Walnut Root Ball

I'm kind of interested in this root ball. I'm hesitant because I don't hav e an immediate project in mind, but I can imagine a possible potential.
https://cenla.craigslist.org/art/d/hineston-attention-wood-crafters/6766271 800.html
I don't generally price this sort of "lumber". Considering I'd have to tr avel about 200 miles to collect it and all the work involved to produce a f inished project, I'm of the mind that I might pay a gratuity for its availa bility, rather than pay for the wood stock itself.
I suspect the owner would like a fairly nice fee for it, but I don't want t o pay anything for it. I'm inclined to ask to be paid to haul it off. I think the owner is a lady and I'm not sure she knows too much about lumber prices/pricing/logging in general, etc. I don't want to tell/imply, to h er, that she doesn't know about lumber, etal, though her ad is directed to craftsmen. Seems she doesn't/may not know the work involved, hence the r elative worth of the wood stock. I don't want to insult the lady as to he r knowledge or with regard to any fee she may want or with my negotiation ( pros & cons) for a possible low-price offer.
As for as I know, there is no precedent for pricing root ball stock as a wo od product (lumber). This sort of stock is generally discarded, i.e., one pays for it to be removed.
Though you all might not have interests in this sort of "lumber", What valu e might you place on the root ball, only, so that the lady would be satisfi ed with some sort of (gratuity?) offer, if anything at all?
If you owned the root ball, would you expect it has a value and, if so, wha t value?
Thanks. Sonny
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On 2/15/2019 10:54 AM, Sonny wrote:

It would not be listed if they thought it had no value. If you approached me wanting to be paid to haul it off, I'd just tell you to F off as you are an insulting p&&ck. But she may like you.
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wrote:

Withn the size of that thing I can imagine there are LOTS of nice projects hidden away inside it - its FIVE FEET in diameter for crying out loud!! The roots are nearly worthless. The work is intense; the results, minimal. The buttress where the trunk flares out just above ground level is where the best stock wood comes from. Don't waste your time trying to clean up and saw anything from below ground level.
There may or not be a "burl" at the bottom - hard to tell from that picture - and if there is, it's GOLD. It doesn't look obvious if there is one there however. Still a lot of nice patterned wood in there for gunstocks and other fancy items - as well as some nice bowls and other turning projects - and a couple nice tables - just for starters.
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wrote:

It's been on CraigsList for 2 months - but out of the ground 2 weeks ? I suspect that the seller has a price in mind that isn't realistic, and has turned-down a few " I'll take it off your hands " offers - like you are considering.. Try $ 50. if the next guy pays $ 100. you haven't lost anything - you never wanted it that bad in the first place. ... in much of Canada, $ 50. is ~ a case of beer or a bottle of rye ; and less than a fill-up at the gas station, so judge the value compared to your own every-day yardsticks. John T.
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On Fri, 15 Feb 2019 12:53:32 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.ca wrote:

Figure the number of board feet you can get out of it, check the price of rough-sawn black walnut, deduct the milling cost and markup, and that's a fair offer IMO.
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If it was a log - maybe - but most people who want dimensional lumber would not bother with this sort of piece, so wouldn't price it the same. Turners and carvers like the difficult burls and crotches - those are not priced by board-foot. The price <value> of a burl or other special piece is in the wallet of the beholder and quite variable. John T.
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Each of you have made valid points. If you are familiar with working with root ball stock, then you might understand my position better. I suspect some of your thoughts are with respect to what's on the open market, in woo d/lumber supply outlets.
A firm who makes/supplies turning blanks, gun stocks, etc. and supplies lum ber outlets will have a commercial organization supplying those items. Th eir stock will likely come from forests, the trees most likely free of huma n intervention. The commercial organization will more likely supply a dam aged/defected free product, so value wise I can accept a forest root ball a s having a significant value.
A root ball or even a log from someone's lawn or subject to people's living will likely have wire/fence, nails or other metal in the trucks and root b alls. "Lawn trees" are often subjected to damage by the residents, hence t he wood may have a high probability of internal defects. Some mills won't even consider milling such logs, because of the likelihood of such foreign objects being so common place inside the wood.
Just because someone thinks it has value, doesn't mean it does, especially if the person is unknowing about "lawn trees". Hidden amenities of a fore st root ball is countered by hidden negative aspects of a lawn root ball. I'll bet this root ball comes from someone's "lawn". Forest walnut has l onger trunks than 6'. Lawn trunks are more often short, as this one is. I'm inclined to think they removed a damaged(?) tree and (eyesore?) stump from their "lawn"/residence.
Five feet in diameter? That's the spread of the roots, which you state ar e nearly worthless. The remaining ball may very well have nice aspects. Though my interests don't include turning, gun stocks, etc., that doesn't mean that value isn't there.
At the time the ad was posted, two months ago, the root ball had been out o f the ground for 2 weeks.
My thoughts are to offer a reasonable gratuity fee for their work of gettin g it out of the ground. Because of the suspect lawn tree probability, any further value is very limited. $50 may be reasonable.
I've only worked with one lawn root ball, so that's where my experience and opinions come from. I really need to see the root ball, though. I sent an email asking for more pics.
Sonny
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On 2/16/2019 8:41 AM, Sonny wrote:

...
Well, turns out you really didn't want/care about other opinions, anyway, ... just hoping to justify taking advantage of a situation.
The distance is a downside, I'll agree, but that's not the seller's problem that you don't happen to live next door.
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On Saturday, February 16, 2019 at 9:14:38 AM UTC-6, dpb wrote:

well, yes I did want/care for opinions. If someone is familiar with both lawn/residence root balls as opposed to forest root balls, then a comparati ve opinion can be given. And based on those pros and con opinions I asked about a value.
I said I worked with one root ball. Actually, I've worked with two. I did n't have to buy them. They were on our property. I had/have no idea as t o a reasonable cost for the root ball.
To some extent, I did want to validate my opinions and cost, but I didn't w ant to insult the lady, either, who I suspect is somewhat unknowing. I did n't have in mind to use her lack of knowledge, to acquire the ball for free . I would want the ball for free if it has serious damage, defects, metal , yet pay a gratuity fee for their work to dig it up.
Your collective opinions allows me to further evaluate reasonable money opt ions for me and for the lady. That was my aim.
Sometimes I don't always say, appropriately, all that I'm thinking, as I ty pe, to be clear with what I'm trying to learn or figure out. That's why I come here and ask you guys and girls for help.
Sincerely. Sonny
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wrote:

I've no personal experience, but I know a couple of guys who make fancy bowls by carving or turning such pieces. They would generally pay someone for his trouble for setting a piece aside for them but no great price to the farmer or sawmill - just a little bonus for saving an otherwise useless piece of firewood. Just beacuse the craftsman charges $ 400. for the finished bowl doesn't mean they paid the Mennonite farmer a big price .. I think the blocks have to dry for a couple years then carved/turned in stages after that. The inside is a nice mystery to uncover - grain and colour and defects all add to the finished effect. Live edge slabs are in vogue lately - showing up at farm auctions and even at estate auctions. John T.
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On Sat, 16 Feb 2019 11:06:14 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.ca wrote:

Where are you in Canada? Sounds like you are possibly close by - what with Mennonite farmers - -
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Link no longer working. They must have found a taker.
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