Monthly archives: August, 2016

Passions Flow at IWF Urban Wood Seminar

Presenters at the IWF urban wood seminar include: Dwayne Sperber, left, Rick Siewert, Jennifer Alger, and Rich Christianson, moderator.

Presenters at the IWF urban wood seminar include: Dwayne Sperber, left, Rick Siewert, Jennifer Alger, and Rich Christianson, moderator.

Three presenters – representing three very diverse business models – chorused their praise for urban wood during a unique seminar held Aug. 26 at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta.

The free 90-minute session attracted 70 woodworkers, foresters, industry suppliers and others, all interested in learning more about the benefits and opportunities of converting felled community and landscape trees into lumber, slabs and wood products.

Each of the featured presenters spoke with the sense of conviction that only comes from the heart when addressing the full-circle approach to repurposing trees from non-commercial forests felled by invasive insects, storms, developments and other end-of-life causes. Each in his or her own way also discussed the “greenness” of urban wood and the multiple benefits of being a better steward of the planet while also generating a revenue stream by putting urban wood to its highest valued use as opposed to chipping and sending these valuable trees to the landfill.

The presenters included:

>> Jennifer Alger, CEO of Far West Forest Products of Sheridan, CA. She talked about growing up in a sawmilling family business that not only focuses on repurposing felled redwoods, but local community trees as well. The company not only sells lumber and live slabs, but also value-added products such as turning blocks, table bases and sawmilling equipment. She presented several examples of urban wood that some urged to burn that wound up being made into table tops or wall art worth thousands of dollars. One of her main goals, Alger said, it to make urban wood a “household name” and “go-to product” for wood products consumers.

>>> Rick Siewert, owner of Wood From The Hood, of Minneapolis, MN, discussed how his company, piggy-backed a business focused on using urban wood on the 30-man architectural cabinet shop established by his father in 1965. Since establishing Wood From The Hood eight years ago, Siewert has invested in a Wood-Mizer sawmill for milling lumber and a Lucas mill for slabs from logs recycled from the Twin Cities’ urban forest. Wood From The Hood’s products are sold through architects, retail outlets and online. They range from bottle openers and live edge cribbage boards through flooring and conference tables.

>>> Dwayne Sperber, owner of Wudeward Urban Forest Products of Milwaukee, WI, also is an active member of Wisconsin Urban Wood and the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council. He described Wisconsin’s model for developing urban wood networks as well as his own experience working with architects, interior designers, builders, homeowner and others to use urban wood in their projects.

The session was moderated by Rich Christianson, a veteran woodworking journalist and communications director of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team, who was observing his 30th anniversary of attending IWF. Christianson noted that urban wood represents a greatly under-appreciated and under-utilized resource. He added that it is ripe for entrepreneurial custom woodworkers to take advantage of its source local appeal.

“I’ve been attending IWF since 1986 and am always excited to learn about the latest advances in woodworking technology and supplies,” Christianson said. “Only recently have I learned that one of our best kept secrets for making wood products is in our backyards and parkways. It was fantastic to bring this message to the largest woodworking event in North America.”

“Capturing and utilizing wood from trees removed for reasons other than harvest is certainly not a new idea,” Sperber said. “Over the last decade, however, interest has spiked due to the emerald ash borer and increased demand for sustainable products. Efforts by individual companies and organizations around the country are responding by developing strategies to source and promote the use of urban wood products. The invitation to deliver our message at IWF is a testament to  the growing interest – it’s validating.”

The seminar, formally titled, “Urban Wood Utilization: Making Products and Profits from Landscape Trees,”  was organized by the Full Circle Urban Forest Network supported by grant funding provided by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area. The Full Circle Network includes:

The 2016 edition of the biennial IWF was attended by more than 16,000 professionals and featured more than 1,000 exhibitors. It was the largest the event has been since 2008. Learn more at iwfatlanta.com.

 



First Release: Urban Wood User’s Resource Guide

Illinois Wood Utilization Team

A new national directory dedicated to helping connect tree care professionals, sawyers, woodworkers and other urban wood enthusiasts was recently released by the Urban Forest Full Circle Network. The Urban Wood User’s Resource Guide made its formal debut at the Aug. 26 urban wood utilization seminar held during the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta.

The guide includes 43 known national, regional, state and municipal sources of information. These sources include urban wood utilization networks, sawmill directories and more. Also included are links to seven publications focused on putting community, landscape and other non-commercial forest trees to their best and highest valued use after they are removed. These trees were felled by invasive pests, storms, development and other end-of-life causes.

The guide and the work of the Urban Forest Full Circle Network was made possible through grant funding provided by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area, an equal opportunity provider and employer.

The Urban Forest Full Circle Network includes:

  >>> Illinois Wood Utilization Team;

  >>> Southeast Michigan’s Reclaimed Urban Wood Marketplace;

  >>> Missouri Department of Natural Resources; and

  >>> Wisconsin Urban Wood.

The Urban Wood User’s Resource Guide is a work in progress and is subject to change without notice. This guide will be periodically updated. For listing consideration, contact info@illinoisurbanwood.org.

Access the Urban Wood User’s Resource Guide



Forest Fast Break Video: Urban Forest Benefits

Dovetail Partners hosts ForestInfo.com, which includes a series of videos called Forest Fast Breaks. Each video is designed to convey complex forestry topics into concise, engaging animated shorts with sound effects and narration. The videos are suitable for third grade through adult learners.

Oregon Forest Resources Institute produced the videos. Urban Forest Fast Breaks related to urban forestry were produced with support from the North Carolina Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program.

See all Forest Fast Break videos.



Day of Wood Conference Set for Sept. 8 in Jasper, IN

Day-of-Wood-PhotoDay of Wood, a one-day conference focused on finishing technology, product certification, Healthier Hospitals initiative and more will be held Sept. 8 at Vincennes University in Jasper, IN.

Program supporters include Purdue University, the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association, Jasper Chamber of Commerce, FDMC magazine and Underwriters Laboratory.

Registration is $80 if made by Sept. 1 and $100 after. Registration discounts for companies sending three or more attendees are available.

For registration information, contact Nancy Eckerle, 812-482-6886; neckerle@jasperindiana.gov.

For technical information, contact Purdue Prof. Dan Cassens at 765-412-6844; dcassens@purdue.edu.

Learn more and register.

 



Urban Wood Exchange Opens for Business

MAJOR SPONSOR

MAJOR SPONSOR

The Southeastern Urban Wood Exchange just launched urbanwoodexchange.org, a web site intended to encourage the highest and best use of the urban wood resource by connecting urban wood stakeholders operating within Southern Region 8 of the U.S. Forest Service. Stakeholders include land managers, arborists, sawyers, kiln operators and woodworkers.

As part of its mission, the Urban Wood Exchange is focused on helping increase utilization of urban wood on the local level to reduce the amount of urban wood in the waste stream, produce local sustainable lumber for municipal projects, reduce costs associated with removal and disposal of community trees and reduce the urban carbon footprint.

The Urban Wood Exchange is hosted by the North Carolina Urban Forest Council, in partnership with the NC Forest Service’s Urban & Community Forestry Program and funded through the USFS Southern Region.

The Urban Wood Exchange web site features a searchable database that allows visitors to find urban wood providers in their state. Categories include Haulers, Lumber, Milling and Other.

All Region 8 urban wood stakeholders are invited to list their services at the website. There is no charge for doing so.

Region 8 encompasses the following 13 states:

Alabama
Arkansas
Florida
Georgia
Kentucky
Louisiana
Mississippi
North Carolina
Oklahoma
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia

“It is important to know what other states are doing to encourage the use of urban wood,” said Eric Muecke, North Carolina Forest Service Urban Forestry Specialist. “The Southeast Urban Wood Exchange is making connections locally and regionally. We look forward to seeing the results of these connections. Everyone with an interest in urban wood is welcome to join our newsletter list.”

Join the NC Urban Wood Group Mailing List

The Southeast Urban Wood Exchange is a sponsor of the “Urban Wood Utilization: Making Products & Profits from Community Trees,” a seminar set for August 26 at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta. IWF, North America’s largest industrial woodworking event, runs Aug. 23-27 at the Georgia World Congress Center.



FDMC Magazine Profiles i2i Design

i2i Design

Ken & Lynn Wier, owners of i2i Design.

i2i Design, a woodworking company based in Wooddale, IL, dedicated to using urban wood to make custom furnishings, is featured by FDMC magazine, a leading national industrial woodworking publication.

The article chronicles how Ken and Lynn Wier got introduced to urban wood utilization and how they have grown their niche business crafting products for Starbucks, Marino’s, a Chicago area grocery chain; and Freshii, an up-and-coming restaurant franchise.

The story was recently posted on FDMC’s website and will be featured in the publication’s September 2016 print edition.

Read the HTML version of the FDMC story about i2i Design.

Read the digital magazine version of the FDMC story about i2i Design.

 



Woodshop News Features IWF Urban Wood Seminar

WSN-Urban-Wood-StoryWoodshop News, an industrial woodworking publication, recently featured a full-page story about the upcoming Urban Wood Utilization seminar, Aug. 26 at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta.

The article includes photos submitted by Wood-Mizer, a major sponsor of the seminar and  long-time supporter of the urban wood movement.

Read the article in the digital edition of Woodshop News’ August issue.



Video: Tom The Sawyer Mills Black Walnut for Figure

https://www.facebook.com/TomTheSawyerPortableSawmill

 

Tom Hogard, aka Tom The Sawyer, of Eudora, KS, has been milling trees cultivated from the urban forest for many years.

In the accompanying video, Hogard demonstrates how to maximize the figure of logs with “flaws” including sweep or crotches.

Like Tom the Sawyer on Facebook.

 



On Demand: WERC Urban Wood Utilization Webcast

MAJOR FUNDING PARTNER

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

The Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC) in Princeton, VA, is an office of the U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area. WERC’s mission is to facilitate interaction and information exchange with the forest products industry to enhance opportunities for sustained forest products production in the eastern hardwood forest region of the United States. As part of its involvement with urban wood utilization, WERC conducts biannual conference calls that allow urban wood groups to exchange ideas and learn from one another. These conference calls are archived as webcasts on the WERC’s website.

The most recent webcast from April 2016 includes presentations on Tree Care Industry Association’s draft urban forest products standard; overview of mechanical harvesting of urban trees in Kenosha County, WI; updates from Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin; and an overview of Michigan State University’s Sustainable Wood Recovery Initiative.

Click here to download the April 2016 WERC Urban Wood Utilization Webcast.

Click here to view list of all WERC Urban Wood Utilization Webcasts.



Forest Fast Break Video: Urban Forests

Dovetail Partners hosts ForestInfo.com, which hosts a series of videos called Forest Fast Breaks. Each video is designed to convey complex forestry topics into concise, engaging animated shorts with sound effects and narration. The videos are suitable for third grade through adult learners.

Oregon Forest Resources Institute produced the videos. Urban Forest Fast Breaks related to urban forestry were produced with support from the North Carolina Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program.

See all Forest Fast Break videos.