Just like the concrete walkway, we were pretty sad to lose our trees. We had two Honey Locust trees in our backyard. I hated those little stupid leaves, but the trees were nice. One tree was really close to the house and it was in the middle of our future dining room. The second tree was smack in the middle of the yard, but it wasn’t in great shape and we actually worried that it wouldn’t survive more than a few years, especially after we cut it’s roots during the excavation for the addition.

Our contractor had a really crazy idea. He suggested that we harvest our trees, have them milled and then build furniture and shelving, etc. out of our wood. Sounds great, huh? Do you know how crazy I sound when calling up lumber yards? The tree companies really thought I was insane.

But, I found a sawmill up near Boulder that is dedicated to milling urban trees. How great is that?

So, Ross Tree Company cut down our trees. We chose this company because the owner, Gene Ross, actually comes out to do the quotes and they were $800 cheaper than four other large (and heavily advertised) companies in the area. They were also recommended by other Arapahoe Acres owners. The employees were very professional and didn’t overtly make fun of me when I said that I was “keeping” the trunks and, by the way, did they mind rolling the large trunks to the side of my yard while I figured out what to do with them.

I should have planned this better, BUT…

I found the sawmill AFTER the trees were cut down, but I had Ross Tree Company come back out and get the tree limbs out of my back yard and into their truck to be hauled to the sawmill about 30 miles away. Expensive, but worth it.

Now, for the fun. TC Woods up in Lafayette, Colorado (south of Boulder) is owned by Dan Odell, a former arborist. Apparently, he got frustrated seeing trees taken down and just used for fire wood. So, he started this urban sawmill in 1996. I’m so glad I found him. He took our 9 limbs of Honey Locust wood (about 5 or 6 feet each) and milled them into various plank sizes. It took two truck loads to get the wood back to our house. We need to dry out/age the wood for about 1 year for each 1 inch thickness of wood.

We’ve got a while to make plans, but we’re sort of dreaming of nice shelves and built-in’s for our study. So, in about a year, I’m going to ask for everyone’s favorite references for building 1950’s MCM desks and built-in’s.

All in all, we spent about the same on taking the trees down, transport AND milling as the other companies quoted to just remove the trees. The milling was about $1 per board foot and we have about 400 board feet of wood to work with. If I wanted to buy similar wood, I would pay about $4 per board foot. It will be fun to see what we (I mean Tim) will build from them.

Picture of our backyard from last fall WITH the trees.

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Employee from Ross Tree Company “dancing” in the trees to cut down the limbs. Note the power lines he is working carefully around.

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I just like this picture of all of the employees anchoring for the tree to fall.

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Here is a pic of the large limbs we saved to be milled.

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Entrance at TC Woods Saw Mill.

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Random urban wood you can buy at TC Woods. I can’t tell you how much beautiful wood there is to buy there.

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Loading up my Dad’s truck for Trip #1. I’m pretty sure he was thinking I was real crazy at this point.

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All of the wood stacked up on “stickies” to dry out for the next year or so. It works pretty well in our garage. I have a great place to stack it all in our basement after we finish the remodel.

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