Monthly archives: December, 2016

IAA Slates Certified Arborist Workshops & Exam in Glencoe

isa-certificaton-logoThe Illinois Arborist Association announced the schedule for upcoming International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborist workshops and exam to be held at the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Glencoe.

Workshops will be held 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on each Thursday between Feb. 9 and April 6. The certification exam will take place on April 13.

Certification allows an arborist to advance his or her career and demonstrate commitment to the tree care profession.

The ISA Certification Board requires a candidate to have a minimum of three years of full-time experience in arboriculture. Acceptable experience includes the practical use of knowledge involved in pruning, fertilization, installation and establishment, diagnosis and treatment of tree problems, cabling and bracing, climbing, or other services that directly relate to arboriculture.

Download the brochure to learn more and to register.

Cover Treatment for Wisconsin Urban Wood

The rise and growth of Wisconsin Urban Wood is the cover story of the Winter 2017 edition of Your Family. 

Twink Jan-McMahon, executive director of Wisconsin Urban Wood, graces the cover. She and several members of WUW, discuss how the group got started and how it has grown to more than 30 members and counting. The article notes several benefits of repurposing urban trees including carbon sequestration, supporting local businesses and economies, removing usable wood from the waste stream and crafting custom wood  products.

Download the article and scroll down to page 22.

Book Chronicles Urban ‘Tree to Table’ Movement

By Rich Christianson

In his new book, “Tree to Table: Emergence of the Urban Wood Movement,” author Paul Morrison makes it abundantly clear that he did not get into the urban wood business to get rich quick.

If only money mattered, he would never have quit his “comfortable job” as an engineer. But a passion for wood and woodworking ultimately won out after he purchased a portable sawmill ostensibly because he was “too cheap to buy good wood.”

As his log pile grew “out of control” he quit his day job to devote his full time and energy to milling community and other non-commercial forest trees into lumber and fabricating that material into custom furniture. Over the course of the last 15 years, Morrison has built up The Wood Cycle of Oregon, WI, as a successful custom woodworking business and urban wood lumber source serving the greater Madison area.

Morrison draws a parallel between the urban wood and farm to table movements, with an important distinction that tables are literally made of wood. Both of these movements embrace contemporary social attitudes including sustainability and supporting local businesses and economies. Added to this is craftsmanship, which Morrison notes is sorely lacking at most furniture retail showrooms in which a large percentage is manufactured thousands of miles away in China.

Morrison’s book delves into the opportunities and challenges of operating an urban wood products business. He also emphasizes the need to develop a network to be successful and points to Wisconsin Urban Wood, which he is a founding member. He drives home these points with personal anecdotes of projects he has completed .

Tree to Table is an easy and rewarding read. I personally enjoyed the book and heartedly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about urban wood movement, especially those looking to make a living in this space or those already involved seeking hints at opportunities they might have missed.

Tree to Table is available for $19.95 from Past 9 Publishing. Click here to order a copy or learn more.

Arborist Pursues His Passion with Urban Wood Start-up


By Rich Christianson

Dobnick Timberworks has joined the Illinois urban wood movement, opening up a lumber and custom wood products business in Oswego, IL.

The company is owned by certified arborist Brandon Dobnick and his wife, Marlana. Dobnick Timberworks operates a portable sawmill and offers 16-plus species of urban wood up to 16 feet long and 56 inches wide including ash, red and white oak, silver maple, Turkish hazelnut and pecan to name a few. Lumber products are available rough sawn to finished and green, air or kiln dried. The company also crafts live-edge custom wood products.

“One hundred percent of our wood is locally sourced and many with unique storylines behind them,” Dobnick said. “We hope to continue to see more and more urban wood become utilized.”

The Dobnick Timberworks website waxes poetic about the beauty and value of the urban forest and urban wood. The company’s mission statement is illustrative.

“Our Mission is to continue the legacy of our living landscapes through sustainably recycling urban trees by finding their highest purpose. We refuse to harvest any of our wood solely for its raw timber value, rather, a hundred percent of our wood has been harvested from trees within our urban landscapes which have died and/or needed to be removed for reasons other than timber value, i.e. Dutch elm disease, emerald ash borer, and other issues. All of our wood is harvested/collected locally within a fifty mile radius.

“We seek to advocate for proper tree care management practices, encourage planting trees, and enhancing the environment by seeking to minimize our carbon footprint while sequestering carbon through utilizing our wood products within our everyday spaces. We seek to unveil the stories hidden within urban trees’ unconventional character and gain patterns by creating slabs, lumber, and custom pieces which not only tell a story, but breathe life into their spaces.”

Learn more at

Help Wanted: Homer Glen’s 2017 Earth Day/Arbor Day Celebration

homer-glen-earth-day-logoThe 2017 Earth Day/Arbor Day Committee of the Village of Homer Glen is seeking exhibitors and demonstrators to provide education highlighting the role that natural resources play in sustaining a high quality of life in the community and to encourage participation in natural resource protection and restoration efforts.

Participants who can showcase activities that connect children and adults with nature and those that use natural products are highly encouraged.

The 2017 Earth Day/Arbor Day event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 20 at the historic Konow Farm, 16849 S. Cedar Ave. in Homer Glen.

“We are seeking crafters, demonstrators, exhibitors, vendors, volunteers, and sponsors,” said Sue Steilen, community relations coordinator. Of special interest to the urban forest and urban wood community include green solutions, ideas for conserving and protecting natural resources, and crafts and products made from natural materials.

Steilen noted that  Konow Farm offers indoor and outdoor space for exhibits and activities.

Click download the Earth Day/Arbor Day Participant Application and Agreement and the Participant Information and Guidelines forms for individuals, organizations and business participation are attached. For more information, e-mail, or contact Steilen at 708-301-0632.