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Garden Shed Projects

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I have returned from a weeks holiday to find an ancient oak next to my house has shed one of it’s boughs.

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I have been advised the council will remove it Monday so only have tomorrow. It seems like an opportunity for some free timber however it all seems a bit gnarley.

Any advice on what to look for? Not expecting to build a table but a few boxes would be good.
 

Garden Shed Projects

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Its on land adopted by the council. It has dropped a bough before and they cleared it away as waste so I am helping them out really.
 

Trainee neophyte

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By the time you have cut out the sapwood will there be anything left? If the branch was growing horizontally then there will be lots of tension so the wood will move all over the place, allegedly.

On the plus side, what have you got to lose (other than gaol time for theft, that is)?

What I do is find the straight bits, and cut them out of the wreckage. Most of it looks like firewood, except the big lump right next to the trunk. I would cut that into lengths I can move, cutting at a corner where possible, and where it forks try to favour the larger piece . Oak is quite heavy when green - suprisingly heavy, so you may end up with shorter lengths than you expected, just so you can move it.

Watch out for getting your saw stuck - best have another saw to cut out your stuck chainsaw (even a hand saw will save the day).

Also having the branch roll on top of you if you cut out the support is embarrassing . Lots of weird tension in suprisingly places - I tend to start at the wrong end and remove all the twigs and leaves first, to reduce the weight before getting stuck into the big stuff.

Try to avoid a trip to A&E. Take a friend to do the heavy lifting. How hard could it be?
 

Sgian Dubh

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Limbs, especially those which have sprung essentially horizontally from the main stem, tend to be full of reaction wood, and are unlikely to yield much in the way of usable boards because of its instability. You might get a few workable bits, but be prepared to expect a great deal of work for very limited returns.

You may, or may not already be aware of that fact. Slainte.
 

Garden Shed Projects

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I have read similar before so slightly aware. There just looks to be so much of it that there must be some usable timber in there. Maybe wasting my time but it would be nice to have something, even something small, made of the tree next to my house. I am not looking for anything too big as I can only handle logs at 8-10” diameter with the kit I have.

The last time it shed a bough was the week I moved into this house 5 years ago and I kind of regret not getting a bit then.
 

Cabinetman

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Well it’s quite possible with that bough gone the tree will be so unbalanced that it might keel over- doubtful. What is much more likely to happen is that the council will decide that it’s unsafe, then you might get something worthwhile! Probably more than you know what to do with.
 

Garden Shed Projects

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It had crossed my mind. 2 significant branches dropped from roughly the same location in 5 years, you can see the first scar just below the more recent one below, should at least make them survey it. It would be a real shame if the decide to chop it down though as it’s a real thing of beauty.
C2C571C2-B9A7-466C-A451-63E9B90B34CA.jpeg
 

okeydokey

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Why not pop out when the council (or their contractors) turn up with their chainsaws if you have preselected parts you need (mark with chalk) I am sure they will trim them off and let you have them its less waste for them to remove. Might need a small donation to the tea fund or a bag of doughnuts and mugs of tea.
 

Adam W.

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Just take some if you really want it, then think about what you're going to do with it later. But to be truthful, it looks like a load of firewood to me.
 

slavedata

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This is where having a chain saw is very useful. Last week a crack willow on the disused rail track near my house lost a couple of limbs. Took the dog down early to be met with a wall of green. Went and got the bow saw and lopers and cut and dragged clear enough for a path through. Came back later with my chainsaw. Not the greatest wood for burning but hey it's a good price.
Kept back a few bits and PVA glued over the the ends. When they have matured I will see how well they turn.
 

Garden Shed Projects

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Why not pop out when the council (or their contractors) turn up with their chainsaws if you have preselected parts you need (mark with chalk) I am sure they will trim them off and let you have them its less waste for them to remove. Might need a small donation to the tea fund or a bag of doughnuts and mugs of tea.
I am not likely to be around as I work during the day.
 

Garden Shed Projects

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This is where having a chain saw is very useful. Last week a crack willow on the disused rail track near my house lost a couple of limbs. Took the dog down early to be met with a wall of green. Went and got the bow saw and lopers and cut and dragged clear enough for a path through. Came back later with my chainsaw. Not the greatest wood for burning but hey it's a good price.
Kept back a few bits and PVA glued over the the ends. When they have matured I will see how well they turn.
This is kind of my plan. The reason I posted on here is that I was curious if there was any particular parts that may be of interest. Seems not to be the case

I will pop out with the chainsaw later in the morning and see what bits I can salvage.
 

TRITON

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My advice would be to look for who owns it first
Public park, it's owned by the people.
And being one of those people I give my full permission for the op to nip down at 2am with a handsaw and help himself.
 

Garden Shed Projects

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Just been out and got a couple of bits. As suggested there is very little usable material. I have a few questions regarding seasoning-

1. Why seal the end grain, is it for more even drying of timber or something else?

2. Bark on or bark off?

3. Cut it into planks and stack with spacers straight away or leave as a log for a period and then plank?

4. Can I assume the lighter coloured sap wood is useless and will ultimately become fire wood?
 

recipio

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Well done for trying to harvest the tree. We should all stop wasting wood these days - after all it will probably be put through an industrial shredder.
Out of curiosity what have you got to convert them into planks ? Short of a bandsaw mill its going to be hard to convert the main trunk at least. I have a 'Little Ripper' which is just a bandsaw jig bought off a Canadian shop which lets me convert small pieces up to 14" diameter. Great fun but hard work.!
 

Garden Shed Projects

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I have a 200mm band saw and a 14” chainsaw so can only really handle a limb. Would love to tackle something larger but not just don’t have the kit or the space.

I harvested a bit of willow and hawthorn earlier in the year and they are drying in the garage. I would like to utilise them into something meaningful as they are all from trees within 10m of my boundary.
 

Adam W.

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Because it's all reaction wood it will either bow or split, depending on how you cut it. That's why branch wood is not used for anything meaningful other than spoons or small turned greenwood items.

The lop and top is traditionally regarded as waste and used for firewood.
 

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