I like getting free stuff as much as the next person, and I don't mind doing hard labor for it either. On a recent morning I returned home from exercising to find my across-the-street neighbor outside with a local tree service. They were about to remove a couple of 30-year-old trees from his yard. He is re-landscaping his front jungle---oops, I mean yard . . . (hallelujah!) (finally!) (sound the trump!)
Naturally my antenna shot up and I casually--well, I hope I sounded casual and didn't betray the greed I felt just thinking about free firewood--asked what he planned to do with the wood. He didn't want it! Next question: had he promised it to the tree service as part of the contract? Nein! No! Could I have it? Sure . . .
Then the clear-cutting began, and Mr. Oblivious-to-Free-Stuff mentioned to the dudes that I would take the wood. They kindly offered to cut it into wood-stove length--wow, did that ever sweeten the deal! I hunted down our wheelbarrow and got to work before anyone changed his mind.
me and my free wood . . .
The downside of the deal was that the trees were located a little down the hill from us and the tree service set up shop down the hill (where they chipped up the smaller branches), so every single load had to be wheeled a bit uphill to my house, then up my steep driveway, and across my front yard and through the gate to the wood pile. The trunk sections were huge and heavy, the branch pieces easier to handle, and I made each load a mix of the two. After 4 or 5 loads Daniel came out to help, and after another 5 or 6 loads we had it all stacked. It was an exhausting hour and a half but I'm sure once it's split it will be a winter's worth of fuel!
my free unsplit wood piled wherever there was space
On a related note we had a typhoon the last weekend of September, and my behind-neighbor's giant ash tree keeled over, breaking her fence and smashing another neighbor's shed. I see more free firewood in my future!