I contacted my town planner to see if I could dig up urbandori

They said no :cry: :cry:

Sorry for that. Maybe there is someone else to ask? I asked the groundskeeper at the ballfield near my house if I could dig one of the many chinese elm trees that were growing along and under the perimeter fence. He said I could have them all!

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That’s awesome. Well, they did say that they don’t own all of the land next to streets and that if I find something I can contact them to see if it’s privately owned and who owns it. They also said that of there are road improvements that would end up removing trees that I could have them. :man_shrugging:t5:

The town planner is not the best person to ask. I work next to our planners (I’m in the building division) and if somebody came here and asked us that we would say no.

It doesn’t mean there is no way to collect, it just means you have to be more creative. Maybe find a specific target and then find out who has the authority to say yes. Think boots on the ground: facilities managers, road maintenance crews, etc.


I haven’t asked for a general permit to collect urbandori. I did find a nice mugo pine I suspected was going to be removed and with two emails I had permission to collect it. At least in my town it was the city’s head gardener who gave the approval. Similarly, I’ve gotten a collection permit for an oak in my old home town where my parents still live. Just got hold of the head gardener on the phone and 5 minutes later I had the permit (I also asked to get it as an email, just in case I need to prove I’ve received a permit.

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Interesting. I’ll have to see if my town has such a person.

I asked Ryan about his days of getting urban yamadori, and his advice was to befriend landscapers. They constantly have to replace old trees/shrubs, and he said that if you offer to show up quickly and take it off their hands it saves them time disposing them, etc.

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How quick is “show up quickly”? It takes quite a bit of time to collect a tree compared to ripping it out, right? (I have not collected anything larger than a seedling.)

I have seen advertisements on craigslist for free shrubs that you have to dig yourself. I have done this several times. I got an amazing juniper that unfortunately didn’t live because of my ignorance, but I also got a nice old boxwood that I am happy with.

I’ve looked for these too. Only ever found one ad. :confused: