Green Uses of Sickly Trees

Recycling Cut Trees

A reader recently wrote:


I enjoy reading Richard’s articles in The Pelham Weekly.  They are one of my favorite things about the paper and I’ve saved quite a few of the articles over the years.

 I have a question about what I can do ‘green-wise’ with the remnants of a very large oak tree.  We tried to save it but it couldn’t be saved so it will be taken down this week.  I’ve thought about perhaps keeping some slices for a bench and/or a table and some pieces for firewood.  I suppose the tree removal company will chip a lot of it up.  Do you have any other suggestions?

 Thanks for reading this, and I look forward to reading more of your articles in The Pelham Weekly.


Katy Mayer


Dear Katy and Readers,

I took down an oak that had died in my back yard a few years ago and kept  about ten feet of trunk  intact, still rooted to the ground thinking I was going to do something green and creative with the trunk. I thought maybe I would shape it into a giant fist (to show my irreverence, or maybe release my inner panther). Then I thought maybe I would carve a totem to honor the first settlers in the land. Finally, I settled on a giant chair, or maybe it was a throne, the seat of the “Baron of Benedict place”. I got out my collection of chainsaws. I lasted about an hour and had barely made a dent in the old hardened wood. 

In the end, I cut the stump into smaller pieces and I’m finally using them as steps in a play area I built for my daughter (out of properly milled wood). Moral of the story is, leave chainsaw carving to folks who really know it. Attached are pictures of odd an beautiful things that can be made with tree trunks and stumps. Perhaps the tree company can help you craft them! If not, wood form old trees does generally get composted, and/or turned into firewood by these companies. Waste disposal is just too high in our area to do otherwise which is a good thing. Please make sure you plant a new tree for the one your taking down. Our tree canopy in Pelham is precious and the source of a good deal of our higher property values, as well as the basis of a stronger, more layered ecosystem, and help keep save energy by keeping our homes cooler in the summer.


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