Tag: Urban Forest

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



Mid-Atlantic Urban Wood Forum Set for Aug. 15 & 16

Mid-Atlantic-Urban-Wood-Forum-2017The Virginia Department of Forestry in partnership with the Virginia Urban Wood Group, Trees Virginia, and U.S. Forest Service, is proud to sponsor the Mid-Atlantic Urban Wood Forum:  “Applied Practices in Utilization,” Aug. 15-16 in Richmond, VA. Thetwo-day event will take place at the Richmond Marriott Short Pump.

It will feature a host of urban wood experts from across the United States  providing techniques and examples of successful urban wood utilization programs and projects from government, associations and entrepreneurs.  Among the speakers is Jessica Simons, lead of Michigan’s Urban Wood Marketplace. Michigan is a partner in the Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle project will Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin collectively known as the Urban Wood Network

The target audience for this forum includes arborists, tree care companies, forestry professionals, service providers, wood crafters, municipality staff, academia and portable sawmill owners.

Registration is $140 and includes breakfast and lunch both days and an Aug. 16 field trip.

Click here to view the agenda.

Click here to learn more and register.

 



The Urban Wood Network Launches New Website

Urban-Wood-Network-Home-PageCrystal Falls, MI — The Urban Wood Network, a multi-state collaborative project that is promoting full-circle urban forest management, announces the launch of its new website: urbanwoodnetwork.org. The website serves as an industry resource for those interested in: adding urban wood to their existing business model; starting a new company dedicated to urban wood; joining a statewide network for urban wood providers; or starting a new network in their state.

The Urban Wood Network is made up of urban forestry efforts in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin, working collaboratively to capture the full worth of community trees from seed to sawdust. This often means expanding the public benefits of urban trees, from shade to finished wood products.

Urban wood, which is wood processed from felled urban and community trees, can be used for a wide range of products. Any piece of wood that can produce lumber can be used for a broad range of general and specialty use products from flooring to one piece table tops. Lesser quality wood can be used for playground/trail chips, mulch, firewood, or pulpwood. The Urban Wood Network always promotes the highest use that is economically achievable.

“We’ve learned from experience that the only way to have an ultimate impact, to truly establish full circle urban forestry management, is to work cooperatively from arborist to value-added manufacturer,” said Don Peterson, on behalf of the Urban Wood Network. “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 other businesses and other states to join this developing industry.”

Keys to Success
Urban wood success stories are a main feature of urbanwoodnetwork.org. The success stories highlight municipalities, arborists, sawmills, suppliers, manufacturers and makers, and design professionals that have put urban trees to better use, and demonstrate the social and economic benefits of doing so.

An interview with Recycle Ann Arbor’s Kirk Lignell tells how the urban wood supplier located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, grew dramatically after the Emerald Ash Borer destroyed local ash trees. Now Recycle Ann Arbor’s urban wood supply chain includes six different sawmills. Customers range from artisans to furniture makers.

The City of Eau Claire success story tells how this municipality partners with local sawmills through a Use Agreement, allowing them access the city’s marshalling yard to recover and utilize removed trees.

Full Circle Grant
In 2014, the four states of the Urban Wood Network received funding support for their project “Bringing Urban Forestry Full Circle: Localized Approaches for Capturing Value and Enhancing Public Benefits of Urban Forests.” Funding is from the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area, State and Private Forestry Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program.

The project aims to build regional and national awareness of the urban wood market, strengthen the urban wood supply chain, and build a common platform for the urban wood marketplace.

“It is interesting how many partners have been involved over the years, so many people at different levels trying to work together to create a strong market for urban wood products,” said Jessica Simons, on behalf of the Sustainable Resources Alliance in Michigan. “It says a lot about this kind of movement when different agencies, organizations, and businesses are excited to work together to make it happen.”

About the Urban Wood Network
The Urban Wood Network seeks to inform, collaborate, and connect to build community, business and consumer confidence in the urban wood industry. It is made up of individual and organizational efforts in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin that have been dedicated to building urban wood awareness since the early 2000s. They are united today to promote and demonstrate urban wood utilization. Learn more at www.urbanwoodnetwork.org



Duluth’s EAB Plan Promotes Wood Use; Does Your City Do the Same?

City-of-Duluth

BY RICH CHRISTIANSON

It only represents one paragraph of a 14-page document, yet it’s encouraging to see that the City of Duluth, MN, incorporated urban wood utilization in its Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan originated in July 2015 and finalized in November 2016.

That one small yet significant paragraph reads: “After all bark including ½ inch of sapwood is removed from ash, the wood can be used for lumber. This lumber could be used for park projects including mulching, constructing benches, playground equipment, etc. If ash mulch is to be used, the chips must be chipped at no greater than 1” X 1” in two dimensions.”

Duluth officials started crafting the EAB management knowing that it was just a matter of time before the deadly beetle would invade the area. The first confirmation that the EAB had arrived was in St. Louis County in October 2015.

The ultimate death toll of ash trees in Minnesota is expected to be huge. As the introduction of the management plant notes, “According to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota has the highest volume of ash trees in the U.S. with almost a billion forestland and urban ash trees. Duluth has about 2,404 boulevard ash trees alone, not including park or privately owned ash.”

Key topics of Duluth’s EAB management plan include:

  • Monitoring and Inspection
  • Insecticide Use
  • Community Outreach
  • Ash Tree Removal
  • Ash Wood Disposal
  • Reforestation and Canopy Replacement
  • Biological Control

I am constantly amazed that many of the municipal urban forestry plans I skim through focus on tree planting, maintenance and disposal without even a mention of wood utilization. I’d be very interested to learn of other cities that like Duluth that have enacted community tree management plans that actively promote a second life for its ash trees as mulch and lumber.

Drop me a line at richc.illinoisurbanwood@gmail.com.

Read Duluth’s EAB Management Plan.

 

 

 



City Forest Products Slates April 28 Launch Party

City-Forest-Products-Accent-TableCity Forest Products LLC (CFP), described by its principal as “a new social enterprise that creates value from urban woods,” will host a launch party 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Friday, April 28 at Standing Passengers, 1458 W. Chicago Ave, Chicago.

According to CFP founder Curtis Witek, “Our mission is to revitalize communities through the manufacturing and sale of sustainable products crafted from salvaged urban woods.”

CFP is based in Chicago’s West Town area. Witek is actively seeking local partners engaged in restoration and community development work, including woodworkers and marketers.

In its early stage of development, CFP’s products include accent tables, cutting boards and cheese boards all crafted from wood salvaged from local trees. These products will be sold through CFP’s website and at “various festival events around Chicago.”

CFP pledges to “dedicate 5% of our sales proceeds into a ‘Restoration Fund,’ which we reinvest in on-the-ground ecological restoration and community development projects.”

The launch party is meant to introduce CFP to other urban wood stakeholders. Admission to the celebration is free. Click here to RSVP.

For additional information about CFP, visit CityForestProducts.com or contact Witek at cityforestproducts@gmail.com.



Repurposing Urban Wood Waste as Biomass

Wood-Chip-LandfillForest2Market recently posted an interesting article worth a read by all managers of urban wood, landfills and biomass operations.

“Urban Wood Waste: Are You Overlooking a Viable Feedstock?” delves into the potential economic benefits of burning urban wood waste to create power or heat instead of landfilling.

The article states, “Current economics favor funneling wood waste into the market, whether the market is for fuel, mulch or other uses. This is because the disposal of wood waste into a landfill adds zero net value. Rather, introducing wood waste into the market adds value as it can become a feedstock for a biomass power facility, for example.”

The Forest2Market article also looks at reasons for various stakeholders to look at using urban wood waste as biomass. For example, here’s some considerations for a landfill operation to make the shift:

  1. The landfill’s need for daily or intermediate cover (cover dirt is expensive and often difficult to find)
  2. State waste reduction goal credits the landfill might secure by using the wood waste for daily or intermediate cover
  3. A desire to save valuable landfill space for materials which have no alternative disposal options
  4. An end-market consumer with feedstock demand requirements.

Read the full article at Forest2Market.



Horigan Urban Forest Products Re-launches Website

HUFP-WebsiteHorigan Urban Forest Products Inc., one of Chicagoland’s longest-standing urban wood enterprises, has redesigned its website: www.horiganufp.com.

Horigan Urban Forest Products is owned and operated by the husband-wife team of Bruce and Erika Horigan. The company received the Governor’s Pollution Prevention Award in 2007. Bruce Horigan, a certified arborist since 1979, was honored with a Special Recognition award by the Illinois Arborist Association in 2008 for advancing the cause of wood recycling in the urban environment.

The company mills and dry kilns lumber, slabs and burls. The products are sold to professional woodworkers, hobbyists, consumers and others at its facility at 7255 N. St. Louis in Skokie, IL.

In addition, Horigan Urban Forest Products makes flooring, custom furniture and specialty items like picture frames and bowls from community trees.

Horigan Urban Forest Products is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Phone 847-568-1340 or visit the website, where you can also request to receive the company’s newsletter.



Chicago’s Sister City Has an Urban Wood Brother in Sawmill Sid

Sawmill-SidThe Illinois Urban Wood Utilization Team pays homage to Sawmill Sid, one of our brethren repurposing urban forest trees one log at a time in the Toronto area.

Sawmill Sid, a family-owned business, claims it kept nearly 220,000 cubic feet of urban wood out of the landfill last year. This wood was milled and into lumber, furniture, flooring, beams, and corporate gifts.

Beyond those types of products, Sawmill Sid aims to “to do our part in building sustainable communities. Our goal is to re-purpose our wood products and turn the by-products into biofuel.”

On a closer-to-home reason for being, Sawmill Sid was recognized for contributing wood to build “buddy benches” at all Simcoe County District School Board elementary schools.

Learn more at sawmillsid.ca.

 



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.



Video: Urban Hardwoods a Growing Company

Urban Hardwoods of Seattle, WA, is an impressive and growing concern that illustrates the potential of taking the urban wood movement to dazzling new heights.

Urban Hardwoods mills urban trees into lumber and processes it into beautiful furniture. What’s more, the company has showrooms in Seattle, San Francisco and soon at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles.

Check out this video to gain a better appreciation of this trendsetting company.

Learn more at urbanhardwoods.com.