This is a little trick, that I learned will make leveling your gathering skills, a bit easier. It's meant for all the gathering skills, except butchering.
I am sure you can relate to this situation, trying to get a tin node, and someone swoops over and gets it while you are killing a mob, on your way over to it. This will alleviate the hassle, and allow you to max out for gathering skills quickly.
During headstart, I noticed that it takes about 1 minute for a node to respawn. Better yet, they respawn in the same exact place, over and over. So find a somewhat remote area, and just camp the node. You only need to make sure there are no mobs nearby. This could probably be macroed, for those savvy enough to do so.
I am not yet sure if the server population has anything to do with the respawn rate, but I have noticed more then 1 node refreshing quickly. It's much faster to level your skills like this, then to run around looking for nodes, and abandoning your camped node.
This does not work for butchering, however you can just remember to goto areas where quest mobs are, and run around butchering what others leave behind. I managed to raise butchering up very quickly like this.[/emember_proteted]