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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was driving back from meeting a friend for lunch yesterday and took a back road back to the office. I noticed a side road to nowhere (where someone had started a housing development by building the roads and then never built a house) that had some construction equipment parked there. Looks like they might start building again. So I pulled over and saw a guy in a nice shirt and hard hat. (engineer or architect, says I).

He confirmed they were going to start tearing out the woods on the other side of the road next week. I asked if I could harvest a few of the small saplings before they're bulldozed and shredded. He didn't care as long as there were no machines or workers around for me to get in the way of and I stayed inside of the Tree Zone tapes.

I drove to the end of the street so I wasn't in his way and did a quick scan. I didn't have much time but using my handy pruning saw (don't you all keep one in your car too?*) I was able to get a nice Sourwood sapling and a cool maple stick (I believe it was a red maple) with a funky curve down at the base.

I don't have much time. I'll see if I can head over there again today. There wasn't much right up by the road. It's a mature pine forest with larger pine trees and not much understory brush or trees. A few Sweet gums, which I haven't tried yet, so we'll see what I can find in quick snatch and grab runs. Hope the rain comes to delay the construction.

* I started carrying one, as well as small pruning shears and cheap gardening gloves, after having been in an office building parking lot last spring where they had just limbed a bunch of old trees. There were sitting piles and piles of beautiful maple, oak and even pear branches that would have made good walking sticks and canes, and I had nothing but fingernail clippers on me. "Never again," I said. And today was the first time I was able to use them. It helps to be prepared. My old scout master would have been proud.
 

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Makes me wonder if I can talk my wife into letting me put a saw in her mini van. I have one in my truck that I use for work, but wifey like her car to be clutter free. Maybe if I stash it under the seat...
 

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I carry a long handle saw in my pick-up and a fold up model in my tractor -- always! Ya never know?
 

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Makes me wonder if I can talk my wife into letting me put a saw in her mini van. I have one in my truck that I use for work, but wifey like her car to be clutter free. Maybe if I stash it under the seat...
Pretty sure my wife wouldnt let me get away with that. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I use one of my late father-in-law's canvas mineral specimen bags. In it I've got a wicked 10" folding pruning saw, a pair of by-pass hand pruners (for taking off small branches), a pair of cheap canvas and rubber gloves because pine sap is common and nasty, and a cheap folding knife for removing bark or other purposes. It all fits in a bag smaller than a plastic grocery sack. I keep it stored in a small storage compartment in my van.

The problem, though, with these tools so readily handy is that the temptation for poaching is so great. I regularly drive by a stand of giant bamboo and every time I'm tempted to do a quick saw and run. So far I've resisted, and I'm still out of jail.

Prune responsibly, everyone. :)
 

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I have a pocket chain saw and pocket knife in one of the storage compartments between the front seats. The chain saw is not as sharp as it was, so I also have a 9" folding pruning saw tucked between the seat and the storage container.

It was terrible today. Saw a whole row of black locust taken down by the electric company. The company has been removing all trees near larger lines, I suppose to reduce outages during ice storms, etc. But no place to pull off, alas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I know the feeling. Earlier this summer the power company went up and down the main road I commute by and took down hundreds and hundreds of yards of small trees, and there was no good place to pull over the direction I was heading. And by the time I came home, it was all gone. For once, they were efficient just when I wished they weren't. And it all included a long grove of good-sized bamboo. I still have a fascination with bamboo even though I know it tears up your tools with all of the high level of silica it absorbs from the soil.

Good to hear I'm not the only crazy person driving around with saws in his car.
 

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Crazy? Who's Crazy? I carry a lot of "Just in case" things in the pick-up! Ya just never know!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Stripped the bark off the sour wood. Came off well and will look good. But after putting everything away and washing my hands I realized the bark had stained my hands black! Very strange. Not used to green wood so not sure what chemical reaction happened. The stick is quite nice. It's oval in cross section in the right direction for using as a walking stick. I hope it dries well and doesn't crack much.

Will see if I can get back to the woods tomorrow. It did rain this afternoon so no go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Turns out that hickory and pecan will do this too. Wonder if almond will as well? It's very strange. Doesn't seem to have come off at all after multiple washings and a shower. And it is black, like carbon or old motor oil stained.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Got back for a quick snatch and grab and got a nice red ceder. Out of one tree I'll be able to make a hefty cane and a nice walking stick. Didn't bother trying to take the bark off in the woods because it gets quite sticky and sappy. I'll do that at home. It's actually quite a lovely woods, too bad it's going to be gone.

On the way back to the car I came across the skeleton of a raccoon, including a full skull, vertebrae etc.. It's been picked clean, I'm guessing mainly by bugs because the bones are all still pretty much there. I think the skull would look cool on top of a staff. Anyone know how to sterilize bones? I'm afraid to look it up at work as it might trigger some kind of search filter. :phew:

I'm not sure if there's any real cleaning to do, like I said, it's pretty clean. I'd just want to make sure it's not carrying anything nasty.
 

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Got back for a quick snatch and grab and got a nice red ceder. Out of one tree I'll be able to make a hefty cane and a nice walking stick. Didn't bother trying to take the bark off in the woods because it gets quite sticky and sappy. I'll do that at home. It's actually quite a lovely woods, too bad it's going to be gone.

On the way back to the car I came across the skeleton of a raccoon, including a full skull, vertebrae etc.. It's been picked clean, I'm guessing mainly by bugs because the bones are all still pretty much there. I think the skull would look cool on top of a staff. Anyone know how to sterilize bones? I'm afraid to look it up at work as it might trigger some kind of search filter. :phew:

I'm not sure if there's any real cleaning to do, like I said, it's pretty clean. I'd just want to make sure it's not carrying anything nasty.
Take a look at this: http://www.skullsite.co.uk/Preparation/preparation.htm

It won't all apply, but some will.

Good luck!
 

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Just don't do like I did when I was a kid of about 10 -- I planned on growing up to be a scientist :rolleyes: -- I found a dead rabbit, partially rotted away, on the side of the road and brought it home and boiled it in my mothers good stew pot!

Needless to say, the pot was ruined and it took a long time to get the smell out of the house!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
All bone prep work will be done outside. The worst I've ever done inside is melt raw beeswax, which smells quite nice, but ruins strainers. Since I'm the one who does all the cooking, I'll be taking care of my good pots.

Thanks, and I'll check out the site when I get home. At least I don't have to worry about any flesh. It's just a nice little pile of white bones. Quite fascinating, actually, to see ones like the vertebrae. There's got to be some kind of decorative value in them, especially since they're just going to be bulldozed in a week or so.
 

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AAAndrew,

Regarding post #1: I bought a little folding saw and now keep it in whichever vehicle I'm driving. that brings me to:

Kemjack,

I did put my new folding saw under the passenger seat of my little sedan, and it somehow managed to get locked up in the seat sliding mechanism (where you pull the lever to fold the back forward and the whole seat slides to gain access to the back seat). Thankfully, it did that after the wife had left and gone inside!

Now I keep it in the trunk when I drive this car. This still works, as the back seat folds down, giving access to the trunk. A 5 foot piece will still fit behind the drivers seat.
 
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