Tag Archives: use old tires

What is a dead tree worth?

                Many people will say not much, it is dead, it cannot filter the air, it cannot produce any more for us. I on the other hand see great potential in what others call a waste. The Native American Indians would use every part of a resource, letting nothing go to waste. This principal was repeated in my permaculture course. Recently I was able to take a trip to a friend’s farm and he had several trees that had been blown over. Here is my recap of what a dead tree is worth to me. Granted some uses may take time as in drying firewood, but it all started with the single blown over tree. This single dead tree is worth roughly at least $2,220. There are probably other ways to break it down, but just as an example.

 dead tree

Firewood – $400

                In my area of suburbia dried split firewood runs for about $60-$80 a rick. Now some people claim a rick is 3×6 where the true rick is 4×8.. Dried, split, delivered, and stacked about $100/rick in my area. 3×6 prices and it would be $500. The particular tree we cut was about 4 true ricks worth of wood when split and stacked.

Heating offset – $800

                In suburbia we only have heat pump/electric heat. The first year we lived in the house that is all we used to heat. Our electricity bill was through the roof that winter. We then invested in a fireplace insert which is about 80% efficient using the wood to the 20% of a normal fireplace. 20% is generous for most fireplaces. The 4 ricks of wood would last us about 2-3 months. With this single fireplace we are able to heat a 1900 sq foot home throughout the entire winter and never need the heat pump/electric heat.

Mushrooms – $800

                Several of the branch logs can be stacked to make a mushroom colony. The going rate for dried oyster mushrooms is about $60/lb dried. The logs could produce for at least 2 years. If you get a more exotic variety of mushrooms and the profit from said mushrooms increases much more.

Mulch – $100

The branches that are too small for firewood and leaves are sent through a shredder and used for gardening mulch. A few cubic yards could be gained from the tops of a tree.

Water reduction – $50

                Having a thinker layer of mulch around your plants reduces the need to water and external nutrients. This extra layer of mulch will help retain water, and reduce or eliminate the need to water your plants.

Mushroom Compost – $50

                After the mushrooms break down the log, the compost that is left is one of the best compost you can buy. All of the nutrients and minerals the tree has taken up and stored over its lifetime is broken down and now available for a new generation of plants.  

 Sawdust – $20

                Yes even the wood chips left over from cutting up the tree can be worth something. Sawdust, combine with old candle wax and you have a fire starter, use sawdust in worm bins to produce compost tea, compost, and worms, cat litter, use it as animal bedding just to name a few. You do not want to use around any animals if the tree is a black walnut. There are toxic oils in the tree which can make animals sick or even kill them.

This is just one example of how we as a society could better use our resources more effectively. I have learned so much with my experiences over the years and the additional benefit of permaculture educations. I would like to help you use this as well. The possibilities of what you can do with what are otherwise waste materials is huge. Old tires, pallets, plastic pop bottles are normally thrown out. You can reuse these materials. Your lawn that produces nothing but work for you. You have to mow, some people water it, and unfortunately many people put chemicals for weeds and fertilizer. Why not turn this wasted space, costing you money into something that can produce food, or even income for you. Let me work with you to help you become more self sufficient. Use the Contact us page to let us know how we can help you on your path to getting a better life. The first 30 min are free what do you have to loose. See what others have had to say on the testimonial page.




So this is the first year either of us have ever grown potatoes. Have no idea why we haven’t until now, but just thought it was effort and trouble. That and potatoes are cheap.

We read about growing them in stacked tires. You lay one tire down. Put your seed potatoes in and cover. When the plants get 6” tall put another tire on and add more soil until plants are covered to the top with only the top of the last layer of growth exposed. Keep repeating until the tires are 4-5 tall. Each layer will sprout more potatoes in the new level. So each layer can have a couple of pounds of potatoes.

We started then and got about 2-3 tires tall then the plants died mid-summer from heat and drought. We didn’t water much in hopes to make plants stronger and reduce costs; we have city water, and hadn’t put in our rain collection systems yet.

So we let them sit until we started to cut down the remaining garden assuming our potato days were over. We still had two sweet potato plants and were still green so no big loss.

Once we moved the tires we found about 3 lbs of red, and Idaho potatoes in the dirt. We cooked them up and planted some of the potatoes we harvested that had already started to re-sprout. They are growing will and are not on level two.

Here is a picture of the sweet potatoes we got from TWO plants. Neither of us have ever cooked sweet potatoes, but that is some haul from only two plants. Next year we think we will plant 10 or so potato plots if not more. Trying to scope out more free tires. You would have thought the tire stores would just give them to you. No so. After visiting 4 different places, none would give them to me. And they have to PAY to get rid of them. More of our good ol’ government at work. Regulations prevent them for giving them to us I found out later. Back to good ol’ Craigslist and find me someone trying to get rid of them.