Monthly archives: May, 2017

Duluth’s EAB Plan Promotes Wood Use; Does Your City Do the Same?

City-of-Duluth

BY RICH CHRISTIANSON

It only represents one paragraph of a 14-page document, yet it’s encouraging to see that the City of Duluth, MN, incorporated urban wood utilization in its Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan originated in July 2015 and finalized in November 2016.

That one small yet significant paragraph reads: “After all bark including ½ inch of sapwood is removed from ash, the wood can be used for lumber. This lumber could be used for park projects including mulching, constructing benches, playground equipment, etc. If ash mulch is to be used, the chips must be chipped at no greater than 1” X 1” in two dimensions.”

Duluth officials started crafting the EAB management knowing that it was just a matter of time before the deadly beetle would invade the area. The first confirmation that the EAB had arrived was in St. Louis County in October 2015.

The ultimate death toll of ash trees in Minnesota is expected to be huge. As the introduction of the management plant notes, “According to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota has the highest volume of ash trees in the U.S. with almost a billion forestland and urban ash trees. Duluth has about 2,404 boulevard ash trees alone, not including park or privately owned ash.”

Key topics of Duluth’s EAB management plan include:

  • Monitoring and Inspection
  • Insecticide Use
  • Community Outreach
  • Ash Tree Removal
  • Ash Wood Disposal
  • Reforestation and Canopy Replacement
  • Biological Control

I am constantly amazed that many of the municipal urban forestry plans I skim through focus on tree planting, maintenance and disposal without even a mention of wood utilization. I’d be very interested to learn of other cities that like Duluth that have enacted community tree management plans that actively promote a second life for its ash trees as mulch and lumber.

Drop me a line at richc.illinoisurbanwood@gmail.com.

Read Duluth’s EAB Management Plan.

 

 

 



Wisconsin Urban Wood Signs on as Wisconsin DNR Green Tier Charter

Secretary's Director JD Smith, left, and State Forester Fred Souba Jr., right, celebrate the signing of a Green Tier charter with Wisconsin Urban Wood's Executive Director Twink Jan-McMahon (Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR)

Secretary’s Director JD Smith, left, and State Forester Fred Souba Jr., right, celebrate the signing of a Green Tier charter with Wisconsin Urban Wood’s Executive Director Twink Jan-McMahon
(Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR)

MADISON, WI – Improving urban forest management practices took a step forward Friday with the signing of a Green Tier charter by Wisconsin Urban Wood and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Wisconsin Urban Wood is a network of independent businesses and nonprofit organizations that promotes the utilization of urban wood. As a network, WUW is instrumental in working to keep urban ash trees from simply being chipped to minimize the spread of emerald ash borer. The group also works to connect the supply of the wood to those who can turn the logs into a valuable commodity. In addition, WUW promotes the societal environmental and economic value of urban wood to communities and property owners across Wisconsin.

“We are glad to be partnering with Wisconsin Urban Wood in its mission to help turn quality timber cut from urban trees into usable lumber, furniture, flooring and other valuable wood products,” said DNR’s Secretary Cathy Stepp.

The celebration, held today at Prima II Apartments in Fitchburg, culminated with the signing of an environmental results Charter by Wisconsin Urban Wood’s Executive Director Twink Jan-McMahon and DNR Secretary’s Director JD Smith. Those in attendance included WUW partners, arborists, representatives from the WI Urban Forestry Council, city of Madison, DNR Forestry staff and Avante Properties, who have incorporated urban wood in their apartment designs.

The WUW Charter provides value to Wisconsin by:

  • supporting WUW to serve as a champion for urban wood and act as a connection between the traditional and urban wood industries, municipalities, counties and end users;
  • filling critical roles on committees and advisory teams;
  • collaborating on initiatives to seek and address current or emerging issues affecting urban wood utilization in Wisconsin and to provide training when needed; and
  • providing urban forest owners with a network of arborists who are practicing sound business management practices by following WUW governing documents and DNR’s best management practices, and guidelines,

“WUW is pleased to serve as an urban wood champion for the DNR,” said WUW’s Jan-McMahon. “We look forward to building on our mutual efforts to promote urban wood utilization across the state for the sake of Wisconsin urban forests and their communities.”

More details about Wisconsin Urban Wood and Green Tier can be found the on the DNR’s Green Tier website. Green Tier is a voluntary program administered by the DNR. Under this program, DNR works with entities who conduct their business with beyond compliance efforts and continually look for ways to improve. Currently there are 82 participants with 248 facilities in the program along with six Green Tier Charters.

Check out the Wisconsin Urban Woods Green Tiers Charter.



Send Us Your Urban Wood News & Stories

The Wood Cycle

The Wood Cycle

One of the most important missions of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team (WUT) is to communicate the many and diverse stories about how the urban wood movement is making its mark on successful businesses, educational institutions and communities.

We’re always on the look out for relevant news releases and success stories from any and every link of the urban wood chain to share with our audience.

In recent weeks, we have featured stories like:

What types or projects have you recently completed or are working on that showcase putting urban wood to good use? Tell us your success stories and we’ll share them through the WUT website and monthly newsletter.

Send your press releases and story leads to Rich Christianson at richc.illinoisurbanwood@gmail.com; phone 773-822-6750.


City Forest Products Celebrates Urban Wood Biz Launch

City Forest Products LLC  (CFP) unfurled its ‘sales’ at a launch party held April 28 at Standing Passengers of Chicago.

Founder Chris Witek was pleased to report that 40 people- woodworkers, architects and others – attended the grand gala that preceded the official opening of CFP’s online store front for locally sourced urban wood goods. He said a select number of accent tables are available for purchase at FBR Furniture in Chicago or consumers can pre-order custom made pieces at www.cityforestproducts.com.

Witek described CFP as “a new social enterprise that creates value from urban woods.”

Anyone looking to collaborate with CFP is encouraged to contact Witek at cityforestproducts@gmail.com.

CFP’s instgram handle is @cityforeproducts.

Read previous post about CFP.

 



WunderWoods’ Sawmill from Down Under

Scott-Wunder-Running-Lucas-SawmillScott Wunder of WunderWoods does wonderful things with urban wood. Based in St. Charles, MO, Wunder not only creates custom woodwork, he saws logs from local trees he salvages and authors a a regular blog chronicling his business, selected cool custom projects and how-to do stuff, like choose a wood finish. His writings rarely fail to include a good dose of humor.

Such is certainly the case with a blog Wunder posted on New Year’s Day titled, Lucas Sawmill Is Small But Mighty.” It delves into how and why he chose to purchase a Lucas sawmill made in Australia and how he uses it.

This is what he writes about his initial reaction to his investment.

“I went to pick up the more than $10,000 sawmill at the shipping terminal, and I couldn’t help but feel like I way overpaid for the amount of merchandise I picked up (Did I mentioned that it fits in the bed of my pickup truck?). There was only a saw head, two long rails, and a few other miscellaneous metal parts that formed the frame ends. Besides that, the kit included a sharpener and some other odds and ends, but none of it added up to very much. I started doing the cost per piece arithmetic in my head, and it wasn’t looking good.”

Wunder’s opinion soon changed after he set up the Lucas in his backyard.

“After just a short time reviewing the directions, I had the sawmill set up and ready to cut. Even for someone who had never set one up, the Lucas went together fast. It was then that I realized what I had paid for. I didn’t pay for lots and lots of parts and extra bulk. I paid for an impressively designed machine, with an amazingly small stature, than can tackle the biggest logs. I paid for all of the research and design that went into the mill by the Lucas boys, and I paid to not lug around thousands of extra pounds, and I paid for everything to go together with minimal effort and a minimal number of steps. I got all of that and more.”

Click here to read Wunder’s blog.