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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.



Q&A with Erika Horigan of Horigan Urban Forest Products

 

Horigan Urban Wood Products

Horigan Urban Forest Products of Skokie, IL, has been blazing trails in the utilization of urban wood for 15 years. In recent years the Horigans moved into larger quarters that includes a sawmill, warehouse and retail operation.

Erika Horigan, who co-owns the company with her husband, Bruce, discusses how Horigan UFP got started and her enjoyment in seeing felled community trees get a second chance as lumber and wood products.

Read about the company’s success on UrbanWoodNetwork.org.



Urban Wood Network Announces ‘How To Do Urban Wood’ Webinar Series

The Urban Wood Network presents the “How To Do Urban Wood” webinar series. Each month a panel of experts in the urban wood field will share how they have successfully utilized urban wood.

Enthusiasts from every link of the urban wood supply chain will gain a better understanding of how others in every link of the supply chain have successfully been involved in utilizing urban through their own ingenuity and through networking with others in the urban wood community.

The Urban Wood Network invites municipalities, arborists, sawyers, woodworkers and all others interested in helping advance the urban wood movement to participate in one or all of these four 90-minute webinars.

Webinar #1: Urban Tree Removals – Reducing Costs and Promoting Utilization – July 25 1:00 p.m. EST 

Register Now

Urban forests can be sustainably managed from ‘seed to sawdust’ by capturing valuable urban forest products from urban trees that need to be removed. This webinar will show different models of full circle urban forest stewardship that are used to reclaim urban forest products from those felled trees, and what strategies have been employed to support the reclamation of those urban forest products.

Participants will learn:

  • The social and economic benefits of urban wood utilization
  • How to develop and implement a removal plan
  • Tree removal strategies to create urban forest products
  • How to identify markets for urban forest products
  • Who to contact for assistance
  • How to incorporate urban wood into policy
  • How to partner with an urban wood network to achieve their goalsSpeakers:
    Matthew Staudenmaier – City of Eau Claire, WI
    Matt is the Forestry Department Supervisor for the City of Eau Claire, WI.  He leads a team of 5 fulltime ISA Certified Arborists and is charged with the maintenance of over 32,000 street trees.  Emerald Ash Borer and diversification of the City’s tree population will continue to be the major challenges facing his Department, along with constricted budgets and labor force.  Finding creative solutions while maintaining public trust and respect has been vital to his success, including overseeing implementation of the City’s urban wood use agreement with Wisconsin Urban Wood which allows WUW members to utilize removed trees from the City’s urban wood yard.

    Dan Coy – City of Grand Rapids, MI
    Dan is the City Forester for the City of Grand Rapids, MI where he’s worked for the past two and a half years.  Dan is leading the forestry team to improve the health and vigor of the city forest to achieve 40% canopy coverage over the city through a data driven approach that makes best use of technological advances to maximize safety and efficiency in forestry operations.  Prior to working in Grand Rapids, Dan developed an urban forestry program with 3 components – urban wood utilization, community tree planting funded by log sales, and workshops & education in Elkhart, IN.

    Kevin LaPointe – Kansas City, MO
    Kevin is the City Forester for the City of Kansas City, MO, Parks & Recreation Department where he has worked for twenty-one years.  He oversees more than 415,000 city trees which line the streets and boulevards in the 320-square mile incorporated city limits of Kansas City, MO and in the 12,000 acres of land comprising 222 developed and undeveloped parks.  Kevin served on the Board of the Mid-West Chapter of the ISA from 2016-2018. He is a past recipient of the Missouri Arbor Award of Excellence, and an Environmental Achievement Award for Urban Forest Preservation for his work with EAB management.

    August Hoppe – Hoppe Tree Service
    August is the Past President of the Wisconsin Arborist Association, Vice-Chair of the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council, and incoming board member for the Tree Care Industry Association.  He is the President of Hoppe Tree Service.  Hoppe’s Urban Wood Lab Store utilizes urban wood from its tree service division.  The Hoppe Urban Wood Lab Store mills lumber and natural edge slabs, selling directly to its tree care clients, and maintains a retail location where urban wood products are sold.

Webinar #2: Urban Lumber – How to Produce and Market It                                 August 29, 2018 1:00 p.m. EST

Register Now

Lumber made from urban wood has unique and valuable attributes but urban logs can be difficult to process/saw.  Urban wood is a legitimate source of lumber products, this webinar will have examples of: various sawing methods for producing urban lumber, lumber drying strategies, and how to market what you produce.

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Webinar #3: Producing Urban Wood Products – What, How and Where     September 26, 2018 1:00 p.m. EST

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Consumers from all over the country are joining the urban wood movement and are buying urban wood products in all shapes and sizes, from cutting boards to fine furniture to architectural lumber.  This webinar will discuss examples: of urban wood products, urban lumber sourcing, and examples of local/ regional/national markets.

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Webinar #4: Starting a State Urban Wood Network                                               October 25, 2018 1:00 p.m. EST

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The Urban Wood Network was founded in 2017 by individuals and entities who have been dedicated to building urban wood businesses since the early 2000s.  We’ve learned that the only way to have a substantial impact, to truly establish full circle urban forestry management, is to work cooperatively from municipality/arborist to value-added manufacturer on a local level. A cohesive supply chain is the only way to get the highest product from these trees. Now, we want to use our collective experiences to assist businesses and others to join this developing industry. This webinar will give an overview of the urban wood movement, provide examples of: different state/regional networks, potential funding options, different organizational structures, and how you can start your own state network.

For more information, contact the Urban Wood Network at 906-875-3720 or info@urbanwoodnetwork.org.

This project is supported by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area, State and Private Forestry Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program.



Woodworking Industry Takes Notice of Urban Wood Movement

The urban wood movement will take to the main stage of the North American woodworking industry’s most important event – the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta. The free 90-minute seminar, “The Urban Wood Revolution Is NOW! Come Join the Movement,” set for Friday, August 24 is garnering strong support from a diverse segment of companies exhibiting at the show.
Wood-Mizer, lead sponsor of the seminar, has been joined by three other sponsors: Richelieu Hardware, Dynabrade and Safety Speed Manufacturing. Each of these companies sees utilizing felled and fallen urban trees to their highest possible value in tune with their own sustainability missions.
It is extremely gratifying to see more wood industry companies support the efforts of the Urban Wood Network, organizer of the event, as well as peer groups in the Southeast and West Coast which will be represented in the seminar. IWF represents a great opportunity to educate more professional woodworking companies about the potential of this vastly under-utilized yet very valuable resource.
Read more about the IWF Urban Wood Seminar Sponsors and the products that they will display in this month’s Illinois Urban Wood Update.
Speaking of IWF Urban Wood Seminar presenters, check out the video featuring Jennifer Alger. Jennifer, CEO of Far West Forest Products in Sheridan, CA, is the force behind the new Urban Salvaged & Reclaimed Woods Network. She will be joined by Dwayne Sperber of Wudeward Urban Forest Products, who will represent the Urban Wood Network on the panel. Yours truly will moderate the presentation.
Also, speaking of IWF Urban Wood Seminar sponsors, read about Wood-Mizer’s recent acquisition of the Swedish company MOReTENs. As a result of the purchase, Wood-Mizer, already renowned for its portable and stationary sawmills, now offers more value-added capability with machines including planers/moulders, table saws and even CNC routers.
Finally, if you are interested in connecting with urban wood proactivists around the globe, then become a member of the Urban Wood Network LinkedIn group that now numbers more than 1,750 strong.
As always, send me your urban wood stories, photos and experiences.
I hope you enjoy this edition.
Rich Christianson
Communications Director
Illinois Wood Utilization Team

READ THE JUNE 2018 ILLINOIS URBAN WOOD UPDATE



ADDING VALUE TO URBAN TREES: TWO UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AT MSU

What can we do with urban trees after they need to be removed?  Two upcoming workshops help answer that question. The workshops are being held to promote the launch of the Michigan Urban Wood Network, a new group focused on finding the highest and best use for trees removed from Michigan’s community landscapes.

Each event will begin with overview presentations by area experts and will follow with hands-on field demonstrations. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $35 for each workshop and includes full lunch. Please notify the planning team of any special dietary needs after registration.

 

View Workshop Agenda: Adding Value to Urban Wood: Small Batch Kiln Drying Workshop

REGISTER NOW

WHEN:    Monday, July 9, 2018 – 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
WHO:      Sawmill owners, woodworkers, and other wood industry members
WHERE: Michigan State University Department of Forestry, 480 Wilson Road, Room #338, East Lansing

 

View Workshop Agenda: Actionable Strategies for Managing Wood from Urban & Community Trees

REGISTER NOW

WHEN:     Tuesday, July 10, 2018 – 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
WHO:       Arborists, community foresters, and other land managers
WHERE:  MSU Department of Forestry, 480 Wilson Road, Room #216. East Lansing

Qualify to win a free workshop registration! Please help us understand your organization’s needs better by completing one of our surveys: Sawmill Survey or Municipal & Tree Care Industry Survey.



IWF Urban Wood Seminar Gains Diverse Sponsorship Support

Seminar focused on repurposing felled community trees receives solid sponsorship push from Wood-Mizer, Richelieu, Dynabrade and Safety Speed Manufacturing.

 

An intriguing mix of companies exhibiting at the International Woodworking Fair (IWF) have signed on as sponsors of “The Urban Wood Movement Is NOW! Come Join the Movement.” The free 90-minute seminar is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Friday, August 24 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

The diverse cast of urban wood seminar sponsors includes Wood-Mizer, Richelieu, Dynabrade and Safety Speed Manufacturing.

“It is extremely gratifying to see these four major companies throw their support behind the concept of utilizing community and landscape trees at the end of their service as lumber and wood products when possible,” said Rich Christianson, a representative of the Urban Wood Network, organizer of the event. “We’re excited to educate woodworkers about the benefits of networking with local tree care professionals and sawyers to use locally reclaimed lumber in their custom projects.”

Featured presenters will include Dwayne Sperber, owner of Wudeward Urban Forest Products of Milwaukee, WI; Jennifer Alger, CEO of Far West Forest Products of Sheridan, CA; and a representative of the Virginia Urban Wood Group. Each of the presentations will shighlight opportunities to repurpose urban wood otherwise destined for the chipper or landfill to make high-quality lumber, slabs, furniture, flooring and other wood products.

About the Sponsors
Wood-Mizer of Indianapolis, IN, (booth 6575) is the lead sponsor of the IWF urban wood seminar. As a world-wide leader in the manufacture of narrowband portable and industrial sawmills, Wood-Mizer has long been a strong advocate of repurposing trees felled in the urban wood as lumber and wood products. The company’s diverse product offering also includes wideband sawmilling equipment, resaws, kilns, moulders/planers, pallet recycling equipment, and bandsaw blades.

“With Wood-Mizer’s thin-kerf blade technology, diseased and dying city trees can find new life in a piece of furniture that could have otherwise gone to waste,” said Darryl Floyd, COO of Wood-Mizer. “Throughout the past decade, Wood-Mizer has seen a major influx of successful businesses who are utilizing urban sourced wood for their sawmilling operations and we are proud to manufacture a product that enables small businesses to be profitable with an underutilized resource. While Wood-Mizer has been educating woodworkers about the positive environmental and economic impact of urban wood for years, the Urban Wood Seminar at IWF 2018 will be another step forward in saving more trees from going into the waste stream.”

Among the products Wood-Mizer will exhibit at IWF is the LT40 Hydraulic Wide portable sawmill. This industry workhorse for producing quality lumber fast and easily features a 34-inch width of cut and 21-foot log length capacity. Wood-Mizer will also show the MP260 and MP360 four-sided planers/moulders. These single-pass machines can be used to manufacture flooring, planed boards, crown moulding, cabinet trim, door and window frames and furniture components. 

Richelieu of Saint Laurent, QC, (booth 1604) is one of the largest distributors and manufacturers of specialty hardware and complementary products in North America. Richelieu operates more than 50 distribution centers to service over 80,000 customers engaged in the manufacture of kitchen and bath cabinets, closets and storage spaces, and home and office furnishings.

Richelieu will continue the year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary at IWF 2018. The company will display its latest innovations in hardware, fasteners, lighting, storage solutions and more.

Dynabrade of Clarence, NY, (booth 8121) has been designing and manufacturing high-quality portable abrasive power tools in the United States for more than 50 years. Dynabrade also offers dust collection solutions and accessories for its abrasive power tools. “Dynabrade is a company that is going through a “Going Green” program,” said Andy Mandell, marketing manager. “We’re eliminating waste and creating a new recycling program. It’s fantastic to see old wood serving new purposes. and Dynabrade is proud to be a part of it.

Dynabrade will introduce the Dynorbital Extreme Random Orbital Sander line at IWF. It features an ergonomic design with a tactile soft grip over-mold for a comfortable feel. The 12,000 rpm more has an improved rotor design for enhanced power.

Safety Speed Manufacturing of Ham Lake, MN, (booth 6013) is a U.S. manufacturer of high-quality panel processing machinery. Safety Speeds product line includes a full line of vertical panel saws, panel routers, widebelt sanders, edgebanders, screw pocket machines and sign-making equipment. Tom Houska, marketing manager of Safety Speed, said supporting the urban wood movement is an extension of the company’s environmental initiatives. “We are constantly aiming to decrease resource consumption through improved efficiency in our manufacturing processes, eliminate unnecessary resource use and decrease the amount of waste produced through our manufacturing activities.”

At IWF 2018, Safety Speed will demonstrate a manufacturing work cell to more efficiently process panels. The integrated solution includes the 7400 vertical panel saw, Conquest 23-spindle line boring machine, 72GP glue pot edgebander and SPM 301 screw pocket machine, which will make its debut at IWF.

 

Note: While admission to this program is free, advanced registration is required to guarantee a seat. Register at IWFAtlanta.com.

For information about the IWF Urban Wood seminar, contact Rich Christianson at 773-822-6750; richc.illinoisurbanwood@gmail.com.

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About the Urban Wood Network
The Urban Wood Network (UWN) operates from funding provided by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern, State and Private Forestry Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program. UWN has opened up membership to other state urban wood organizations as well as individual companies and entities. The four state partners include: Illinois Wood Utilization Team; Michigan Urban Wood Network; Missouri Department of Conservation; and Wisconsin Urban Wood.



Video: Introducing the Urban Salvaged & Reclaimed Woods Network

Jennifer Alger, CEO of Far West Forest Products in Sheridan, CA, is a long-time proponent of repurposing trees salvaged from the urban forest, as lumber and wood products. She recently took the lead in launching the Urban Salvage & Reclaimed Wood Network to bring together urban wood stakeholders west of the Rockies. Alger will participate in the expert panel assembled for the seminar, “The Urban Wood Revolution Is NOW! Come Join the Network,” scheduled for Aug. 24 at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta.

Learn more about Urban Salvaged & Reclaimed Woods Network.



Wood-Mizer Acquires Swedish Manufacturer of 4-sided Planer/Moulders

Wood-Mizer has expanded its product range to include woodworking equipment with the acquisition of Swedish company, MOReTENs AB. Included are four-sided planer/moulders, table saws, spindle moulders and CNC routers, plus log home building machinery.

“Throughout our history, Wood-Mizer has been committed to providing the best quality equipment to process logs into finished wood products,” said Wood-Mizer President and CEO Richard Vivers. “The affordable and versatile moulder and planer product lines from MOReTENs have been proven worldwide for decades, and are now backed by the high-quality service and support network customers expect from Wood-Mizer.”

The founder and owner of MOReTENs, Bo Mårtensson, has joined Wood-Mizer as the General Director of the factory in Ostersund, Sweden. The factory in Sweden marks Wood-Mizer’s fifth manufacturing plant throughout the world including three facilities in the USA and one in Poland.

Wood-Mizer recently began offering new planers/moulders under the Wood-Mizer name through its distribution network. Read the full press release about the acquisition.

Wood-MIzer is the lead sponsor of the seminar “The Urban Wood Revolution Is NOW! Come Join the Movement,” scheduled for Aug. 24 at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta.



More Than 1,750 Strong! Urban Wood Network LinkedIn Community

The Urban Wood Network’s LinkedIn page (formerly Urban Forest Product Alliance) is your 24/7 source for news, inspiration and commentary from North America and beyond.

As of this writing, the UWN’s LinkedIn community numbers 1,757 members. It’s a great resource for networking with your peers and finding new partners up and down the urban wood supply chain from arborists and sawyers through lumber sources and woodworkers.

Here are a few samples of recent postings on the UWN LinkedIn site:

So what are you waiting for? If you are not already a member, dive in!

Urban Woodworking Network LinkedIn



MAY 18 Update: Researchers Sound the Alarm on Urban Tree Loss

A new study by researchers of the U.S. Forest Service estimates that U.S. urban areas are losing about 36 million trees per year. You can read a summary about the study, with a link to a more in-depth report, in this month’s Illinois Urban Wood Update.

No doubt, I think its fair to say that a good number of these 36 million trees could produce lumber to make things. But I think it’s also fair to say that probably only a very small percentage of the lumber-bearing trees have had a date with a sawmill.

The wasted opportunities to repurpose more of our felled and fallen urban tress points to the need for municipalities to incorporate urban wood utilization in their urban forestry plans. Some do, but far more don’t.

In this regard and on a more encouraging note, you can read how 95 Chicago-area communities recently signed the Greenest Region Compact. The GRC is a guide that cities can use to implement local actions to promote sustainability and create healthy, thriving communities. One of the goals of the GRC is “Harvest and utilize high-value wood products from trees that must be removed.”

Kudos to Edith Makra, director of environmental initiatives at the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and former chair of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team, who authored the GRC.

Meanwhile, the emerald ash borer has finally found its way into Vermont. It’s amazing that it took this long considering how the EAB has ravished ash trees in surrounding states. As state foresters brace for the deadly beetle’s invasion, they are already considering how they might put some of the tree casualties to use.

Finally, the free urban wood seminar being organized by the Urban Wood Network at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta, has three new sponsors. Richelieu Hardware, Dynabrade and Safety Speed Manufacturing have joined lead sponsor Wood-Mizer in supporting this special presentation at North America’s largest gathering of professional woodworkers. I’m looking forward to moderating the session, “The Urban Revolution Is NOW! Come Join the Movement,” scheduled for August 24 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

READ THE MAY 2018 ILLINOIS URBAN WOOD UPDATE