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Diverse Audience Unites at Urban Wood Event

ILWUT_LogoBy Rich Christianson

Arborists, foresters, sawyers, architects, woodworkers and other professionals came together at the Bringing the Urban Wood Full Circle Conference to learn and share ideas for propelling the urban wood market.

The unique conference focused on converting community trees into lumber and wood products. It was presented by the Illinois Wood Utilization Team March 18 at Hamburger University on McDonald’s corporate campus in Oak Brook, IL. Sponsors included Horigan Urban Forest Products, the Wisconsin Arborist Association, Sterling Tree Solutions Meyers Woodworking & Lumber, Graf Tree Care.

While most of these diverse conference delegates hailed from the greater Chicago area, others traveled from southern Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska and even Ontario, Canada.

Among the many highlights:

  • Edith Makra, chairperson of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team, kicked off the conference noting that there is an estimated 3 to 4 billion board feet of lumber potentially available from the nation’s urban forests. Capitalizing on this greatly underutilized raw material would require local markets throughout the country to strengthen their links in the chain from land managers and tree care services to sawyers and woodworkers.
  • Ian Brown, urban forestry district manager for Milwaukee, discussed how Milwaukee is diverting 100% of its logs to local sawmill and in the process reducing disposal costs by 50%.
  • In a similar vein, John Lough, senior city forester of Chicago, shared the Windy City’s urban log removal and reclamation plan.
  • Separate presentations by August Hoppe, president of Hoppe Tree Services and the Urban Wood Lab in Milwaukee, and Jessica Simons, coordinator of Michigan’s Urbanwood Project based in Ann Arbor shared different models for developing retail outlets for urban wood lumber, slabs and wood products.
  • Three architects participated in the conference. Laureen Blissard, principal of LTBL Envirotecture presented how urban wood fits into sustainability building programs including LEED. Jeff Perkis, senior project manager for Chipman Architecture Design and owner of Story Wood, recounted how dozens of hardwood trees downed in a freakish 2011  storm in West Chicago were salvaged and turned into furniture and other wood  products. One of the most recent is a bell stand Perkins made for the West Chicago museum. Architect Paul Pettigrew, also an associate professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, showed more than 100 slides of projects made by his students of his popular furniture and architecture class over the years.
  • Ken Wier, owner of i2i Design, told the audience why he loves making furniture from urban wood because of its rich and often unpredictable splendor compared to hardwoods harvested from traditional forests. Wier’s discerning customers include Starbucks, Mariano’s and Freshii.
  • Mike Dimitroff, manager of art initiatives for the Chicago Park District, showcased a variety of projects that use wood reclaimed from city parks including the Bears Den at Solider Field and at CPD community wood shops. Dimitroff was joined by Jim Semelka, urban forestry advocate for Sterling Tree Solutions, to discuss how the public and private company partner on urban wood tree reclamation programs.
  • Dimitroff also showed how thermally modified urban wood is being used as a decking material for the CPD’s harbor dock. Brian Mitalo, regional salesperson for Tourneslol Siteworks, which makes outdoor furniture and more from thermally modified lumber TML), agreed that there is great potential for converting urban wood into TML.
  • Prof. Dan Cassens, wood extension specialist at Purdue University, pulled double duty. First he lectured on how urban wood sellers can compete with traditional hardwood lumber and wood products by not only being novel, but by being nimble. Cassens also conducted a live portable sawmill demonstration using logs generously donated by Ron Meyers of Meyers Woodworking & Lumber of Batavia, IL.

Rounding out the event were plenty of networking opportunities, including a networking featuring table top exhibits and more than a dozen furniture and other items displayed in the Urban Wood Products Showcase.

The Bringing the Full Circle Conference was preceded by an all-day Hardwood Lumber & Sawmill Workshop instructed by Prof. Dan Cassens, wood products extension specialist at Purdue University.

THANK YOU CONFERENCE SPONSORS & PARTNERS!

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ORGANIZER: ILLINOIS WOOD UTILIZATION TEAM



IllinoisUrbanWood’s Top 10 Countdown

By Rich Christianson

The eyes have it!

The final votes are in and the Top 10 most-viewed posts on IllinoisUrbanWood.org are known.

Activity on the Illinois Urban Wood Utilization Team’s website finished 2016 with 7, 349 visitors who clicked through 17,412 pages. Both of these totals are more than double that of 2015.

Here’s a quick reverse-order recap of the most popularly viewed posts last year.

10. Video: Tom The Sawyer Mills Black Walnut for Figure
Tom Hogard, aka Tom The Sawyer, of Eudora, KS, demonstrates how to maximize the figure of logs with “flaws” including sweep or crotches. Read more.

9. Woodworking Enthusiasts Get a Taste of Urban Wood
Woodworkers of all ages get an opportunity to craft products from wood salvaged from Chicago Park District trees. Read more.

8. Historic Bell Tolls for Urban Wood Display
Jeff Perkis used red oak milled from one of the downed trees to create a display stand for a historic train bell. It will become a permanent exhibit at the West Chicago City Museum. Read more.

7.  Illinois Sawmill Directories Updated
The Forestry Division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources recently released a pair of newly updated sawmill directories, one featuring custom sawyers and the other dedicated to stationary sawmilling operations. Read more.

6. Passions Flow at IWF Urban Wood Seminar
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. Read more.

5. Diverse Audience Unites at Urban Wood Event
Arborists, foresters, sawyers, architects, woodworkers and other professionals came together at the Bringing the Urban Wood Full Circle Conference to learn and share ideas for propelling the urban wood market. Read more.

4. Couple ‘Sacrificed Our Entire Lives’ for Urban Wood Business
Rob and Zoe Bocik left the 9-to-5 rat race six years ago to pursue their dream of milling lumber and crafting furniture, jewelry and other products from local trees otherwise destined for the chipper or landfill. Read more.

3. Arborist Pursues His Passion with Urban Wood Start-up
Dobnick Timberworks has joined the Illinois urban wood  movement, opening up a lumber and custom wood products business in Oswego, IL. Read more.

2. Urban Wood Products Showcase Winners Strut Their Stuff
The Urban Wood Products Showcase, featured at the March 2016 Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference, shined a bright spotlight on the design creativity of the entries that ranged from tables and wall hangings to a bell stand and soccer ball all crafted from urban wood. Read more.

1. First Release: Urban Wood User’s Resource Guide
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. Read more.



News

12/29/17 – Chicago Tree Project Continues to Transform Dead Trees into Sculptures

12/21/17 – Invitation to Join the Urban Wood Network

12/07/17 – Illinois Architect Takes the LEED in Urban Wood Movement

12/03/17 – Wood-Mizer Offers Free Urban Sawmilling Guide

11/19/17 – Video: Reclaiming Wood from Historic Philadelphia Buildings

11/18/17 – ISTC Open House Offers a Look at Heating with Wood Waste

11/13/17 – Video: Pioneering Urban Wood Use in Austin

11/13/17 – Fall Urban Wood Utilization Webcast Available On Demand

10/21/17 – Video: Richmond Hill Educates Residents about EAB Scourge

10/20/17 – ‘Underappreciated’ Urban Wood Focus of Pennsylvania Workshop

10/17/17 – Cook County Forest Preserves’ Tree Repurposed for Unique Award Plaques

10/05/17 – Illinois Sustainable Technology Center Seeks Businesses for Wood Heating Study

10/03/17 – Why Schmidt Custom Flooring Joined the Urban Wood Movement

09/22/17 – Agenda Set for Oct. 10 Urban Wood Use Webcast

09/16/17 – Enter Rebuilding Exchange’s Contest to Win Nick Offerman Tix

09/14/17 – Southeast Urban Wood Exchange Connects Urban Forestry Professionals

08/23/17 – U.S. Forest Service Updates Inventory of Nation’s Urban Forests

08/22/17 – 160-Year-Old Oak Begets Three Tables for Riverside’s Village Hall

08/21/17 – House Acts to Save Urban Community & Forestry Program from Budget Axe

08/16/17 – How Raleigh’s Parks & Recs Department Re-utilizes Its Trees

07/16/17 – Indy Urban Hardwood Stars in New Wood-Mizer Urban Wood Video Series

07/15/17 – Mid-Atlantic Urban Wood Forum Set for Aug. 15 & 16 

07/07/17 – The Urban Wood Network Launches New Website

07/02/17 – Video: Milling a Huge Burr Oak with a Chainsaw Mill

06/23/17 – Michigan Urbanwood Tour Set for July 28

06/19/17 – Entries Sought for Urbanwood Showcase in Ann Arbor

06/17/17 – Southeast Urban Wood Exchange Invites Businesses to List Their Products & Services

06/13/17 – ‘No Wood Wasted’ Theme of NC Urban Forest & Small Woodlot Workshop

06/10/17 – Wood-Mizer Issues Call for Personal Best Contest Entries

05/21/17 – Wisconsin Urban Wood Signs on as Wisconsin DNR Green Tier Charter

05/19/17 – City Forest Products Celebrates Urban Wood Biz Launch

05/01/17 – WunderWoods’ Sawmill from Down Under

04/17/17 – Four Urban Wood Firms Snare Wood-Mizer Awards

04/17/17 – City Forest Products Slates April 28 Launch Party

04/10/17 – Reclaimed Ash Furniture in Iowa Home Show Expo Spotlight

04/10/17 – U.S. Forest Service Strategizes Woody Biomass Utilization

03/27/17 – Urban Wood Utilization Webcast Set for April 11

03/24/17 – Hobby Becomes a Post-Retirement Urban Wood Business

03/15/17 – Urban Wood Waste Powers St. Paul’s Energy Grid

03/09/17 – Treecycle America Entrepreneur Forges an Urban Wood Network

02/22/17 – Indiana Tree Service Branches Out into Custom Urban Wood Furniture

02/22/17 – Repurposing Urban Wood Waste as Biomass

02/21/17 – Horigan Urban Forest Products Re-launches Website

02/11/17 – Video Update: TV News Features Restore’s Rescued Wood Project

02/06/17 – Video: Be a Smart Ash, Denver!

01/28/17 – Chicago’s Sister City Has an Urban Wood Brother in Sawmill Sid

01/25/17 – Dovetail Partners Reports on Worldwide Refinery Growth

01/22/17 – TCIA Releases Statement on A300 Urban Forest Products Standard Status

01/17/17 – Urban Wood Used in Oak Park LEED Platinum Project

01/15/17 – Rescued Wood: Habitat for Humanity Wisconsin’s Unique Answer to the EAB Problem

01/02/17 – IllinoisUrbanWood’s Top 10 Countdown

12/21/16 – IAA Slates Certified Arborist Workshops & Exam in Glencoe

12/18/16 – Cover Treatment for Wisconsin Urban Wood

12/11/16 – IL Arborist Pursues His Passion with Urban Wood Start-up

12/01/16 – Help Wanted: Homer Glen’s Earth Day/Arbor Day Celebration

11/28/16 – Video: Urban Hardwoods a Growing Company

11/14/16 – Urban Lumber Company Thrives on KC Woods

10/27/16 – TigerStop Embraces the Urban Wood Message

10/26/16 – Scenes from the 34th Illinois Arborist Association Convention

10/26/16 – On Demand Webcast Highlights Urban Wood Activities in Six States

10/13/16 – Baltimore Wood Project Tackles Two Urban Waste Streams

10/03/16 – Woodworker’s Fallen Farm Trees Star in ‘Made in Illinois’ Video

09/27/16 – IWF Urban Wood Seminar Report Slated for Oct. 11 Webcast

09/08/16 – Urban Wood for Community Firewood Banks

08/30/16 – Passions Flow at IWF Urban Wood Seminar

08/29/16 – First Release: Urban Wood User’s Resource Guide

08/19/16 – Forest Fast Break Video: Urban Wood Benefits

08/15/16 – Day of Wood Set for Sept. 8 in Jasper, IN

08/09/16 – Urban Wood Exchange Opens for Business

08/09/16 – FDMC Profiles i2i Design

08/09/16 – Woodshop News Features IWF Urban Wood Seminar

08/07/16 – Video: Tom The Sawyer Mills Black Walnut for Figure

08/06/16 – On Demand: WERC Urban Wood Utilization Webcast

08/05/16 – Forest Fast Break Video: Urban Forests

08/03/16 – USDA Forest Service Awards Urban Forestry Challenge Grants

07/25/16 – Forest Fast Break Video: Urban Forest Wood Usage

07/17/16 – Sterling Lumber Garners Pair of Business Awards

07/16/16 – IWF Seminar Aims to Demystify Urban Wood

07/11/16 – Elkhart EnviroFest to Showcase Urban Wood Works

07/08/16 – Woodturners ‘Bowled’ Over by Urban Wood

06/26/16 – North American Urban Wood Directory Entries Sought

06/24/16 – Chicago Botanic Garden Exhibit Exposes the ‘Hidden Art of Trees’

06/12/16 – Magazine Profiles Baraboo Woodworks’ Urban Wood Model

06/01/16 – Video: Custom Woodworker & Sawyer Make a Great Team

05/19/16 – Urban Wood Stars in Free IWF Seminar

05/19/16 – Couple ‘Sacrificed Our Entire Lives’ for Urban Wood Business

05/15/16 – Video: How Toronto Is Turning Ash Tree Tragedy into Opportunity

05/13/16 – Update: USGBC IL Postpones May Urban Wood Event

05/10/16 – MSU Retails Wood Goods Crafted from Campus Trees

04/24/16 – IIDEX Woodshop Exhibit Spotlights Urban Ash Furnishings

03/29/16 – Urban Wood Products Showcase Winners Strut Their Stuff

03/29/16 – Hardwood Workshop Covers Logs to Lumber

03/28/16 – Diverse Audience Unites at Urban Wood Event

03/28/16 – Illinois Sawmill Directories Updated

03/25/16 – Icon Modern’s Urban Wood Story Told on WBBM Radio Chicago

03/11/16 – AIA Members Eligible for CEUs at Urban Wood Event

03/06/16 – Hunski Hardwoods Logs the West Coast Urban Forest

03/02/16 – Register for Hardwood Workshop & Urban Wood Conference Online by March 16

02/21/16 – Early-Bird Discount Conference Registration Extended

02/19/16 – ASLA CEUs Available for Urban Wood & Hardwood Lumber Events

02/18/16 – Enter the Urban Wood Products Showcase

02/05/16 – Illinois Arborist Association Offers CEUs for Urban Wood Conference

01/21/16 – Urban Wood Conference Topics Go Full Circle

01/21/16 – Urban Wood Boardwalk Cuts a Path to South Side Corner’s Renewal

01/20/16 – Film Opens Eyes to Wondrous Potential of Urban Wood

01/19/16 – Hardwood Lumber & Sawmill Workshop Set for March 17

01/16/16 – Urban Wood Utilization Fits Community’s Utopian Vision

01/14/16 – IWF Supports Urban Wood Conference

01/08/16 – What to Do with Urban Wood Event Rescheduled to Jan. 21

12/31/15 – Full Circle Urban Forestry Takes Root in Elkhart, IN

12/28/15 – Registration Opens for Unique Urban Wood Conference

12/22/15 – Can You Dig It? JULIE 811 Supports IL WUT Conference

12/18/15 – IL Sawmill Directory Being Refreshed

12/18/15 – Coming Attractions: Saving America’s Urban Forests

11/27/15 – Eco Urban Timber Turns Dead Ash into Cash

11/19/15 – IL Wood Utilization Team Meets at Bernhard Woodwork

11/16/15 – USDA Webcast Series Tracks Urban Wood Market Developments

10/30/15 – What to Do with Urban Wood’ Symposium Coming Jan. 7, 2016

10/30/15 – Win a CFDA Creative Furnishings Award Using Urban Wood

10/29/15 – Illinois Wood Utilization Team States Its Case for Urban Wood at IAA Event

10/28/15 – Illinois to Drop Internal EAB Quarantine 

10/25/15 – Photo Gallery: IIT Student Urban Wood Works

10/25/15 – Webinar to Address Cross Laminated Timber, a Potential Urban Wood Use

10/22/15 – NC Urban Wood Group Plans Tour of Carolina Urban Lumber

10/17/15 – Stihl Tour des Trees Supports Urban Forests

09/27/15 – Got Urban Wood News? Share It!

09/27/15 – Save the Date: 2016 Urban Wood Conference & Networking Event

08/30/15 – Picture This: Ex-Cons Reclaim Urban Wood and Their Lives

08/28/15 – Trees Downed in 2012 Storm Crafted into Stand for Local Bell

08/26/15 – Video: Dead Ash Tree Is Chainsaw Artist’s Medium

08/16/15 – IIT Student Urban Wood Works at Aug. 26 Showing

07/18/15 – Urban Wood Makes Waves on Chicago Radio

06/04/15 – ITT Seeks Urban Wood Donations for Traveling Exhibit

05/26/15 – ‘Full Circle Urban Forestry’ Lesson of New Children’s Book

05/21/15 – Illinois Wood Utilization Team Receives ‘Bringing Urban Forestry Full Circle’ Grant

05/15/15 – WUT in the News – Replacement Trees Adding New Look in Southland Neighborhoods

02/05/15 – WUT in the News – Beating the Beetle: Giving Trees a Second Life

 

 

Urban Forest Products Alliance

The Tri-State Urban Wood Marketing and Certification Collaborative, of which the Illinois Wood Utilization Team was a member, held a series of three roundtables involving key players in the wood products, urban forestry, government, and green building and products sectors. As a result of these sessions, industry, government, and non-profit leaders came together as the Urban Forest Products Alliance (UFPA) with the mission of advancing the highest and best use of the products of sustainably-managed urban forests and the vision of putting all wood from urban trees to good use. For more information on UFPA, please join the Urban Forest Products Alliance LinkedIn group, Urban Forest Products Alliance or visit the Urban Forest Products Alliance website.



Sterling Lumber Garners Pair of Business Awards

Sterling Lumber

Carter Sterling, third from left, is among winners of Ernst & Young’s 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year for the Midwest region.

Lightning struck Sterling Lumber Company of Phoenix, IL, in a good way. The company was recently recognized for its business leadership in separate award ceremonies, one by accounting firm Ernst & Young and the other by the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation (CSEDC).

Ernst & Young named Carter Sterling, CEO of Sterling Lumber, as its EY Entrepreneur of the Year for 2016 in the Midwest Region. The award recognizes trending entrepreneurs who have elevated their respective companies in the areas of innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

The 60-year-old family business is a national leader in the production and installation of ground protection mats for the building of electrical transmission and distribution networks, as well as major highway and bridge infrastructure and the oil industry. Sterling Lumber has been listed on Crain’s Fast Fifty in each of the last two years and has amassed a five-year growth rate of 569 percent.

Sterling Lumber has also been active in the Chicago-area urban wood market, including partnering with the Chicago Park District on a number of initiatives such as using felled park district trees to remodel the Bears Den at Soldier Field. Its division, Sterling Tree Solutions, is an active member of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team and sponsored the Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference held in March.

Sterling accepted the award on behalf of his father and brothers during a black tie gala held at Navy Pier. “The timing of this award couldn’t be better,” Sterling said. “It reflects an amazing year of growth and accomplishment for our company. We’ve evolved from supplier to manufacturer in a single leap, with the goal to dominate industry sales.”

Throughout its three decades in existence, the EY Entrepreneur of the year has honored the inspirational leadership of entrepreneurs such as Howard Schultz of Starbucks Coffee Company, Robert Unanue of Goya Foods, and Mindy Grossman of HSN. Recent U.S. national winners include Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn; Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of Chobani; and 2015 winners Andreas Bechtolsheim and Jayshree Ullal of Arista Networks.

As a Midwest Award winner, Sterling is eligible for consideration for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016 national program. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur of the Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the Entrepreneur of the Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, CA, on Nov. 19. Read more about the EY Award.

Sterling-Lumber-Big-Shoes-AwardCarter Sterling was also on hand when his father John and his family were presented with 2016 Big Shoes Award by the CSEDC.

Phoenix Mayor Terry Wells told the crowd of 150 in attendance that the Sterling family was well worthy of the Big Shoes Award for bringing its business to his south suburban town.

Read more about the Big Shoes Award.

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MSU Retails Wood Goods Crafted from Campus Trees

By Rich Christianson

Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing, MI, is graduating many of its felled campus trees into lumber, dining tables, picture frames and other wood products, rather than relegating them to the chipper for mulch and biofuel.

The university created the MSU Shadows Collection as part of its Sustainable Wood Recovery Initiative. The collectibles, ranging from business card holders ($25) and diploma-sized frames ($50 to $150) to an American elm Waterford side Table ($750) and walnut coffee and occasional table set ($2,150), are all produced by local artisans from trees removed from campus due to decline, storm damage or construction. The items are sold online through the MSU Surplus Store with profits supporting the MSU Department of Forestry and the planting of new trees on the university’s campus

According to a presentation by Paul Swartz, campus arborist, there are more than 24,200 trees on the 2,100-acre campus and approximately 3,000 acres of farms south of the main campus. In the past these trees and branches were chipped and used as landscaping much or burned as biomass fuel. But that was before the university adopted the Sustainable Wood Recovery Initiative, “a cross-functional collaborative formed to look at processes and development of comprehensive business plan for urban wood utilization on campus.”

Among the many highlights of the initiative noted by Swartz include:

  • Developing a model recovery and repurposing supply-chain system for trees removed from MSU for the development of value added products that provide economic, environmental and social benefits to the MSU community;
  • Creating a comprehensive campus tree management system that expands the current tree inventory, maintenance, and removal practices to include wood recovery and utilization;
  • Moving from “cradle-to-grave” to a recycling-based “cradIe-to-cradIe” plan;
  • Improving waste reduction and conserving resources in line with the highest and best-use model of solid waste management promoted by MSU Sustainability; and
  • Improving the university’s total capacity for carbon sequestration through long-term use of solid wood products.

The program is being directed by Dan Brown, wood recovery coordinator at MSU. Approximately 300 trees will be removed each year. Logs suited for lumber will be milled and kiln dried MSU in a 45-year-old steam kiln operated by students under Brown’s guidance. The kiln will dry about 10,000 board feet of lumber per year.

Brown attended the March 18 Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference in Oak Brook. He toted an American elm waterfall side table made by Michigan artisan Nathan Shaver to the conference that was displayed in the Urban Wood Products Showcase.



Urban Wood Showcase: Furniture

ILWUT_LogoForm meets function with these inspirational furniture projects crafted from community trees and featured in the Urban Wood Products Showcase, a popular component of the March 18 Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference at Hamburger University in Oak Brook, IL. The event was organized by the Illinois Wood Utilization Team.

Wade Ellis of Ellis Custom Sawmilling and Woodworking crafted a cherry chest that garnered the most votes in the People’s Choice awards for the Furniture Category. A bell stand primarily crafted from white oak salvaged storm-damaged trees was second in the voting by conference participants.

Read more about each of these way cool Urban Wood Products Showcase entries.

Train Bell Stand
Jeff Perkis, Owner, Story Wood

Materials Used: Red oak, walnut and metal

Urban Wood Source: Storm-damaged trees from Reed Keppler Park of West Chicago, IL, acquired after storm of July 2012. Milled and kiln dried by Ron Meyers and myself in West Chicago. 

Theme/purpose: The City of West Chicago commissioned Perkis to create this 4-foot tall, solid red oak bell stand with walnut accents, sturdy enough to hold the approximately 80-pound train bell, which has been at the center of the spirited historical re-enactment of El Grito de la Independencia or the Cry of Independence. Perkis became aware of the need for a suitable bell stand from Lorenzo Covarrubias who holds the distinction of being West Chicago’s Patron de la Campana, or Patron of the Bell, and has offered the use of his bell for West Chicago’s El Grito for the past 23-years. Perkis designed the bell stand in the arts and crafts style of many of the homes in the area and was influenced by architect brothers Greene and Greene. He presented the stand at a public ceremony at the West Chicago City Museum attended by the mayor and art patrons. The sawdust will be used to make paper on which he will print the details of the stand’s creation so that it will “tell its story” for future generations. Read related article.

MSU Shadows Collection W- Leg Table
Nathan Shaver

Material Used: American elm

Urban Wood Source: The tree was grown on the campus of Michigan State University, and was taken down due to disease. The Department of Forestry’s Sustainable Wood Recovery Team milled and dried the lumber on campus. Local wood worker, Nathan Shaver was commissioned to build the piece for the MSU Shadow’s Collection.

Theme/Purpose: The MSU Shadows Collection has been created as part of the Sustainable Wood Recovery Initiative at Michigan State University. MSU Shadows collectibles are made from salvaged trees that are removed from campus due to decline, storm damage or construction. Trees are milled into lumber and kiln dried by MSU’s Department of Forestry. The lumber is sent to Michigan-based artisans who design and craft the items. Purchases of these handmade collectibles enhance campus sustainability through tree planting initiatives on campus, and supports student educational programs in forestry and urban wood recovery.

“Love Seat” Bench
Ron Meyers, Meyers Woodworking & Lumber, Batavia, IL

Material Used: Tree of Heaven

Urban Wood Source: Meyers Woodworking and lumber. I intervened on just another local tree heading to the dump.

Theme/purpose:  This is a small bench intended for a couple having to sit close, a love seat, to be used in a setting somewhere overlooking God’s great creations. This is why I chose The Tree of Heaven for the material.

Ebonized Elm Sofa Table
Eric Beauchamp, Beau Bois Custom Creations of Evanston, IL

Material Used: Kiln dried American elm

Urban Wood Source: Homeowners Felled Tree / Horigan Urban Forest Products. A mature American elm of an estimated age of over 130 years was cared for as the centerpiece of a garden in Evanston for over 100 years. It had been regularly inoculated against disease but to be removed as a safety precaution. The tree was felled by the arborist who had cared for it.

Some of the wood is being used to grow shitake mushrooms. Large limbs and the main trunk 14.5’ in length and 4.5’ in average diameter were taken to Horrigan Urban Forest Products where is was milled to preserve its unique character. Lumber from this tree is still available.  More information can be found at http://www.arborigin.com

Theme/purpose: This project was created to explore the uses of Urban-sourced American elm in art and furniture. This American elm puzzle sofa table top was created from 12 individual interlocking pieces to create the top. After assembly, the top was ebonized utilizing quebracho bark powder and iron acetate which reacts with the natural tannins to blacken the surface of the wood, while revealing the grain and character of the wood.

Oak/Cherry Coffee Table
Mike Dimitroff, Manager of Art Initiatives, Chicago Park District

Materials Used: Oak and cherry

Urban Wood Source: Chicago Park Tree. I saw this piece in the discard pile of a forestry truck after a day in the field. It was a piece that was sheared off of a trunk and had interesting tear and break features.

Theme/purpose: To utilize a broken or featured part of a felled park tree to create and interesting artifact.

I took the sheared section of a trunk and tooled it to match the natural split and shear characteristics. The result is an insect-shaped abdomen floating on three wild cherry legs.

“Furnerector Set” Table
Paul Pettigrew, Architect & Associate Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology

Materials Used: Urban white oak. Finish is a hand applied and rubbed water-based polyurethane. The legs are perforated anodized aluminum, the table-top stand-offs are anodized aluminum tubing. Fasteners are stainless steel.

Urban Wood Source: Reed Kepler Park & Ron Meyers Woodworking & Lumber

Theme/ purpose: Design Indeterminacy/”Furnerector Set” table explores the idea of indeterminate outcome. How might I design a functional object whose final form and aesthetic are beyond my final design control. The project’s four metal legs and hardware allow for urban wood components to be rearranged, added, subtracted and altered over time. The possible future permutations are infinite and depend on the final user’s preferences both today and tomorrow.

Design indeterminacy is seen as the antithesis of what I was taught as an architecture student and architect, i.e. I arrive at a final design, I make a set of construction drawings and the project is built as drawn. Design indeterminacy grows out of my interest in vernacular architecture and vernacular architecture’s tradition of multiple generations, continuously adding onto and altering structures over time.  Recently, I have watched many of my architectural projects get altered, renovated and/or modified without my input. As an architect, I have completed projects that have altered the work of previous architects with my only having the vaguest of clues as to what the original architect might have intended. Alteration, renovation and modification can remain “out of the control” of the architect/designer or the architect/designer can make future alteration, renovation and modification part of the initial design. By making alteration, renovation and modification part of the original design and providing future change-makers clues, invitations and/or encouragements for the future, I am hoping that my work will have a longer life whether it lives on in its original form or a future form anticipated by me, the works original designer.

 

 



Urban Wood Showcase: Specialty Items

ILWUT_LogoFascinating and fun things can be made using urban wood salvaged from community trees.

The items featured here are among an eclectic assortment of “Specialty Items” featured at the Urban Wood Products Showcase during the Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference, March 18 at Hamburger University in Oak Brook, IL. The event was organized by the Illinois Wood Utilization Team.

Paul Pettigrew, architect and associate professor of architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology of Chicago, was the People’s Choice for first place in the Specialty Items category for his Electric Acoustic Ukelele and Amp. Second place went to Eric Beachamp, owner of Beau Bois Custom Creations of Evanston, IL, for his Fractal Elm Trays.

Read more about each of these Magnificent 7 projects.

Electric Acoustic Ukelele and Ukelele Amplifier
Paul Pettigrew, Architect and Associate Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago

Materials Used: Spalted soft maple, hard maple, rosewood, chrome-plated ukulele tuners, miscellaneous metal components and miscellaneous electronics

Urban Wood Source: Jack Meyer Wood Supply of Sawyer, MI, told me that this soft maple tree came down in a storm in Buchanan, MI, a number of years ago. It was sawn into lumber onsite with a portable saw mill, dried in a converted metal container kiln and stored for a number of years in a garage on his property.

Theme/purpose: The idea for this project came from the old story of being able to pick up a sea shell, place it over your ear and hear the sounds of the ocean. I liked the idea of being able to “hear the sounds” of Buchanan Michigan, the source of wood for the ukulele and amplifier. The player and audience can hear the sound of Buchanan’s spalted soft maple either in its acoustic form or electric form depending on the performance.

Fractal Elm Trays
Eric Beauchamp, Beau Bois Custom Creations of Evanston, IL

Material Used: American Elm

Urban Wood Source: Homeowner’s felled tree processed by Horigan Urban Forest Products. It was a mature American Elm estimated at over 130 years old that was cared for as the centerpiece of a garden in Evanston for more than 100 years. It had been regularly inoculated against disease but had to be removed as a safety precaution. The tree was felled by the arborist who had cared for it.

Some of the wood is being used to grow shitake mushrooms. Large limbs and the main trunk 14.5’ in length and 4.5’ in average diameter were taken to Horrigan Urban Forest Products where is was milled to preserve its unique character. Lumber from this tree is still available.  More information can be found at http://www.arborigin.com

Theme/purpose: This project was created to explore the uses of urban-sourced American Elm in art and furniture projects. These trays were shaped from American Elm. High-voltage electricity was introduced to the surface of the wood to burn fractal designs into the surface of the wood.

Assorted Wooden Boxes
John Lough, Senior City Forester, City of Chicago

Materials Used: Black walnut, red elm, ash and Spanish cedar

Urban Wood Source: Various tree removal projects on private property in the Chicago area

Various woods were reclaimed from tree removal projects. These boxes were made from smaller pieces of wood which otherwise would have been used for firewood or ground into mulch.

Theme/purpose: Use of reclaimed wood to make decorative and functional gifts.

“Furnerector Set” Lamp
Paul Pettigrew, Architect and Associate Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago

Materials Used: Walnut from the urban forest, laser cut perforated acrylic, perforated anodized aluminum, stainless steel fasteners, colorcord.com braided lamp chord, lifex.com wi-fi enabled light bulb

Urban Wood Sources: Horigan Urban Forest Products & Meyers Woodworking and Lumber

Theme/purpose: While driving I thought about my new Apple watch, iPhone, the life wi-fi enabled lightbulb, the lightbulbs socket switch and chord and the structure that houses the bulb, socket, switch and chord. There are components that are analog and digital. There are components that have not changed much in the last 100+ years since light bulb sockets, chords and switches were invented and there are new components that have arrived on the design scene as part of a digital revolution and concern for the environment.

There are components that can be considered hardware, i.e. support components, socket, chord, switch, bulb, iPhone, Apple watch and there are components that can be considered software IOS 9.2 (phone) & OS 2.1 (watch). The idea for this piece is that just as the software can be updated, improved and given additional/different functionality, so too can the physical components that support all of this. I wanted to design a “lamp” that behaved less like hardware and more like software. I wanted the “lamp” to be as infinitely upgradeable as software and operating systems. All of the components for this lamp can be taken apart, re-arranged, re-placed, added or subtracted over time by a single owner or multiple owners.

Something like the lamp has been with us for quite some time. Artificial light used for ambient, task, decorative and perhaps even protective purposes has been with us for as long as man has known how to control and eventually make fire. Camp-fire, torch, candle, lightbulb/lamp is a familiar sequence and our relationship to these sources of light have been practical at one end of the spectrum and romantic at another end. To be able to control the intensity and color of light using a phone and/or watch is a unique situation if ever-changing possibilities and potential.

Soccer Ball
Ron Meyers, Meyers Woodworking & Lumber of Batavia, IL

Material Used: Oak and walnut

Urban Wood Source: Meyers Woodworking and Lumber. The logs were acquired from tree care companies and municipalities in the western suburbs of Chicago. I dried and milled the lumber.

Theme/ purpose: I was intrigued with the shape of the soccer ball and challenged myself to make one using urban wood. Piecing the wood required precision cutting and gluing. There are two different pieces required to make a soccer ball – a pentagon and a hexagon.  The soccer ball was donated to the Illinois Wood Utilization Team for education and demonstration purposes.

Walnut Wall Hanging
John Lough, Senior City Forester, City of Chicago

Material Used: Natural edge black walnut

Urban Wood Source: Tree from private yard

A homeowner contacted a local wood trim miller and asked if he wanted a black walnut tree the owner wanted removed from his property. The tree was leaning and the owner feared it was going to fall on the neighbor’s house. The mill owner called me knowing I was interested in using salvaged wood, and I worked out a deal with the homeowner to remove the tree in exchange for the wood. I sawed one of the smaller limbs with a band saw and book matched it to create this decorative wall hanging.

Theme/purpose: The purpose was to display the color of sap and heart wood of black walnut using a small branch normally discarded in the removal process. The walnut branch was book matched and the bark preserved to give the illusion of a single symmetrical piece of wood.

Stacking Storage Boxes
Paul Pettigrew, Architect and Associate Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology of Chicago

Materials Used: Urban wood (and a couple of non urban) scraps, acrylic, aluminum, stainless steel and rubber fasteners

Urban Wood Source: Horigan Urban Forest Products and Meyers Woodworking and Lumber. These are leftovers from previous projects that I had been collecting since 2008 when I first started working with urban wood. The urban wood sources are probably the Chicago area and Buchanan, MI.

Theme/ purpose: This is a project I made working alongside my IIT Architecture & Furniture students. It is a stack of five storage boxes inspired by a workbench full of material scraps made over a weekend; the final design/outcome unknown or at risk. The five  boxes can be rearranged and rotated into a near infinite number of configurations. (My daughter helped me with the math on this one…5! (factorial) to the 4th possible configurations). Rearranging the boxes allows for 120 possible configurations. If rotating each box four different ways is factored into the equation the number of possible arrangements is 120 to the 4th.

The assignment is inspired by excerpts from The Nature and Art of Workmanship by David Pye: “If I must ascribe a meaning to the word craftsmanship, I shall say as a first approximation that it means simply workmanship using any kind of technique or apparatus, in which the quality of the result is not predetermined, but depends on judgment, dexterity and care which the maker exercises as he works. The essential idea is that the quality of the result is continually at risk during the process of making; and so I shall call this kind of workmanship ‘The workmanship of risk’: an uncouth phrase, but at least descriptive.”



Urban Wood Products Showcase Winners Strut Their Stuff

ILWUT_LogoBy Rich Christianson

Among the many highlights of the Bringing the Urban Wood Full Circle Conference held March 18 at Hamburger University in Oak Brook was the Urban Wood Products Showcase. The showcase shined a bright spotlight on the design creativity of the entries that ranged from tables and wall hangings to a bell stand and soccer ball all crafted from urban wood. Nearly all of the entries also told a story about their lives as trees and their rebirth as functional and/or fun products.

Conference delegates got to vote for their favorite products on display in the showcase. First and second place People’s Choice Awards were awarded for two judging categories: Furniture and Specialty Items.

In the hotly contested Furniture category, Wade Ellis, owner of Ellis Custom Sawing and Woodworking of West Chicago, IL, took top honors for his gorgeous cherry chest. The chest was literally a last-minute entry. It took a strong write-in campaign to win first place.

Finishing second was a bell stand designed and fabricated by Jeff Perkis, owner of Story Wood. West Chicago City Museum, which maintains a record of the town’s railroad roots, commissioned Perkis to create the solid red oak stand with walnut accents to hold an old 80-pound train bell. Urban wood used for the project was salvaged from West Chicago community trees damaged in a 2012 storm. The wood was milled and kiln dried by Perkins and his uncle Ron Meyers of Meyers Woodworking & Lumber in Batavia, IL. The bell was finished by Ken Wier, owner of i2i Design of Wood Dale, IL. Meyers and Wier were among runner ups in the Furniture category.

An electric acoustic ukulele and amplifier crafted by Paul Pettigrew, architect and associate professor of the Illinois Institute of Technology was the top winner of the Specialty Items category. The musical instrument combo incorporates spalted soft maple, hard maple, rosewood and chrome-plated ukulele tuners. Like a sea shell captures ocean sounds, Pettigrew said, “I liked the idea of being able to ‘hear the sounds’ of Buchanan, Michigan, the source of the wood for the ukulele and amplifier.”

Eric Beauchamp of Beau Bois Custom Creations of Evanston, IL, took second place with a set of Fractal Elm Trays. Wood for the trays came from an American elm tree estimated at more than 130 years old that Beauchamp said “was cared for as the centerpiece of a garden in Evanston.” The tree was removed as a “safety precaution.” The main trunk, 14.5 feet long and 4.5 feet in diameter, was milled and kiln dried by Horigan Forest Products of Skokie, IL.

The Urban Wood Products Showcase was coordinated by John Lough, Senior City Forester of Chicago. Photos and information of all of the entries will be  posted on illinoisurbanwood.org in the coming weeks.



Hardwood Workshop Covers Logs to Lumber

Illinois Wood Utilization Team

Dan Cassens prepares to cut a log on a Wood-Mizer portable sawmill.

Illinois Wood UtilizationTeam

Prof. Cassens had an attentive group of students eager to learn more about hardwood properties and markets.

By Rich Christianson

Attaining the most value from hardwood logs, including those harvested from the urban forest, was the running theme of the Hardwood Lumber & Sawmill Workshop held Thursday, March 17 at the historic Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook, IL.

Prof. Dan Cassens, wood products extension specialist at Purdue University, and owner of Cassens Lumber of West Lafayette, IN, presented a mix of classroom and hands on instruction to an audience mostly made up of sawyers, woodworkers and arborists.

Some of the classroom topics Cassens lectured on included wood quality and characteristics, log scaling, hardwood grading pricing and marketing, optimizing sawing patterns and wood moisture and drying. All of the topics were geared to helping nimble custom wood producers better understand how they can successfully compete in hardwood lumber and product markets.

The classroom exercises were broken up by a mid-day sawmill demonstration. Cassens used a portable Wood-Mizer sawmill to mill logs provided by the DuPage County Forest Preserve into lumber.

The workshop was organized by the Illinois Wood Utilization Team on the eve of the Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference.



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ORGANIZER: ILLINOIS WOOD UTILIZATION TEAM

CEU’s available forASLA and ISA members.

 

The Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference is scheduled as an all-day affair Friday, March 18 at Hamburger University in Oak Brook, IL. The unique event will highlight opportunities for individuals, businesses, trade groups and public entities to capitalize on the salvage and conversion of community trees into high-valued logs, lumbers and wood products.

JUST ADDED: Hardwood Lumber & Sawmill Workshop, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Thursday, March 17 at the Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook. Prof. Dan Cassens of the Purdue University Forestry Department will be the featured presenter. The program, being held in special cooperation with the DuPage County Forest Preserve, will include classroom instruction and a portable sawmill demonstration. Registrants of the Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference can save $45 off the $110 registration fee to also attend the Hardwood Lumber Workshop. Attendance for the workshop will be limited to the first 50 signups.

Reserve a Room at the Hyatt Lodge at McDonald’s Campus

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Start Time Conference Agenda Speaker / Display Info
7:00am Onsite Registration, Badge Pickup & Continental Breakfast Exhibits Open
8:00am Conference Welcome Rich Christianson, Conference Director, Illinois Wood Utilization Team
8:10am Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle – Overview Edith Makra, Chairperson, Illinois Wood Utilization Team
8:45am From Landscape to Lumber: Reclaiming Diminished Trees for Urban Wood John Lough, Senior City Forester, City of Chicago
9:20am Trends in Marketing Wood Products Prof. Dan Cassens, Purdue University Department of Wood Products & Owner of Cassens Lumber LLC
10:00am Refreshment Break Exhibits Open
10:15am Closing the Loop on Urban Wood Utilization Ian Brown, Urban Forestry District Manager, City of Milwaukee
10:45am Commercial Tree Care & Urban Wood – Find Your Niche August Hoppe, President of Hoppe Tree Service & The Urban Wood Lab
11:15am The Urbanwood Project: Developing Markets for Urban Wood in Michigan Jessica Simons, Owner, Verdant Stewardship U Coordinator of the Urbanwood Project of Southeast Michigan
11:45am Lunch / Portable Sawmill Demonstrations by Prof. Dan Cassens Exhibits Open
1:40pm Green Building Programs & Urban Wood Laureen Blissard, Principal, LTLB Envirotecture & Jessica Simon
2:20pm Urban Wood’s Journey from Forest to Classroom, Museum, Gallery, Auction & Home Paul Pettigrew, Studio Associate Professor of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology
2:50pm Out of the Woods:How West Chicago Repurposed Storm-Damaged Urban Trees Jeff Perkis, Owner, Story Wood & Senior Project Manager, Chipman Design Architecture
3:15pm Refreshment Break Exhibits Open
3:30pm Custom Woodworking Case Study: Go-to Urban Wood Source for Starbucks, Mariano’s & Others Ken Wier, Owner, i2i Design
4:00pm Metamorphosis: Thermally Modified Urban Lumber Brian Mitalo, Regional Manager, Tournesol Siteworks
4:20pm Growing Partnerships: How the Chicago Park District Is Capitalizing on Urban Lumber Michael Dimitroff, Manager of Art Initiatives, Chicago Park District
4:50pm Closing Remarks & Announcement  of “People’s Choice Winners” of the Urban Wood Products Showcase Edith Makra, Chairperson, Illinois Wood Utilization Team
5:00 pm-  7:00pm Networking Reception Exhibits Open
 
NOTE: Conference schedule & program subject to change without notice.

Your $150 conference registration fee ($175 on-site) includes:

+ One dozen informative sessions focused on urban wood success stories, opportunities and best practices presented by acknowledged leaders of the urban wood utilization movement.

+ Live portable sawmill demonstration.

+ Tabletop displays hosted by key organizations and suppliers focused on the urban wood marketplace.

+ Urban Wood Products Showcase: Displays of furniture, other wood products and artistic objects crafted from wood milled from community trees.

+ Networking Reception: Forge valuable connections with fellow conference participants.

+ Continental breakfast, morning and afternoon refreshment breaks, lunch and Networking Reception appetizers.

+ $45 discount to also attend the March 17 Hardwood Lumber & Sawmill Workshop at the Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook, IL.

+ Members of the  American Society of Landscapers (ASLA) and International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) qualify for continuing education credits (CEUs).

Sponsorships/Displays

Show your support for urban wood utilization by investing in an Ash, Oak or Walnut sponsorship package. Each package includes conference registration, a display table and promotional considerations. High-value, low-cost sponsorships, starting at $500, can be purchased through the online registration portal. View Sponsorship Opportunities

More Info

Please direct any questions about the conference program, sponsorship/display opportunities or registration issues to Rich Christianson, conference director, at richc.illinoisurbanwood@gmail.com or phone 773-822-6750.

 

 

 

Conference Presentation Highlights

Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle – Overview

This presentation will introduce the concept of urban wood and discuss principal issues and opportunities.

  • Urban forests contain valuable wood commodities that potentially can be harvested.
  • To capture the inherent value of urban forests and reclaim valuable wood products, connections must be made between these vital links of the urban wood supply chain: Arborists, Sawyers, Woodworkers, Specifiers and Consumers.
  • How the urban wood industry has much potential to meet consumer demand.
  • How urban wood and urban forestry are different than commercial lumber and traditional forestry.
  • Examples of urban wood businesses and partners working to advance urban wood markets.

Presenter Bio: Edith Makra is the Director of Environmental Initiatives for the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus where she supports local governments in taking environmental actions that lead to regional sustainability. She is founder and Chairperson of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team, where she promotes “full circle urban forestry” to capture value in felled community trees as interior and exterior wood products. She has led the Team to train arborists and woodworkers; engage the public; partner with other states to create markets for urban wood; and led a timber assessment of the Chicago region’s urban forest. The Team was recognized with the Governor’s Sustainability Award in 2013 for notable contributions to sustainability in Illinois.

 From Landscape to Lumber: Reclaiming Diminished Trees for Urban Wood

  • Sources of urban wood are varied but offer a tremendous resource.
  • Understanding the importance of tree removal and recovery capacity is critical to the success of urban log utilization.
  • Harvesting practices that enhance the value of urban wood – while keeping costs down – is the beginning of successful processing.

Presenter Bio: John Lough is senior city forester for the City of Chicago, Department of Streets and Sanitation, Bureau of Forestry. Chicago has approximately 586,000 street trees and generates more than 25,000 tons of wood by-products annually. Lough earned his Master’s degree in Forestry at the University of Illinois and is an International Society of Arboriculture certified arborist. He has worked as an urban Forester for the City of Chicago for the last 18 years and in the arboricultural field for 29 years. Lough currently focuses his attention on integrated pest management, training, wood utilization, and volunteer programs. Lough is also an avid amateur urban-woodworker and promotes the recovery of urban felled trees to inspire the innovative use of this under-recognized resource.

 Trends in Marketing Wood Products

  • How urban wood can move into the lumber market place.
  • Developing markets for lumber and wood products.
  • How drying lumber adds value.
  • Understanding the basic of lumber grade values

Presenter Bio: Dan Cassens is a Professor and Extension Specialist in Wood Products at Purdue University. For the past 30 years, Cassens’ primary responsibility has been conducting educational programs for the industry. In 1990 hereceived the Woodworking Educator of the Year award presented by the Wood Machinery Industry Association. He has also been sponsored by different industrial sources and has conducted research in the areas of preventing stain in hardwood and southern pine lumber, biomass, hardwood log manufacturing techniques, quality control in lumber, veneer checking, stress in trees, and others. Cassens is the author of Manufacturing and Marketing Eastern Hardwood Lumber Produced by Thin Kerf Band Mills. Cassens owns and manages, for timber production, about 200 acres of Indiana hardwoods. Trees from improvement cuttings and storm damaged trees are processed by a Wood-Mizer mill and sold to local woodworkers.

Closing the Loop on Urban Wood Utilization

  • Trees are grown and maintained in municipalities for the benefits they provide during life. But inevitably they will be removed. Learn about the alternative “end of life” options implemented in Milwaukee.
  • Milwaukee diverts 100% of logs to a local sawmill for processing, saving 50% of disposal costs and diverting all wood to the “highest and best use.”
  • Recovered products include furniture grade lumber, flooring, pallets, firewood and mulch.
  • Consumer-driven demand has historically been the limiting factor but those barriers are coming down.

Presenter Bio: Ian Brown is an Urban Forestry District Manager for the City of Milwaukee – Forestry Section. He joined Milwaukee Forestry in 2007 and has worked on a variety of projects including iTree ECO, hyperspectral imagery analysis, comprehensive GIS-based street tree inventory and ash street tree injections. Brown has worked to quantify urban forests for management and increase appreciation for the economic value of the urban canopy.

Commercial Tree Care & Urban Wood – Find Your Niche

This presentation will show the full circle approach that Hoppe Tree Service takes to utilizing Urban Wood in the Milwaukee area: from tree removal to selling wood products to the end consumer.

  • Background: How a “normal” tree service got involved in urban wood utilization.
  • Development: There is no need to re-event the wheel. Stick with what you know and find partners to help.
  • Spread the word: There is a market out there. Just find it!
  • Urban wood can be profitable as a product and can give a commercial tree care company an edge in the marking place.

Presenter Bio: August Hoppe is a third generation arborist and President of Hoppe Tree Service, a full service tree care company in Milwaukee. WI. He is an ISA Certified Arborist, a member of the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council and President of the Wisconsin Arborist Association. Hoppe Tree Service started its retail urban wood utilization division called The Urban Wood Lab in 2014.

The Urbanwood Project: Developing Markets for Urban Wood in Michigan

  • The emerald ash borer outbreak acted as a catalyst to spur innovation in Michigan’s urban forest products markets.
  • Nontraditional partners have joined together to form an effective network of suppliers, processors and supporters, resulting in the creation of the Urbanwood Marketplace, a successful retail center for sales of urban wood.
  • For nearly a decade, this sales effort has continued to grow, leading to important lessons learned about urban wood market coordination, partnership development, customer interests and product opportunities.

Presenter Bio: Jessica Simons is the owner of Verdant Stewardship, an Ann Arbor, MI-based consulting service that provides project development, management, and grant  writing services to conservation and environmental organizations. She coordinates Michigan’s Urbanwood Project on behalf of Recycle Ann Arbor and manages forest products utilization and marketing programs for the Southeast Michigan RC&D Council. Simons serves as a trustee for the Great Lakes Forest Products Society and is an organizer of the Urban Forest Products Alliance. She holds an M.S. in natural resources from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in biology from West Virginia University.

 Portable Sawmilling Demonstration: Urban Logs to Boards & Slabs

  • Learn how to measure and determine the quality of logs.
  • See how surface indicators (bark distortions) tell you what lies beneath the surface of the log face.
  • Learn what the end of a log tells you about its quality.
  • Obtain basic lumber grading information.
  • Learn how wholesale lumber is priced and what the value of lumber is from a particular log.

Presenter: Dan Cassens, Professor of Wood Products at Purdue University and Owner of Cassens Lumber LLC

 Green Building Programs & Urban Wood

  • Creating urban wood demand: A residential case study
  • Creating a “chain of custody” process for urban wood
  • How to communicate to clients the benefits of using urban wood in their build outs
  • How urban wood fits into LEED and other green building programs

Presenter Bio: Laureen Blissard is the principal of LTLB Envirotecture, for which she has managed or is currently managing the verification for more than 1,000 homes and units that are either “green” certified or in the process of becoming certified. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in architecture from the University of Illinois and is a licensed architect. Blissard has built a successful 25-plus-year practice in the design and construction of commercial buildings, multi-family projects, single family homes, and interiors. Her many professional certifications include AIA, ALA and LEED AP Homes. She also serves as technical director of the Green Builder® Coalition and writes for Green Builder® Magazine.

Urban Wood’s Journey from Forest to Classroom, Museum, Gallery, Auction & Home

  • Why promoting urban wood’s use is an important goal for the IIT Architecture program
  • What more than 300 architecture students have learned about urban wood’s potential importance to the architecture profession and building industry
  • Examples of some of the hundreds of furniture and functional design objects that have been exhibited and published introducing urban wood’s potential to the general public

Presenter Bio: Paul Pettigrew is a licensed architect in the states of Illinois, Indiana and Michigan and a member of NCARB. He has been designing and fabricating architecturally specific furniture for more than 25 years. In 1999 he joined the faculty of the first-year architecture studio at the Illinois Institute of Technology of Chicago. He has shared his interest in architecturally specific furniture design and fabrication with IIT Architecture students enrolled in his Architecture & Furniture course, including incorporating urban wood in student projects. Recent research into potential uses of urban wood led to the creation of the Living Tree Project for Crate & Barrel. Pettigrew received his architecture BS from the University of Illinois and his MS from MIT.

Out of the Woods: How West Chicago Repurposed Storm-Damaged Urban Trees

  • Remembering the July 2012 storm devastation and massive tree cleanup of Reed Kepler Park
  • Opportunity from calamity: Brainstorming ideas and partnering with the Illinois Institute of Technology to repurpose wood from the salvaged logs
  • Showcasing reclaimed urban wood products

Presenter Bio: Jeff Perkis is Owner of Story Wood, a custom woodworking business, and Senior Project Manager of Chipman Architecture Design.

 Metamorphosis: Thermally Modified Urban Lumber

  • Opportunities in the specification industry
  • Meeting the sourcing challenge
  • Bridging the differences

Presenter Bio: Brian Mitalo is a Chicago-based regional salesperson for Tournesol Siteworks, a manufacturer of products for commercial landscapes nationwide. He is a licensed commercial irrigation designer and a certified landscape irrigation auditor with extensive industry experience efficiently watering landscapes. Mitalo joined Tournesol Siteworks in 2004, marrying his 25 years of technical and engineered product sales with Tournesol’s focus on solutions for integrating landscaping on, in and around buildings. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events on the design considerations/challenges of on-structure landscaping, benefits of on-structure and urban landscaping, high-efficiency irrigation and drainage control.

Growing Partnerships: How the Chicago Park District Is Capitalizing on Urban Lumber

  • The Arts: Chicago Tree Project; Partner Donations to Benefit the Artist Community; Theaster Gates & The Garfield Park Conservatory Project; CPD Wood Shops
  • Capital Construction & Planning: Maggie Daley Park build-out; Chicago Bear’s Den build-out at Soldier Field; CPD Harbor dock decking using thermally-modified
  • Forestry Operations: Sterling Lumber agreement and win-win relationship (Jim Semelka – Sterling Lumber – Urban Forestry Advocate)

Presenter Bio: Michael Dimitroff is Manager of Art Initiatives for the Chicago Park District, where he coordinates and manages new art acquisitions and the siting logistics of public art and sculpture installations, under the Department of Cultural and Natural Resources. He is a sitting member of the Park Enhancement Committee (PEC) which makes decisions related to park aesthetics, construction, and design continuity. He also chairs the CPD Arts Committee where he partners with CPD colleagues, the City of Chicago, institutions, not-for-profits, galleries and artists in promoting public art. Dimitroff is also is a member of the Wood Utilization.