Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Great Use For Fallen Tree Branches

Image credit: M. Gustafson Gervasi, 2013
 
This past winter Madison received a very heavy and intense snow; I believe it was one of the largest amounts to fall in a 36 hour period.  Sadly, it cracked the branch of a mature walnut tree centered in our backyard as well as seven limbs off a huge pine.  Clearly beyond our skill set (limbs on the roof, dangling branches, a foot or more of snow on the ground) we called in Gere Tree Care.  They did an excellent job, but it cost $900.  All out of our budget because we have a deductible of $5,000 on our homeowners insurance.  Why so high?  It keeps our premiums low, and we maintain a nice size emergency fund.  Thankfully we worked this unexpected expenditure in the budget that month, not touching the emergency fund.  And Gere left behind several of the larger limbs, which now circle the children's mulch bit.  From disaster to toddler benches -- it is a great way to make the most of fallen branches.

No kids at home?  Do you have a wood burning fire place?  Ours is gas, so firewood was out.  How about turning them vertical and placing a container on top for a natural bird feeder?  Or turn to Craigslist and sell the wood for a small price.  To be frugal is to pause and ask, how might I extend the utility of this.  In our case, fallen tree branches are perfect perches for our kids.  And once they outgrow them, we'll work them in as natural bird feeders.

Any ideas come to your mind?  If so, please leave a comment and share.

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