Category: News

Dead Ash Trees Come to Life in Chainsaw Sculptures

 



Hoppe Tree Service Takes Full Circle Approach

Hoppe Tree Service of Milwaukee, WI, illustrates how a tree care specialist can branch out into producing urban lumber.

Hoppe Tree Service, is a full-service tree care company, that third generation owner August Hoppe says cut “our removed trees into firewood and not thinking anything of it.”

That approach changed in 2014, when Hoppe Tree Service purchased a launched the Urban Wood Lab and stated milling some of the logs of those removed urban trees into lumber. The company operates a retail store catering to professional custom woodworkers, hobbyists, etc.

In a 2017 interview with the Urban Wood Network, Hoppe said urban lumber sales were still a fraction of the company’s annual sales but had a great upside. “Right now it is still low, 3 to 5 percent of our business, but the company is growing at a fast rate. Within five years, I predict it will become between 5 and 10 percent of our revenue. Our goal would be to get to a place where we both remove trees and take on logs from other sources, becoming more of an aggregate of urban logs.”

To grow Urban Wood Lab’s business, Hoppe said, “We cross-brand to our existing client base. Telling the story of urban wood and providing the uniqueness of natural edge wood slabs are both working very well for us right now. We also participate in local networking and exhibiting events, such as home and garden shows. We market to anyone who has an appreciation for the uniqueness of wood.”

Read the full interview on UrbanWoodNetwork.org.

Learn more about the Urban Wood Lab.



Green America Honors GA Urban Wood Business

Eutree, an urban lumber business based in Villa Rica, GA, was one of two green businesses to receive the fall People & Planet Award from Green America.

Eutree is a sawmill and lumber supplier established in 2010 to divert what would otherwise be urban tree waste into flooring and other wood products. The company plans to use the $5,000 award to install log collections containers at tree service locations so that it can more efficiently collect them to convert into lumber.

According to EU’s website, the company’s founder Sims Acuff, an arborist in Atlanta, “got tired of throwing away logs… It’s so important that we stop neglecting the treasure of old-growth trees around us and begin utilizing the timber that is being remove from the people’s yard.”

The other fall award winner is Nature’s Magic, a woman-owned business in Athens, GA, that produces plant-based, non-toxic cleaners.

Green America is a non-profit whose “mission is to harness economic power – the strength of consumers, investors, businesses and the marketplace – to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. .



How to Improve Yields Milling ‘Out of Shape Logs’

“There are opportunities for improving yield in out-of-shape hardwood saw logs. Good decision-making is important. To maximize the yield and economic value of the end products, have a plan before the log is opened up. Th ere are more critical decisions to be made on the outside of a log than the inside, because that is where most of the clear wood is located. Finally, maximizing yield has to be in balance with sawing times, and thus sawing costs.”

This is just a sampling of the advice served up in a 2014 report authored by Neal Bennett of the U.S Forest Service, Northern Research Station, in Princeton, WV. The title of the report is “Sawing Methods for Improving Lumber Yield Recovery of Out-of-Shape Hardwood Saw Logs.”

Here’s the abstract: “Not every saw log is straight and cylindrical in shape. In fact, logs are commonly out-of-round, tapered, or crooked, and often a combination of these shapes. Sawmill operators employ every means to recover as much yield as possible from each log. Yield recovery can be the difference between a profitable and a non-profitable log. There are opportunities for improving yield in out-of-shape hardwood saw logs while still maintaining lumber quality.”

The report includes milling strategies for logs that are out of round, tapered or crooked.

Read the report.



UWN Webinar #4: Starting a State Urban Wood Network

“Starting an Urban Wood Network,” the fourth in a series of informative presentations in the Urban Wood Networks’s “How to Do Urban Wood,” webinar series, is available on demand.

This webinar provides an overview of the industry, active networks, potential funding options, organizational structures, and guidance on how to start a state network.

Featured Presenters
Paul Morrison – The Wood Cycle, Oregon, WI.  Paul is owner of The Wood Cycle and a founding member of Wisconsin Urban Wood. Paul formed the Wood Cycle in 2001 with an intentional focus on what is now termed urban woodworking. The Wood Cycle employs seven full time workers; produces its own urban lumber, supplying its own custom shop, two Habitat for Humanity ReStore locations, and many other woodworkers in search of live edge slabs. Paul enjoys mentoring new urban wood businesses, with a goal of saving newly-networked members from many of the early struggles of his own experience.  Paul also authored “Tree to Table: Emergence of the Urban Wood Movement.”

Dwayne Sperber – Wudeward Urban Forest Products. Wudeward Urban Forest Products Owner Dwayne Sperber has always been interested in architecture, wood, and the environment. He was introduced to urban wood nearly twenty years ago, and with this intersect of his three passions, Dwayne immediately became a major advocate for its use. He has worked tirelessly to build awareness and markets for the abundance of wood being removed due to insect, disease, or circumstance. Dwayne is a founding member of Wisconsin Urban Wood, a nonprofit focused on building networks of people and businesses that links material streams and availability of quality urban wood products and services across Wisconsin and beyond. He also serves as the Wisconsin State Lead for the Urban Wood Network and is an appointed member of the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council.

Matthew Staudenmaier – City of Eau Claire, WI. Matt is the Forestry Department Supervisor for the City of Eau Claire, WI, which is a member of Wisconsin Urban Wood. He leads a team of five full-time 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 its members to utilize removed trees from the city’s urban wood yard.

Watch the Webinar Series

Webinar #1: Urban Tree Removals – Reducing Costs and Promoting Utilization

Webinar #2: Urban Lumber – How to Produce and Market It

Webinar #3: Producing Urban Wood Products – What, How and Where

Webinar #4: Starting a State Urban Wood Network



Video: Urban Sawmilling in Hawaii

Episode V of Wood-Mizer’s Urban Sawmilling Series profiles Kamuela Hardwoods of Hawaii. The business was started a dozen years ago by Josh Greenspan, an ISA certified arborist, and Alex Woodbury, a sustainable building consultant and woodworker.

“Up until recently, as much as 33% of our waste stream produced by our small island population of under 200,000 people was in the form of green waste, and in that green waste was an untold number of millable urban trees,” Wooodbury said. “For almost a decade we’ve been diverting some of that waste and producing beautiful sustainable lumber with it.”

Binge watch the entire Urban Sawmilling Series.

Learn more about Kamuela Hardwoods.



Put Your Urban Wood Business on the Map

Dovetail Partners Inc. of Minneapolis is a leader in helping advance forest and wood products sustainability programs, including many tied to the urban wood movement.

The non-profit’s website includes an interactive map highlighting “Buy Local – Wood Products Campaigns” located throughout the U.S. and Canada that focus on informing consumers of the environmental benefits and aesthetic beauty of buying wood products that are grown and produced locally. Each site marker lists the campaign’s name, its parent program or organization, and a link to its website.

Dovetail Partners welcomes qualified company’s and organizations to request to be included on the map. Contact Dovetail Partners at info@dovetailinc.org.

 



Video: Dan Cassens on ‘Milling Your Own Lumber’

Popular Woodworking has teamed up with Wood-Mizer on a seven part series, “Milling Your Own Lumber.” One of the segments features an interview with Dan Cassens, a retired professor of wood products at Purdue University, the owner of a successful Christmas tree farm and owner of Cassens Lumber in West Lafayette, IN. Those you attended the 2015 Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference will recall his excellent presentations comparing and contrasting urban wood to commercial hardwood markets, as well as his sawmill demonstrations.



UWN Webinar #3: Producing Urban Wood Products

“Producing Urban Wood Products – What, How and Where,” the third in a series of informative webinars presented by the Urban Wood Network, is available on demand.

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.

Participants will learn:

  • The diversity of products made from urban wood
  • How to connect with urban wood sources
  • How to identify markets for urban wood products
  • Urban wood products branding opportunities
  • Who to contact for assistance
  • How to partner with an urban wood network to achieve their goals

Speakers:
Rick Siewert – Wood From the Hood, MN;

Paul Hickman – Urban Ashes, MI; and

Rocky Levy – Icon Modern, IL.

Watch the Webinar Now!

https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/p4rt63uihedi/?proto=true

Learn more about the Urban Wood Network’s “How-to Do Urban Wood” webinar series.



National Wood Certification Project Update

Editor’s Note: This article was previously published in the North Carolina Urban Wood Group’s September 2018 newsletter.

By Lucy Cohn-Still
Urban & Community Forestry Specialist
NC Forest Service

While attending the International Society of Arboriculture’s 2018 Annual conference in Columbus, Ohio, I participated in the urban wood certification grant meeting with Dovetail Partners executive director Kathryn Fernholz and other key players in the Urban Wood Certification Project to increase awareness and product demand for national urban wood use. We met together to discuss and examine the existing programs that are utilized in the management and care of the urban forest to identify areas of alignment and potential for mutual recognition between compatible programs. The project also includes looking for any needs and gaps in addressing urban wood use and opportunities to increase awareness and product demand.

The scope of work for this proposal includes working with partners to develop an urban wood certification approach that could be adopted and promoted by existing programs (including The Arbor Day Foundation, Society of Municipal Arborists, Right-of-Way Stewardship Council, Utility Arborists Association, Tree Care Industry Association, and Dovetail Partners Inc.), and utilized by municipalities and businesses. The results of this collaboration would support state urban wood groups, create messaging, and be presented to various audiences and venues.

Several areas of opportunity are available for development of an urban wood certification approach and promotion of urban wood use.  The opportunities we discussed include possibilities related to:

  • Green Building Programs
  • Third-Party Forest Certification Programs
  • Third-Party Forest Certification Chain-of-Custody Programs
  • Mutual Recognition and Program Partnerships
  • Regional Activities

Urban wood use may already occur to a limited degree within green building programs and third-party forest certification programs. Further research could identify current activities in these areas to highlight possible case studies or promotional opportunities. With further development, the use of urban wood in green building could be expanded and recognition within third-party forest certification programs could be formalized.

North Carolina’s role within this project is to provide financial and technical assistance, as well as work with Virginia and other states throughout the south east to promote urban wood utilization and standards. This certification project is a national project involving several partners, but North Carolina will assist within the southeast by raising awareness and encouraging discussions about urban wood standardization and utilization. Our next step will be to develop draft pilot strategies and ideas of approaching urban wood certification.

For more information on the Urban Wood Certification Project, visit www.dovetailinc.org or contact me at Lucy.Cohn-Still@ncagr.gov.