4" diameter chunks or less, i can take the dozer and cover them with topsoil and they'd be gone. i just thought one of the excavator guys had tried their mill on a tree and could tell me if it worked or not.
 

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I've seen the loader mounted "zippers". Never heard of anyone using them for wood but if the guy gives you a good rate and says it works well why not try it. Of course, I'd tell him if it didn't work I wouldn't pay him
 

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I've never seen a Cottonwood, but looked it up, and it's similar to our "Tulip Poplar", and not much good for firewood.

I agree with Upchuck, give it a go and see how it works out.

I have seen the mulchers that are designed to destroy standing trees and they are some serious attachments. I don't see why an asphalt planer would not chew em' up and spite em' out.
 

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Day if it's a zipper for asphalt they would have carbide teeth that are round and not really sharp. I can see just a bunch of strings coming from a softer wood that would seem to be a pia if they get stuck in the wheel. The chippers have sharp blades (I'm quite sure you know that) that would cut through the wood. My opinion only, but if he says it will work make him come prove it before he gets a dime. Good luck, wish I had a better idea.
 

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Cottonwood may be soft, but that don't mean it's easy. A mature CW sucks up like 300 gallons of water a day, and with it lots and lots of sand. This makes it very abrasive, very hard on cutting tools. One use of it is for decks on low boy's, because of the natural traction it presents.
 
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Saw mill to get your lumber for the storage units?

We have a few barns built from native old growth cottonwood... It's not a soft wood when mature.
 

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I will say Gene, that while Cottonwood is a "soft" wood, it can be milled and dried to make excellent lumber, even for cabinets. If I were up your way, I would get a mill and go to it, then barn stack and air dry the thousands of board feet of material you will have.
 

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Cottonwood may be soft, but that don't mean it's easy. A mature CW sucks up like 300 gallons of water a day, and with it lots and lots of sand. This makes it very abrasive, very hard on cutting tools. One use of it is for decks on low boy's, because of the natural traction it presents.
It's also used a lot around here for bridge planks. It will take a lot of abuse & not rot easily unless in direct contact with the ground. It does make decent wood for framing pole barns as well. Lot of the amish use it for that around here.

Can't help much with the original question, sorry.
 

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I''ve gotten rid of lots of trees by putting up "Free Firewood" sign. I did grind limbs and stack trunks before putting up sign, though. Some folks got just one load. Others stayed days cutting and splitting. Also have had sawmill cut and dry trees from a church site. Lumber was not all good quality but made some fine looking doors and lots of interesting paneling. Sawmill would probably be my first choice. There might be someone in your area with a portable mill who could come to you if you have a place to store and dry it.
 

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I''ve gotten rid of lots of trees by putting up "Free Firewood" sign. I did grind limbs and stack trunks before putting up sign, though. Some folks got just one load. Others stayed days cutting and splitting. Also have had sawmill cut and dry trees from a church site. Lumber was not all good quality but made some fine looking doors and lots of interesting paneling. Sawmill would probably be my first choice. There might be someone in your area with a portable mill who could come to you if you have a place to store and dry it.
I got rid of a mess of willow and Manitoba maple at my father's rental property that way. The guy who took it has an outdoor furnace, I'm not sure if he figured out the hard way that adding willow or Manitoba maple to a fire was a great way to put it out. :laughing:
 

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I have also gotten rid of a ton of wood over the years from various jobsites by throwing a "free wood" sign up on Craigslist. I say what it is and where it is, and don't ask any questions about what someone is going to do with it.

Got rid of two huge willow trees from my parents property on mother's day like that.

Beaten paths are for beaten men
 

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I will say Gene, that while Cottonwood is a "soft" wood, it can be milled and dried to make excellent lumber, even for cabinets. If I were up your way, I would get a mill and go to it, then barn stack and air dry the thousands of board feet of material you will have.
Sounds like this could be a way to turn lemons into lemonade!
 
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