Again, youâ€™ll never guess where I got the idea for this weekâ€™s column. Good Lord. If your yard is anything like mine, youâ€™ve got huge fallen branches and limbs everywhere. The good news is the snow has melted to the point where I can finally miraculously spot small patches of grass too â€“ there were times I doubted Iâ€™d ever see the grass again! If Mother Nature took out some serious wrath on your yard as well, read on for easy, inexpensive ways (gleaned from readersâ€™ fabulous emails and texts) to rid your yard of the wooden carnage.
One of the most popular responses from readers â€“ rent or borrow a chipper! Around here, rental rates range anywhere from $50-$80 for a few hours, and itâ€™s a fabulous way to transform ugly fallen branches into decorative mulch for your house, or fantastic nutritious mulch for your garden. If you borrow the chipper from a neighbor or friend, make sure you compensate with some mulch they can use in their garden, as well as some fabulous baked goods and/or the beverage of their choice. If youâ€™ve got more mulch than you can possibly use, put out the word to neighbors on social media. One West Chester resident tells me he got rid of a six-foot pile of mulch in one day by mentioning it on his Facebook page!
If youâ€™ve got big piles of branches downed in your yard, and the branches are decently thick (perhaps an inch thick or more), think about listing them on Freecycle or Craigslist. Weâ€™ve got a lot of people around here who heat their homes with wood, and giving away your branches for free kindling and firewood is an great solution for everybody involved. If you donâ€™t have the machinery or strength to cut the wood into stackable piles for pickup, make sure thatâ€™s clearly stated in your ad. Even if thereâ€™s work involved, chances are excellent that the prospect of free wood will still have people responding. Winter isnâ€™t over yet!
Another great option sent in by readers is to donate the wood to local charities. I was told more than once by readers that many local churches are looking for wood for pickup. If youâ€™re interested, start by contacting your local church or charity and spread the word that you have wood available for free. You get rid of ugly branches in your yard, the tree goes to good use and a needy household gets some extra warmth. Talk about a win-win!
Without a doubt, the most popular method for getting rid of wood in your yard cheaply and quickly â€“ cut it, stack it and put it in your front yard in neat-ish piles with a big sign saying â€œFREE.â€ According to readers, cars driving by your property will notice it, and put out the word. Without fail, readers report that even the biggest piles are often gone within 48 hours.
Above all else, pat yourself on the back for surviving another nasty mood swing from Mother Nature. Only a few weeks until the first day of spring on March 20thâ€¦ but whoâ€™s counting?
Stay warm, everybody!
Kristen Hagopian is a Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host & Columnist, Consumer Reporter, Motivational Speaker & Author of â€œBrilliant Frugal Livingâ€. The Kristen Hagopian Show airs Nationwide via Business Talk Radio Network Wednesday nights. She resides in Chester County with her husband and two children. You can find her online at www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com
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