Monthly archives: October, 2015

‘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:

For additional information, contact Kari Devine at or 877-284-3882.

Win a CFDA Creative Furnishings Award Using Urban Wood

Chicago Furniture Design Association, urban wood, emerald ash borer

In 2008, the Chicago Furniture Design Association organized the highly acclaimed “Rising from the Ashes” exhibit showcasing furniture made from dead urban ash trees.

Urban Wood / Reclaimed Materials is one of seven categories to be featured in the 2016 Creative Furnishings design awards show sponsored by the Chicago Furniture Designers Association.

Winners of the juried competition will be featured in October 2016 at the spacious fourth floor arts gallery of the Bridgeport Arts Center, 1200 W. 35th St., Chicago, IL.

The show will feature winning work of Chicagoland artists + makers of fine interior items. Each of the pieces entered for judging must fall into one or more of the following categories of interior work:

  • Wood or Metal Furniture
  • Décor Items
  • Sculpture
  • Lighting
  • Glass Work
  • Ornamental Art
  • Urban / Reclaimed Materials

Prizes will be awarded for Best in Show, 2nd and 3rd places over all, as well as categories in Urban / Reclaimed Materials and Non Furniture item.

Artisans may submit up to three pieces for a total entry fee of $35. Submission of additional entries will be charged $35 for each group of three items. The entry deadline is August 1, 2016. Download the entry form and contest rules: CFDA-Call-for-Entries.10-15

The CFDA is seeking sponsors for the contest to help cover prize money and defray costs. Contact Jeff Perkis for details.

The CFDA was responsible for organizing the highly acclaimed Rising from Ashes exhibit in 2008-2009. The exhibit showcased more than two dozen high-quality furniture designs and craftsmanship of furnishings made with wood milled from urban ash trees infested by the emerald ash borer.

Keep Spreading the News

NewsboyBy Rich Christianson

We have received awesome initial coverage to our press release announcing the inaugural Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference, March 18, 2016 at Hamburger University in Oak Brook, IL.

By my count, the press release has been posted by 11 publications and government entities. We thank the following organizations for showing our conference some love!

  • Illinois Biochair Group
  • Cabinet Makers Association
  • FDMC Magazine
  • Great Lakes Pollution Prevention Roundtable
  • Illinois Biomass Working Group
  • Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs
  • Illinois State Technology Center
  • International Interior Design Association, Illinois Chapter
  • Wood & Panel USA
  • Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America
  • Woodworking Network

Hopefully I’ve missed some postings and apologize if this is the case. Please do me a big favor and send me a link or a note to

In any event, there is still plenty of time to keep the promotional bus for the Full Circle Urban Forest conference rolling. Our next press release – coming soon – will focus on the conference speakers and topics.

Welcome to the more than 50 new subscribers who signed up to receive the monthly Illinois Urban Wood Update at last week’s highly successful Illinois Arborist Association Conference & Tradeshow in Tinley Park, IL.

Allow me to conclude by sending a huge WUT shout out to our friends at the IAA for being gracious hosts and great allies for the urban wood cause!

Illinois Wood Utilization Team States Its Case for Urban Wood at IAA Event

IAA 33rd Annual Conference & Tradeshow, Urban Wood

The Demonstration Tree was the center of exhibit floor education for climbing and chainsaw maintenance tips.

By Rich Christianson

Members of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team (IL WUT) were active participants at the Illinois Arborist Association’s 33rd Annual Conference and Trade Show, Oct. 19-21 in Tinley Park, IL.

IL WUT showcased 20 board samples of urban wood lumber at its exhibit booth, including ash, red and white oak, elm, cherry, box elder and more. Arborists and other attendees who visited the  IL WUT booth got a hands-on opportunity to see and feel high-quality lumber sliced from felled urban trees.

IL WUT is a strong advocate of putting urban wood trees lost to insect infestation, weather, old age or other end-of-life causes to their highest possible use. This includes the potential for using locally sourced urban wood to manufacture cabinets, furniture, flooring and other wood products such as the ash “Wonderboy” baseball bat that drew a lot of attention at IL WUT’s booth during the show.

The IAA Conference & Tradeshow drew hundreds of municipal and commercial tree care specialists from throughout the state. Many of the attendees took home a flyer passed out at the IL WUT booth promoting the “Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle” conference scheduled for March 18, 2016 at Hamburger University in Oak Brook. The unique event will provide a vital forum for all urban forestry stakeholders to address the steps needed to create and sustain a viable value-added market for urban lumber.

View the Bringing-the-Urban-Forest-Full-Circle-Save-the-Date-Promo.

Several IL WUT members’ organizations exhibited at the show, including Peggy Drescher, Midwest outreach coordinator of the Tree Care Industry Association; Bob Benjamin, outreach coordinator at USDA/APHIS/PPQ and Bruce Horigan, owner of Horigan Urban Forest Products.

IL WUT members lending a hand at the IL WUT booth included Rich Christianson, IL WUT conference director; Paul Deizman, CF, forest stewardship & forest legacy of IDNR; Tom Gargrave, regional forester for IDNR; Steve Lane, GIS coordinator for Graf Tree Care; and Jim Semelka, arborist for Sterling Tree Solutions.

Lane also moderated conference sessions, while team member Scott Schirmer, plant and pesticide specialist supervisor for the Illinois Department of Agriculture, was the featured presenter of “Nursery Inspection: Why They Are Important; How Do They Affect You?”

The IAA Conference ran three days with presentations devoted to topics including Electrical Hazard Awareness Program, Tree Disorder Diagnosis, Status of Urban Forestry in the State of Illinois and Oak Forest Restoration Along the Rural-Urban Interface.

For more information about the Illinois Arborist Association, visit

Illinois to Drop Internal EAB Quarantine

EABSPRINGFIELD, IL – The state of Illinois will no longer restrict the movement of any cut, non-coniferous firewood within the state. Illinois joins Missouri, Iowa, and Kentucky in the deregulation of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).

The 2015 survey of traps detected EAB in 10 new counties in Illinois: Madison, Mercer, Jackson, Saline, Hamilton, Wayne, Clay, Jefferson, Washington and Bond. The addition of 10 new counties has brought the total count of confirmed counties to 60.

“The survey results this year support deregulation with nearly 60 percent of our counties confirmed positive for EAB,” said Plant and Pesticide Specialist Supervisor Scott Schirmer. “Over the past decade, the regulations and quarantines have served their purpose to slow the rate of spread and afford people time to manage for this pest. However, there comes a time when the pest is too widespread to continue to regulate, and this is our time.”

Previously EAB presence was confirmed in 50 counties, but 61 of Illinois’ 102 counties were under a state quarantine, which was intended to prevent artificial or human assisted spread of the beetle.

“Even though the state of Illinois is lifting its in-state EAB quarantine, I urge all Illinoisans to remain vigilant against the man-assisted spread of not only this pest, but all invasive species,” said Acting Agriculture Director Warren Goetsch. “Illinois will remain part of a federal quarantine, meaning firewood or other ash related products cannot travel into a state that currently has regulations.  I urge people to consider the potential impacts of their actions, in general, before they move items like firewood. We’ve witnessed the impacts EAB has had on our trees and budgets, and we want to prevent introduction and spread of other current and future invasive species.”

Since the first detection of the pest near Detroit, Michigan, in 2002, the beetle has killed more than 250 million ash trees. The borer, known for its distinctive, metallic green wing color, is native to Asia. Its larvae burrow into the bark of ash trees, causing the trees to starve and eventually die.  The tiny beetle often is difficult to detect, especially in newly-infested trees. Signs of infestation include thinning and yellowing of leaves, D-shaped holes in the bark of the trunk or branches and basal shoots. Each year  Illinois Department of Agriculture officials submit samples from various purple EAB traps throughout the state and send them to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to confirm the presence of EAB.

Anyone who suspects an ash tree has been infested should contact their county Extension office, their village forester or the Illinois Department of Agriculture at (815) 787-5476.

For further information about the beetle, visit

Photo Gallery: IIT Student Urban Wood Works

More than one dozen students at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) spent their summer designing and crafting one-of-a-kind furniture and artistic objects using urban wood.

The vast majority the students taking Associate Professor Paul Pettigrew’s popular Architecture & Furniture course had no or limited-at-best experience operating woodworking tools. Their classroom assignment was to take their concepts from sketches, drawings and digital models through physical models, full-scale mock-ups and completed prototypes.

Pettigrew, a professional architect by trade, is amid instructing a Furniture & Architecture course this fall and has another scheduled for next spring. His goal is to feature the student hand-crafted urban wood pieces in a traveling exhibit next year.

Check out some of the student works resulting from the summer session:



Webinar to Address Cross Laminated Timber, a Potential Urban Wood Use

Cross Laminated TimberThe NAASF Forest Utilization Committee, USDA Forest Service and WoodWorks are organizing a free webinar focusing on the use of wood, including Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) in building construction.

The “Role of Wood in Modern Building Construction” will examine the current “wood revolution,” including factors motivating architects and engineers to expand their use of wood and the potential benefits in terms of rural economic development, long-term forest health and carbon sequestration in buildings.

The use of CLT, especially in tall wood buildings, will be discussed. CLT is a promising engineered wood product that has been used to construct buildings in Europe for 20 years and is now gaining interest and a market foot-hold in the United States. Because of its high strength and dimensional stability, CLT can be used as an alternative to concrete, masonry and steel in many building types.

Of interest to urban wood stakeholders, CLT offers opportunities to enhance markets for small-diameter and low-value wood resources.

The one-hour webinar is scheduled for 2 p.m. (EDT) Tuesday, Nov. 10. It offers an opportunity for state foresters, utilization staff specialists, and others involved in supporting the forest products industry to learn more about opportunities to promote use of engineered wood products in construction at a local level.

WoodWorks is an organization established to provide free technical support, education and resources related to the design of non-residential and multi-family wood buildings to architects and engineers to promote the use of wood in construction. WoodWorks does this through seminars, technical assistance, information products and through Wood Design Awards that aim to encourage innovation in construction using wood materials.

To participate in the webinar, refer to these instructions:

  • Use this link to connect to the Adobe Connect web meeting: 
  • Keep “Enter as a Guest” selected
  •  Type your name into the “name” box
  •  Click “Enter Room”
  •  For audio: dial in to the teleconference:  Conference call number: (888) 844-9904 Passcode: 4410499

Click here for additional information, including available literature and a video showcasing CLT how it’s made and its multiple benefits.

NC Urban Wood Group Plans Tour of Carolina Urban Timber

urban wood, carolina urban lumber, north carolina urban wood group

Live edge slabs are one of Carolina Urban Lumber’s specialties.

The North Carolina Urban Wood Group has scheduled an open house at Carolina Urban Lumber in Charlotte, 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, Oct. 29.

Owner Damon Barron has made it his mission to reclaim urban wood from the Charlotte area and put it the best possible uses from live edge slabs and dimensional lumber to artisan pieces. Urban wood not suited for lumber is being made into firewood and kindling. One of Carolina Urban Lumber’s customers purchases specially processed urban wood for wood burning pizza ovens.

Carolina Urban Lumber’s operation includes a Lucas Mill for larger logs, a Timber King band mill and a kiln drier.

For more information, contact Eric Muecke at

Stihl Tour des Trees Supports Urban Forests

Stihl Tour des Trees. Urban ForestEighty-five cyclists participating in the annual Stihl Tour des Trees scheduled for Oct. 25-31 will help raise money to benefit the urban forest. Just over a week before the 561-mile bike hike from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale, FL, was set to begin, more than $575,000 had been raised.

Tree plantings and community engagement are hallmarks of every Tour. Professor Elwood Pricklethorn (aka Toronto arborist and veteran Tour cyclist Warren Hoselton) will provides educational programs for young audiences along the way.The Tour also adds new trees to the growing urban forest planted by its cyclists.

Since 1992, the Tour des Trees has generated more than $7.2 million and has funded a variety of research projects and educational programs for budding tree care specialists provided through

To learn more about the Tour des Trees, visit