Looking for free stones

jenn(SoCal 9/19)May 5, 2011

We are looking for round rocks (4-6" diam) to edge the path and beds in our side yard. Our soil is clay and does not contain any of these rocks.

There is an area along Baseline in Upland with many rocks of this type along the side of the road, presumably left there during excavation for the nearby homes. Are these stones free for the taking? I haven't noticed any signs prohibiting taking them, but I don't want to violate any laws.

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The protocol is any stones not from your property is stealing; however, just like spotting an apple tree in a yard, just knocking on the door and asking will shock them with your honesty and they'll gladly let you take all you want and even help you load them.

If there's a superintendent's trailer around you can ask there.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 11:40PM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

As I recall, I don't think there's anything at all around there -- no homes, no trailer, just bareness on both sides. It appears the stones were just dumped along the side of the road. If these were in front of homes, I wouldn't dream of taking a single one, any more than I'd pick an apple from someone else's tree.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 11:43AM
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You get a piece of cardboard. On the cardboard you write "free rocks". Place cardboard near rocks. Pick up rocks. Ha ha. Seriously though, a buddy of mine has been getting some awesomely nice rocks from the Tahoe area from a friend of his who lives up there. Whether or not his friend is taking them legally...? I really don't know how legal it is to take rocks from the side of the road or from federal or state lands or whatever. I mean if everybody took rocks there wouldn't be any.
You can buy rocks for like a dime a pound at garden supply places.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 3:09PM
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Some times common sense has to prevail; if there's an abundance, out in the middle of nowhere, somebody obviously dumped them, and you're not making a profit off them, it's probably OK as long as you're not hauling off tons and tons of them. There's no rock shortage in Upland (or Mentone for that matter).

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 10:06PM
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Dick_Sonia(Sunset 17)

If the rocks are along the side of the asphalt, they are most likely located on a public transportation easement, not on anyone's private property. Still I wouldn't assume that they are there by happenstance. The cheapest (and in rural areas, most typical) form of drainage provision for uncurbed roads is to simply dump rock rubble into the ditch to help suppress weeds and keep the ditch from filling up with silt. The 4-6" size you mentioned is quite typical for this use. It might also be part of a bank stabilization effort. A call to the city or county roads dept. should provide the answer. If there is BLM land near you and you have a pickup, you can probably get a hobbyist rock collection permit for a few dollars. This is how rock garden enthusiasts typically acquire their rock. But as has been said before, sometimes it's just more expedient to buy them from a commercial vendor.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 2:52AM
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You also might try Yahoo's Free Cycle

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 2:38AM
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