Category: News

Video: Richmond Hill Educates Residents about EAB Scourge

Ash trees used to make up 12% of the urban forest canopy in Richmond Hill, ON, Canada. That’s before the emerald ash borer descended on the city killing thousands of trees over the last few years. The city has produced a pair of videos to educate residents about its fight against the pesky beetle. The video above illustrates some of the ways the town is repurposing its ash tree removals.

The video accessible from this link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NY5i7TyNaKs&feature= – educates residents about Richmond HIll’s EAB Management Strategy. It details the EAB problem, how to detect a tree that has been infested and chemical treatments that can be used to keep an ash tree safe from infestation.

Learn more about Richmond Hill’s Emerald Ash Borer Management Strategy.

 



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.



Cook County Forest Preserves’ Tree Repurposed for Unique Award Plaques

By Cherie LeBlanc Fisher

In July 2017, Chicago Wilderness presented its first-ever Force of Nature Awards to 10 people and organizations doing outstanding work on behalf of the environment across the region. The physical awards given to the recipients were as unique and special as the awardees themselves and a remarkable example of wood reutilization.

Each award plaque is a large “tree cookie” with the bark left around the outer edge. The tree came from a Forest Preserves of Cook County site.

Forest Preserves of Cook County sign shop foreman Roy McNaughton designed and created them by hand. Each is about the size of  a large dinner plate: roughly 12 inches in diameter and approximately 1.5 inches thick. Each award is unique in shape, color and wood grain.

McNaughton began the transformation by using a belt sander to smooth the rough, chainsaw-cut organic surface of each cookie. Since both sides would display text for the final awards, McNaughton said they required multiple passes with various grits of sand paper to create a smooth surface. He then sealed the wood with numerous coats of clear urethane. The Chicago Wilderness logo and text were printed on a clear vinyl laminate and an additional layer of clear gloss laminate was applied to seal and protect the text. The adhesive-backed graphics were carefully cut and transferred to each cookie.

The back of each award received another laminate sheet that reads, “The Chicago Wilderness Force of Nature Awards recognize people and organizations whose environmental conservation, restoration, advocacy, and/or educational activities extend above and beyond the ordinary and are inspirational examples for others.”

McNaughton estimated that it took him about 60 hours to create all 10 award plaques. The Forest Preserves of Cook County, one of the lead partners in the Chicago Wilderness alliance, generously donated the tree from which the cookies were cut plus Roy’s time, tools and labor to create the awards.

I had the pleasure to emcee the Chicago Wilderness awards ceremony at the Chicago Botanic Garden in July. Recipients were delighted with the tree cookie plaques and eager to display them at their respective organizations.

Learn more about Chicago Wilderness’ 2017 Force of Nature & Excellence in Ecological Restoration Program.

Cherie LeBlanc Fisher works for the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station. Her current projects include the Forest Service’s Urban Forest Inventory program to collect tree and land use data in the Chicago region. She also participates in the Chicago Region Tree’s Initiative’s Tree Stewardship and Planting Team.

 



Illinois Sustainable Technology Center Seeks Businesses for Wood Heating Study

Project examines potential cost benefits of converting from propane and other fossil fuels to wood-fired boiler systems.

ISTC-LogoCHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) at the University of Illinois invites businesses throughout the state to apply for a free engineering study to learn about the potential cost savings of using low-value wood residues as heat.

Illinois businesses have until December 31, 2017 to sign up for this offer to evaluate the feasibility of switching from propane or other fuel sources to wood biomass. The ISTC is wrapping up a two-year wood fuel study made possible through a matching grant of $249,328 from the U.S. Forest Service. Partners of the study include Western Illinois University’s Value-Added Sustainable Development Center and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus.

So far, the ISTC has helped six greenhouse operations of various sizes gain insight into the costs of converting to wood heat, including the return on investment of installing a wood boiler system. Now the ISTC is expanding the scope of its study by offering the opportunity of a free engineering study to all Illinois businesses.

Those selected to participate in the research project will receive assistance with project scoping, engineering and financial analysis. Small-value applications of less than $10,000 may be provided direct cash assistance while larger applications will be provided in-kind support of engineering design and grant preparation.

An estimated one million tons of renewable wood in Illinois could be used to displace the use of petroleum-based propane and other fossil fuels. The ISTC’s project is examining the scientific, economic and cultural aspects that would support the expansion of utilizing low-value wood residues for energy.

Businesses interested in learning more about applying to have a wood fuel engineering study conducted should contact Sriraam Chandrasekaran, lead research engineer of the ISTC, at 217-300-1477 or schandr@illinois.edu.

About the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center
The ISTC’s mission is to encourage and assist citizens, businesses, and government agencies to prevent pollution, conserve natural resources, and reduce waste to protect human health and the environment of Illinois and beyond. ISTC integrates applied research, technical assistance, and information services to advance efforts in the areas of pollution prevention; water and energy conservation; and materials recycling and beneficial reuse. Learn more at www.istc.illinois.edu.



Why Schmidt Custom Floors Joined the Urban Wood Movement

Urban-Wood-Network-LogoSchmidt Custom Floors of Waukesha, WI, is one of many urban wood success stories featured on the new UrbanWoodNetwork.org website. 

Wayne Lepak, who handles sales training and product procurement, explained how Schmidt Custom Floors expanded its product offerings to include hardwood flooring made with locally-sourced urban wood.

“We get a number of customers asking for reclaimed wood, and urban wood is another specialty item that has a nice story customers want,” Lepak said. “Urban wood flooring hasn’t been around for that long. In some cases, we introduce it to customers who have never heard of it before. We also offer urban wood availability to architects and design professionals in search of it.”

Read the full interview with Lepak and other urban wood success stories at the Urban Wood Network website.

 



Agenda Set for Oct. 10 Urban Wood Use Webcast

Illinois Wood Utilization Team

The Fall Urban Wood Utilization webcast, hosted by the Wood Education and Resource Center, is scheduled for 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10.

To participate as a guest, join the webcast by connecting to Adobe Connect web meeting and follow directions. For audio by phone, dial 888-844-9904; access code 7578516.

Urban Wood Utilization Webcast Agenda
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Eastern

Focus: Current urban wood utilization activities

 

1:00 p.m. Introduction and  Overview
– Ed Cesa, US Forest Service, Wood Education and Resource Center

1:10 p.m. Update on International Society of Arboriculture’s BMPs for Urban Wood
– Eric Wiseman, VA Tech

1:20 p.m. Update on the Four State Bringing Urban Forestry Full Circle Project
– Don Peterson, Glacierland Resource Conservation & Development Council

1:40 p.m. VA Urban Wood Group Update
– Joe Lehnen, VA Department of Forestry

1:50 p.m. Firewood Processing Productivity Study Update
– Harry Watt, NCSU Wood Products Extension

2:00 p.m. The Urban Forest Resource – Building Supply Chains for the Future
– John Stephenson, Stephenson Tree Care

3:00 p,m. Final Comments and Date for Next Webcast
Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 1:00 pm Eastern



Enter Rebuilding Exchange’s Contest to Win Nick Offerman Tix

Tickets to see Nick Offerman Dec. 1 at the Chicago Theater Offerman-Woodshopawait the winners of a contest sponsored by the Rebuilding Exchange.

Offerman, best known for his portrayal of Ron Swanson in the popular sit-com Parks & Recreation, is coming to Chicago as part of his Full Bush stand-up comedy tour. HIs passion for the stage and screen is reviled by his love of woodworking. A native of southern Illinois, he operates Offerman Woodshop in Los Angeles. His newest book, “Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop,” includes several solid references to using local urban woods. In the documentary film, “Felled.” Offerman weighs in on urban wood utilization.

The Rebuilding Exchange, a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to creating a market for reclaimed building materials. presents three ways to win one of three sets of tickets for Offerman’s Dec. 1 show.

1. For every $10 donated to Rebuilding Exchange, the donor receives a chance to win tickets..

2. Each registrant for a Rebuilding Exchange workshop reserved through Oct. 31 gets you a chance to win.

3. The free way to win is to follow the Rebuilding Exchange on Facebook “then tag the friend you’d like to take with you if you won and like this post.” By following the Rebuilding Exchange on Instagram, entrants can receive a second free entry.

The entry deadline is Oct. 31, 2017. Winners will be announced on Nov. 1.



Southeast Urban Wood Exchange Connects Urban Forestry Professionals

Urban-Wood-Exchange-Logo 209214

UrbanWoodExchange.org fosters creation of local networks to utilize felled community trees for lumber and wood products whenever possible.

Raleigh, NC  — The Southeast Urban Wood Exchange continues to enroll a growing number of forest and wood product professionals who share the goal of putting urban tree removals to their highest possible use.

UrbanWoodExchange.org is a new clearinghouse for businesses ranging from professional tree care and removal services through sawyers, kiln dryers and lumber suppliers to connect and grow local urban wood networks. The Exchange features a searchable database that makes it easier for businesses to find potential urban wood partners in their area.

North Carolina has served as the pilot project of the new website created to encompass the 13 states located within the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region 8. Already dozens of businesses throughout North Carolina have posted business and product listings on the Exchange.

Underwritten through a grant from the U.S. Forest Service, qualified businesses can quickly list their products and services for free by logging onto UrbanWoodExchange.org. Product listings include Cut Logs, Milled Lumber and Firewood/Chips. Service listings include Arborists, Sawyers, Kiln Operators and Lumber Sellers.

An underlying mission of the Southeast Urban Wood Exchange is helping to facilitate the highest and best possible use of community trees at the end of their service. These trees are felled due to old age, insect infestation, storm damage, utility excavation and other circumstances. They are never meant to be removed solely for their wood value.

“Not every tree that is removed in the urban forest can yield lumber,” said Nancy Stairs, Ur”ban Forestry Program Coordinator of the North Carolina Forest Service (NCFS). “Yet, too many trees that could be milled are ending up in a landfill. The Southeast Urban Wood Exchange aims to help divert as many logs as possible and feasible from the waste stream by promoting the opportunity to convert them into value-added products. In some cases that means lumber or slabs, in others the best possible use is firewood or mulch. In any regard, better utilizing this resource is not only good for the environment, but for growing local economies.

“We hope and strongly encourage all businesses with a stake in the Southeast’s urban forests to get listed on the Exchange,” said added. “Working together we can build markets that offer woodworkers a unique source of wood supply and make it easier for environmentally-conscious private and public landowners to find professionals who can give trees that must come down a new life as furniture and other wood products.”

To learn more about Southeast Urban Wood Exchange and posting free business and product listings, visit UrbanWoodExchange.org.

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About the Urban Wood Exchange
The Southeast Urban Wood Exchange is a free online directory of urban wood products and services administered by the North Carolina Forest Service.s Urban & Community Forestry Program and funded through the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region 8. Region 8 encompasses the following 13 states:  Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. For more information visit UrbanWoodExchange.org



U.S. Forest Service Updates Nation’s Urban Forest Inventory

UFIAThe U.S. Forest Service is continuing to annually inventory and monitor the nation’s urban forests, an activity initiated by the 2014 Farm Bill. In its 2016 Business Report, The Forest Service notes, “Urban forests are the trees and other vegetation growing along streets and waterways, around buildings, in backyards and parks of our cities and towns…. For the purposes of Forest Industry and Analysis (FIA) sampling, urban forests are those treed areas nested within U.S. Census CBSA’s (metropolitan areas), UAUC (urban areas and clusters), and city/places.

Urban FIA (UFIA) started with two cities in 2014: Baltimore, MD, and Austin, TX. In 2015, data collection in both Austin and Baltimore continued and UFIA expanded data collection to include Milwaukee and Madison, WI; Houston, TX; Des Moines, IA; Providence, RI; and St. Louis, MO. Data collection expanded to include Chicago was added in 2016, as well as Burlington, VT;
Rochester, NY; Pittsburgh, PA; Cleveland, OH; Kansas City and Springfield, MO.

In 2017, all four FIA units will have active UFIA projects in operation as the program expands into San Diego, CA; Denver and Colorado Springs, CO; Lincoln, NE; Philadelphia, PA; Detroit, MI; Wichita, KS; Fargo, ND; Portland, ME; and Minneapolis, MN. In 2018, data collection will include New York City, NY; Portland, OR; and Dover, DE.

Read the Forest Service’s 2016 Business Report.



160-Year-Old Oak Tree Begets Three Tables for Riverside’s Village Hall

urban wood

Paul Meyer of Woodstock Woodworks, left; Jessica Frances, Riverside village manager; Dan DeSerto of Bull Valley Hardwood; and Michael Collins, Riverside village forester, pose with one of the three trustee tables crafted from a 160-year-old oak tree.

Three custom tables, crafted from the wood of an estimated 160-year-old oak tree downed in a March 2016 storm, were delivered earlier this month to the Riverside village hall.

The story of the tree’s transformation into the trustee tables, was chronicled by the Riverside-Brookfield Landmark. Three key players of the project included Michael Collins, village forester of Riverside; Dan DeSerto, owner of Bull Valley Hardwood; and Paul Meyer, owner of Woodstock Woodworks & Studio Ltd.

Collins was inspired to have the old oak made into something after it was bowled over by a wind storm in March 2016. He sought and got the blessing and backing of Riverside Village Manager Jessica Frances and the village board of trustees. Collins called DeSerto of Bull Valley Hardwoods to mill a 30-inch–diameter  log from the tree and dry the lumber it yielded. DeSerto recommended local custom woodworker Paul Meyers to create the Prairie-style furniture.

The story also gives a shout out to Edith Makra and the Illinois Utilization Team.

Read the full article.