Search Results for "eco urban timber"

eco Urban Timber Turns Dead Ash into Cash

Eco-Urban-Timber-Light-BoxEntrepreneurial woodworking artisan Julie McFadden launched eco Urban Timber LLC last year upon realizing the potential of salvaging high-value wood from the city of Eau Claire’s urban forests traumatic battle with the deadly emerald ash borer.

McFadden’s entre into the urban wood products business was recently chronicled by VolumeOne, news from Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley.

“Ash is such a beautiful wood, and the maples and some of the other woods that are in the urban setting make really interesting furniture,” McFadden told VolumeOne.

eco Urban Timber participates in the Chippewa Valley Urban Wood Project launched in 2014 as part of a collation of Leadership Eau Claire, the Wisconsin DNR and the city of Eau Claire’s efforts to encourage more recycling of dead urban trees, especially those we are anticipating being killed by the emerald ash borer. The project involves many local businesses that have joined together to provide a wide selection of sustainable wood products.

eco Urban Timber sells its products on etsy. They include the Tree of Life Shadow Box, Yoga Cat Tablet Stand, Eau Claire Beer Caddy and Minnesota Wine Rack.

eco Urban Timber is a member of Wisconsin Urban Wood, which is one of three grant partners with the Illinois Wood Utilization Team. The others are in Michigan and Missouri.



Underappreciated Urban Wood Focus of Pennsylvania Workshop

King-of-Prussia-Urban-Wood-Workshop“Urban Wood: An Underappreciated Resource” is the title of a one-day workshop scheduled for Nov. 14 at Heuser Park in King of Prussia, PA. The event is being organized by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

The workshop is intended to bring together suppliers, processors, and end users of urban wood who recognize the value of the resource and wish to make better use of the material. The workshop serves as a first step toward developing an urban wood network in southeast Pennsylvania to link potential partners. An advisory committee will be formed as a result of the initial meeting, and will help guide the DCNR Bureau of Forestry in moving the process forward.

Topics include:

  • Urban wood networks elsewhere in the country 
  • Properties of various wood species 
  • Bucking for optimum use 
  • Portable mill demonstration 
  • Dry kiln construction and operation demonstration  
  • Biochar-making demonstration 
  • Cross laminated timbers  
  • Local urban wood users

The targeted audience includes arborists, tree services, municipal public works offices, portable and stationary sawmill owners, dry kiln operators, craftspeople, artists, architects, and educators.

The registration fee is $20.

Click here to learn more.



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.



Urban Wood Utilization Webcast Set for April 11

Prof. Dan Cassens conducts a sawmill demo.

Prof. Dan Cassens conducts a sawmill demo.

The agenda for the biannual Urban Wood Webcast has been set. The webcast, which will feature updates of urban wood activities in the Midwest and other parts of the country, is scheduled for 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EST) Tuesday, April 11.

The webcast is presented by the Wood Education and Resource Center, a service of the Northeastern Area State & Private Forestry of the U.S. Forest Service.

 

ATTEND THE WEBCAST

Urban Wood Utilization Webcast Agenda

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Eastern

Focus: Recent urban wood utilization activities.

1:00 pm – Introduction and Overview
— Ed Cesa, US Forest Service, Wood Education and Resource Center

1:10 p.m. – Introducing Urban Wood To Design Professionals and Update on the Four State Bringing Urban Forestry Full Circle Project
— 
Dwayne Sperber, Wudeward Urban Forest Products

     Full Circle Project state updates:

– IL Update, Richard Christianson

– MI Update, Jessica Simons

– MO Update, Russell Hinnah

– WI Update, Sabina Dhungana

1:55 pm – DC Urban Wood Utilization Efforts

– Brian LeCouteur, DC Council of Governments

2:10 pm – Street Trees as a Source of Urban Timber in Washington, DC

– Alex Grieve, Graduate Student, Virginia Tech

2:40 pm – Firewood Processing Productivity Study Update and Upcoming Workshop 

– Harry Watt, North Carolina State University Wood Products Extension 

2:50 pm – VA Urban Wood Group Update

– Joe Lehnen, Virginia Department of Forestry

3:00 pm – Final comments and date for next webcast  

Next Webcast: 1:00 pm Eastern, Tuesday, October 10, 2017



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.



Arborist Pursues His Passion with Urban Wood Start-up

 

By Rich Christianson

Dobnick Timberworks has joined the Illinois urban wood movement, opening up a lumber and custom wood products business in Oswego, IL.

The company is owned by certified arborist Brandon Dobnick and his wife, Marlana. Dobnick Timberworks operates a portable sawmill and offers 16-plus species of urban wood up to 16 feet long and 56 inches wide including ash, red and white oak, silver maple, Turkish hazelnut and pecan to name a few. Lumber products are available rough sawn to finished and green, air or kiln dried. The company also crafts live-edge custom wood products.

“One hundred percent of our wood is locally sourced and many with unique storylines behind them,” Dobnick said. “We hope to continue to see more and more urban wood become utilized.”

The Dobnick Timberworks website waxes poetic about the beauty and value of the urban forest and urban wood. The company’s mission statement is illustrative.

“Our Mission is to continue the legacy of our living landscapes through sustainably recycling urban trees by finding their highest purpose. We refuse to harvest any of our wood solely for its raw timber value, rather, a hundred percent of our wood has been harvested from trees within our urban landscapes which have died and/or needed to be removed for reasons other than timber value, i.e. Dutch elm disease, emerald ash borer, and other issues. All of our wood is harvested/collected locally within a fifty mile radius.

“We seek to advocate for proper tree care management practices, encourage planting trees, and enhancing the environment by seeking to minimize our carbon footprint while sequestering carbon through utilizing our wood products within our everyday spaces. We seek to unveil the stories hidden within urban trees’ unconventional character and gain patterns by creating slabs, lumber, and custom pieces which not only tell a story, but breathe life into their spaces.”

Learn more at dobnicktimberworks.com.



Urban Lumber Company Thrives on KC Woods

urban-lumber-company-timberking-sawmillUrban Lumber Company has been giving a large quantity and wide variety of felled and fallen trees in and around Kansas City a second chance since 2005.

As of October 2016, Urban Lumber Company’s website claims it has recycled a total of 638,062 pounds of wood and sawn 90,886 board feet.

As owner Tim O’Neill told the Kansas City Star in an article published April 8, “There’s a unique and wild look to this lumber, particularly in the variety of species found around town.” Woods cited in the articled include ash, elm, hickory, locust, maple, mulberry, oak, pecan, sweet gum, sycamore, tree of heaven and walnut.

O’Neill, a former exhibition designer, was inspired to found Urban Wood Lumber after having a hackberry tree downed by an ice storm sawed into logs. “I’d been spending lots of money on lumber, and all of a sudden I had a large pile. It was super cheap and easy to find, since dead trees are everywhere. It was interesting to work with, too,” he told the Star.

O’Neill processes logs on a TimberKing sawmill and also invested in a dry kiln. Customers include local custom woodworkers, homeowners and woodworking hobbyists.

Visit Urban Lumber Company’s website.



Let’s Make Urban Wood a Household Name

By Jennifer Alger, CEO
Far West Forest Products

The terms urban lumber, salvaged logs and reclaimed or recycled wood often get used interchangeably. While all of these terms are about repurposing wood and keeping it out of the waste stream, in mind there are some important distinctions to their meanings and thus how they should be used.

Urban Lumber is the lumber sawn from trees that have come down in storms or were removed for any reason from your city neighborhoods, yards, parks and streets. This is the wood that traditionally would have gone to your local landfill, cut into firewood or fed into the chipper. By purchasing urban lumber or products made from urban lumber, you help extend the lifecycle of your local community trees. Urban Lumber also fits into the salvaged category as well.

Salvaged logs is wood that has not been previously sawn into lumber and is typically still in log form when we acquire it. Many of our salvage logs are windfalls – literally trees that came down in a storm. By utilizing these logs for lumber it allows us to extend the lifecycle of the tree. This is how we get much of our old-growth material. Salvaged logs can come from an urban setting and fit into the urban lumber category, or they can be from forests as well. Essentially these are any logs from trees that were not felled for their timber value.

Reclaimed or recycled wood is wood that has previously been sawn into lumber and used in the construction of buildings, bridges, water-tanks or other structures. Reclaimed wood has been removed during some type of a demolition project and instead of going to the landfills, its lifecycle has been extended by recycling it and preparing it to be used again.

Why Buy Urban, Salvaged or Reclaimed Wood Products?
In the late ’90s, it was estimated that 3.8 million tons of solid wood waste was going into California’s landfills each year. This dramatic number just show what was happening in our area; there was a similar situation around the U.S. when there was an incredible amount of exotic wood being imported. We are not advocating that you should stop using imported woods. In fact, we we may even carry some of them. But we do believe that we can better utilize the woods that are right here in our local communities. In many cases they are every bit as beautiful as the treasured exotics from around the world with their burl, figure, spalting or other character features.

By turning logs into lumber instead of material left to rot in a landfill, you essentially stop the decomposition process and sequester the carbon. In addition, by purchasing and using local trees the carbon used to transport the exotics from overseas is lessened. Couple all that with the fact that most urban wood in the U.S. is milled on portable thin kerf band-saws such as a Wood-Mizer, that consume an extremely low amount of energy, and you really take a big whack at lowering the overall carbon footprint by utilizing  urban wood.

We at Far West Forest Products encourage you to take a look at urban wood as your first option. It’s good for the environment, it’s good for the local economy, and it’s Beautiful!

Not only that, where else can you get a one-of-a-kind piece of wood or lumber that no one else has with which to build your next family heirloom. The urban wood industry is utilizing woods that are typically not used as lumber because there aren’t enough of them to create a commercial market for the larger mills.

A Brief History of the Urban Lumber Movement
The urban lumber movement became a “thing” in the ’80s, and really started to gain momentum in the ’90s. The concept, however, has been around for much longer and stemmed from the, “waste-not, want-not” generation. I can remember as a child in the ’70s going out with my dad to buy urban hardwood trees that were dead or dying and I know this was happening long before I came along.

I remember the famous Hooker Oak tree that fell in Bidwell Park in Chico, CA. It was thought to be the largest white oak tree in the world. An Oroville sawmill owner milled it into usable lumber in 1980 in order to preserve this historic landmark. There are countless other stories where sentimental and historic value has been preserved in urban trees by recycling them and giving them a second life which date back to before the term “urban lumber” really took off. Our customers love it when we can give them the rich backstory on the piece of wood they are selecting for their projects.

Why I’m a Proponent of a Market-Driven Solution
I believe that collectively our urban products will be more affordable and more sustainable if the industry grows through market-driven solutions as opposed to legislative action. Although I’m very passionate about using urban products whenever possible, I fear that legislating it could complicate the process to the extent that the average sawyer and lumber producer either couldn’t afford to do it or wouldn’t want to deal with the paperwork that comes when the government gets too involved in an industry.This in turn would drive up the price of urban wood products as well as potentially decrease the supply.The industry has to be viable economically for the tree service company, the sawyer, and the consumer in order for it to be sustainable.

I would prefer that local governments get behind and support (as Cal Fire’s Urban Forestry division in California has), but not necessarily legislate the urban wood industry with cumbersome red tape. I believe that if we can educate the consumer, and keep it affordable; they will choose urban wood products based upon environmental, economic, emotional and aesthetic reasons.

Let’s work together to make urban lumber and urban wood household names and go-to products for every wood products consumer in America.

Jennifer Alger, CEO, Far west Forest ProductsJennifer Alger is CEO of Far West Forest Products of Sheridan, CA, a family-owned business that actively works to promote the use of local native species and underutilized logs including reclaimed urban wood. Jennifer has worked alongside her father and brothers for most of her life and for more than the past decade also has been a regional representative for Wood-Mizer   portable sawmills. She has presented at several urban log and lumber utilization workshops and seminars focused on marketing, growing and operating a small sawmill business, including the first urban wood utilization seminar ever presented at the International Woodworking Fair last month in Atlanta. You can contact Jennifer at info@farwestforest.com.



Hunski Hardwoods Logs the West Coast Urban Forest

Hunski Hardwoods, urban wood

Hunski Hardwoods specializes in giving diseased and storm damaged community trees a second life.

James Hunsaker and his son, Nick have been salvaging diseased and dying urban trees in and around Antelope, CA, since 2010.

Beyond milling the west coast trees into slaps and lumber, an important mission of Hunski Hardwoods is to “preserve the history of the wood beyond each tree’s life.”

The father and son’s story was chronicled in Timberline magazine last August, a publication of Wood-Mizer. As the story goes, Hunski Hardwood’s business took off after it purchased a Wood-Mizer WM1000 sawmill. Within two weeks of putting the mill into operation, Hunski had milled 30 logs, tripling their lumber output in the process.

Read the Timberline article for more about Hunski Hardwood’s business and growth and/or visit hunskhardwoods.com.

 



‘What to Do with Urban Wood’ Symposium Coming Jan. 7, 2016

The symposium will include a portable sawmill demonstration at Petrifying Springs golf course.

The symposium will include a demonstration of mechanized tree removal at Petrifying Springs Park & Golf Course.

“What to Do with Urban Wood.”

That’s a loaded question if there ever was one and the answers will be presented at the Symposium on Large Scale Urban Tree Removal & Utilization Thursday, January 7 in Somers, WI.

With the increased number of trees killed by invasive insects and disease, municipalities are trying to find the most economical way to remove trees, while also encouraging alternative uses for urban wood materials rather than disposal of them in a landfill.

This program will provide attendees the opportunity to learn about current urban wood utilization efforts, urban tree removal options, markets for urban wood and to participate in a panel discussion on the Kenosha County Parks Tree Removal Project. An outdoor session will include a demonstration of mechanized tree removal.

Speakers include:

  • Scott Koerner, owner of Koerner Forest Products, a multi-faceted timber harvesting and trucking company.
  • Scott Lyon,  Forest Products Services Specialist of WDNR, provides assistance to forest products companies and private individuals, including wood utilization and marketing plans for trees affected by invasive species, disease or storm damage.
  • Jon Rudie, Parks Director for Kenosha County, has worked for the organization for more than 40 years.
  • Kim Sebastian,  a Regional Urban Forestry Coordinator of WDNR, assists communities in building sustainable tree care programs with strong, local support through technical and public awareness assistance, education, training and resource development.
  • Don Peterson, Executive Director of the Sustainable Resources Institute ( SRI), has more than 30 years of experience with timber sales and marketing forest industry products; he has been working on urban wood utilization projects for the past 13 years.
  • Dwayne Sperber, owner of Wudeward Urban Forest Products, is a founding partner of Wisconsin Urban Wood, and was appointed to the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council in 2014.

During the afternoon session at nearby Petrifying Springs Park & Golf Course, attendees will be able to observe urban tree felling and removal operations with mechanized logging equipment. This type of equipment has been used to remove large amounts of trees in several Wisconsin communities. Mechanized removal is one of the safest and most efficient tree removal methods and often a low cost option to remove a large number of urban trees under the right circumstances while also producing the volumes of wood needed to effectively market urban wood.

The program is being organized by the Sustainable Resources Institute, Kenosha County Parks Department, WDNR Division of Forestry, USDA Forest Services’ Forest Products Marketing Unit, and Wisconsin Urban Wood.

Registration is $20 per person and includes lunch. Click here to register: sustainableinc.org/events.

For additional information, contact Kari Devine at kari@sustainableinc.org or 877-284-3882.