Search Results for "illinoisurbanwood"

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.



Bringing New Life to Fallen Urban Trees

Cities in the United States could plant an estimated 400 million trees, making them an essential player in tree restoration. Photo by Vladimir Kudinov/Unsplash

By Todd Gartner and Ben Christensen

The city is a difficult place for a tree to survive. Compared to their counterparts in the countryside, urban trees generally get less water, suffer more intense heat, compete for space with unyielding infrastructure and frequently become riddled with disease and pests. As a result, many cities are stuck with a lot of dead trees every year.

Cities and private contractors cut them down and usually turn them into firewood, mulch or haul them to the landfill. Often, cities replant fewer trees than they remove, leading to a net loss in canopy cover over time.

However, these trees don’t have to go to waste. “Reforestation hubs” are an exciting model that will save these trees from landfills and instead find new uses for them, such as repurposing for furniture or flooring. This can help cities deal with dead trees while saving money, creating new jobs, addressing long-term public health goals and mitigating climate change at scale.

The Urban Wood Opportunity
Restoring trees to the United States landscape offers big benefits for the climate and communities alike. The scale of the opportunity is staggering: landscapes across the United States alone could support 60 billion new trees. This would sequester up to 540 million tons of CO2 per year – equivalent to replacing 117 million gasoline cars with electric vehicles running on clean electricity. The United States could plant an estimated 400 million of these trees in cities. Capturing this opportunity will take financial resources and concerted effort by a variety of public and private partners.

While waiting for government funding or voluntary private sector finance to kick in at a meaningful scale, cities across the country hold a massive and untapped resource. However, this resource is going to waste – literally.

Every year, 36 million trees come down in cities across the United States due to old age, disease and new development, resulting in economic losses of up to $786 million each year. Much of this wood could become valuable products, but instead often gets chipped, thrown in a landfill or burned as firewood. Rethinking urban wood waste could be an unexpected climate and economic solution, turning a burden on the climate and city budgets into a financial engine for reforestation across the broader landscape.

This opportunity is the impetus for the concept of reforestation hubs, pioneered by Cambium CarbonCities4Forests and the Arbor Day Foundation, which will be working with city officials to create the nation’s first reforestation hubs by 2022 through a TNC Natural Climate Change Solutions Accelerator Grant.

What is a Reforestation Hub?
In their simplest form, reforestation hubs are public-private partnerships that save cities money and generate revenue to plant and maintain more trees by diverting downed urban trees from landfills. Instead of going to waste, downed trees are sorted and turned into their highest and best use like furniture, cross-laminated timber, lumber, flooring, compost or mulch. This saves cities money and generates revenue to plant and maintain more trees, building a vibrant circular economy and allowing cities to better combat climate change. In the process, reforestation hubs also support public health and economic growth by creating jobs in green infrastructure through employing people at mills, nurseries and new planting initiatives.

Despite the value urban wood can provide, critical obstacles stand in the way of utilizing them. Cities lack the infrastructure to make fallen trees valuable, and wood product supply chains are not structured around urban wood products. Addressing these two gaps is the first step in creating a functioning reforestation hub. Doing so will require investments in sort yards and mill infrastructure to process incoming wood waste, bringing together city officials, urban millers, artisans, furniture makers, biochar facilities and composting operations. Additionally, it will require building value chains that connect these urban wood ecosystems to the broader market.

Urban wood champions are chipping away at this vision, but with slow progress. Building a reforestation hub requires immense collaboration, and urban wood is a complex raw material to build consistent supply chains around. Reforestation hubs break this log jam by bringing together four ingredients:

  1. City-level commitments to divert wood from city agency and contractor operations, buy urban wood for city operations and establish long-term planting plans.
  2. Private finance from philanthropic and impact investors for necessary infrastructure.
  3. A market incubation platform that drives consumer awareness and leverages technology to connect buyers and sellers.
  4. A social impact mission that reinvests profits from the new urban wood economy into tree planting in reforestation hub cities and the surrounding landscapes.

This vision builds on the work of the Baltimore Wood Project, which creates furniture and other high-value products from dead urban trees and reclaimed lumber from houses facing demolition. Baltimore created a network of suppliers and buyers of reclaimed lumber and invested heavily in Camp Small, a sort yard that can process their existing waste stream and turn it into value.

Growing New Opportunities for City Trees
Reforestation hubs not only bring value through using dead trees, but by creating a path for planting new trees in cities. This comes with numerous public health benefits, including purifying air and water, helping to reduce respiratory disease and decreasing heat. Trees also increase storm water retention to ease stress on city sewer systems.

Tree canopy health often follows wealth and racial lines in cities, depriving underserved communities of these benefits. Reforestation hubs, by applying the principles of tree equity, can provide funds to improve tree health and plant more trees that benefit these communities. They can also provide new employment opportunities through the markets created for previously under-utilized urban wood.

Making the Most of Fallen Trees
With the financial strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, cities may face pressure to defer tree maintenance and replanting, despite the many benefits urban trees provide. At the same time, well-planned reforestation holds the potential to improve the respiratory health of residents and increased urban tree canopies can help cities meet their climate goals. Reforestation hubs offer a multitude of benefits, building new revenue to help fund tree care and planting as well as providing a path to financing broader tree work in cities. As a result, reforestation hubs have immense potential to become economic, public health and climate boons for cities in the face of intersecting crises.

Stay up to date on this exciting work and encourage your city to join the movement here.

This blog was originally published on WRI’s Insights.

Todd Gartner is the director of Cities4Forests and WRI’s Natural Infrastructure Initiative.

Ben Christensen is a former carbon removal research intern at World Resources Institute.

 



Chicago City Council Debates Urban Forestry Advisory Board To Address Declining Tree Population

Photo: Openlands

By Zachary Mauer 
Associate Editor
Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD/MPP 2022

Across the United States, metropolitan areas are experiencing a net loss of about 36 million trees every year. That amounts to about 175,000 acres of lost tree cover. Meanwhile, Chicago loses more than 10,000 trees every year due to, in part, inefficient tree trimming and management. Fewer trees means less shade and worse air quality. In response, several Chicago City Council Aldermen are proposing the Urban Forestry Advisory Board (“UFAB”) in order to assess current policies and propose innovative ways to protect Chicago’s tree population.           

Chicago has a tree-trimming problem
In 2019, the City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) released a report highlighting ways in which the Department of Streets and Sanitation’s Bureau of Forestry could improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their tree-trimming program. Since the creation of 311 in 1999, the city has used a reactive approach to tree trimming by responding only to resident’s complaints. As a result, the Bureau of Forestry spent 75% of its time addressing these 311 requests, causing 40% of parkway trees (approximately 206,000) to not be trimmed in 10 or more years.   

According to an independent report issued in 2009, a grid-based approach to tree trimming would reduce the average crew’s travel time by 35% and the average cost per tree trim by 60%. This could increase the daily tree trimming by 147% and 87% more addresses receiving services over the course of a year.

CBS News reported in January that that Chicago residents across the city have been complaining that 311 requests are being marked completed before the job was done. Some residents are forced to spend money to repair damage on their homes or cars caused by falling branches. Residents of West Englewood are worried that a falling branch could seriously injure someone.

City workers are avoiding completing these tree-trimming requests by marking the requests as “no tree” or “no such address.” The city’s response has been that the pandemic, as well as a large storm, have kept them busy over the past year. Still, other major cities that use a proactive, cyclical, or grid-based approach include New York City, Toronto, Los Angeles, as well as Chicago’s neighbors Evanston, Oak Lawn, and Park Ridge.

Environmental and health risks associated with loss of trees
One of the main consequences of losing trees in a large city is the urban heat island effect. Shade from trees, together with evaporation of the water their leaves transpire, can help reduce peak summer temperatures in their vicinity by 2 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit. In Davis, CA, researchers found that shade from trees reduced the surface temperature of asphalt by up to 36 degrees F, and of the passenger compartments of parked cars by 47 degrees F.

Also, urban trees reduce concentrations of particulate matter, the most damaging type of air pollution. A study of 10 U.S. cities found that urban trees remove enough particulate matter to reduce annual health impacts by amounts ranging from $1.1 million in Syracuse, NY, to $60.1 million in New York City. A 2015 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that in the 15-state area and 17-year period covered, more than 15,000 additional deaths from cardiovascular conditions such as heart attack and stroke occurred as a result of urban tree loss.       

Further, nitrogen dioxide is one of the main contributors to smog and one of the six leading air pollutants identified by the Environmental Protection Agency. In a study conducted in Portland, tree cover had a significant effect on nitrogen dioxide levels and residents’ respiratory health by area. In higher-tree areas, young kids were estimated to have avoided missing more than 7,000 school days annually because of asthma attacks.           

Chicago Urban Forestry Advisory Board
The proposed Urban Forestry Advisory Board (UFAB) would have seven ex officio members and six appointed members. The seven ex officio members would be the Chief Sustainability Officer, Chair of the Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection, General Superintendent & Chief Executive Officer of Streets and Sanitation, Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, Commissioner of Water Management, and Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development. The six appointed members would be representatives from two nongovernmental organizations that participate in the Chicago Region Trees Initiative, a representative from a nongovernmental community organization, two representatives from a tree service business, and a representative from an academic arborist community. 

UFAB’s duties would include developing and annually updating an Urban Forestry Management Plan, as well as recommending legislation based on viewing and assessing current city policies, procedures, and expenditures. UFAB would also facilitate a public education of urban forestry and establish a Heritage Tree program that identifies trees of special significance. Other major cities with forest advisory boards include San Diego, which has a 15-member board appointed by the mayor, and Seattle where they have a 13-member board comprised of various professionals and community members.       

The ordinance to create UFAB was first introduced last summer, but was put on the back burner as the pandemic raged on. Now, the Chicago City Council hopes to introduce the ordinance again in the coming months.         

The City of Chicago’s Inspector General Joe Ferguson said it best: “A thriving and healthy urban forest is critical to mitigating ever-mounting climate change concerns like the urban heat island effect and excessive storm water runoff, and recent studies have revealed stark differences across city neighborhoods that generally correlate with tree canopy percentages. Chicago’s communities and individuals particularly stand to benefit from a more efficient and equitable city service, with obvious environmental health benefits, including cleaner air, cooling, and reduction of stress in children. Strategic, rather than reactive, tree care also prevents property damage, utility interruptions, and street closures.”



Urban Wood Italian Style

By Franco Paolinelli
Silvicultura Agrocultura Paesaggio, Rome, Italy

Editor’s note: I have had the pleasure of corresponding with Franco Paolinelli since January of 2019. He initiated the conversation after finding Illinois Urban Wood in a web search. Over the last couple of years, we have shared several emails detailing our mutual interest in urban wood utilization. What follows is a paper Franco sent me about his urban forestry association’s urban wood activities in Rome. –– Rich Christianson

Logs from trees removed for an outdoor theatre were converted into benches.

OUR ORGANIZATION
Silvicultura Agrocultura Paesaggio (S.A.P.) is a small, non-profit, network of experts and firms, established in 1993 to improve urban green area management and related social and cultural services.  

The association operates mainly in Rome, a metropolitan area with lots of public and private green areas, then with huge amounts of trees to be pruned and renewed, then huge amounts of wood to be disposed.

Within this frame, in 2004 SAP launched the following project:

 URBAN TREES’ TIMBER: AN UNKNOWN RESOURCE

1) Assumptions

Wood is made by carbon polymers, produced by the plants with water and CO2, with the support of solar energy, through the photosynthesis process. The process releases oxygen in the atmosphere.

More trees equals more wood, which means more CO2 is taken away from the atmosphere and more oxygen us added, as recognized also by the Kyoto Protocol. 

Urban trees produce a huge amount of urban wood: Public and private trees, shrubs, hedges in private and public gardens provide security and support public health. They must be pruned and cyclically renewed. These processes produce urban wood.

Public-owned trees in the City of Rome Italy are estimated to be around 330,000. All trees of the city may be more then 1,000,000. An annual renewal of 1% means producing 10,000 logs that could provide at least 20.000 cubic meters of lumber.

What happens now: Generally speaking, wood companies do not appreciate urban lumber. Their manufacturing needs normally require a steady stream of very homogeneous logs that urban forests cannot provide.

As a result, most unwanted urban wood goes mainly in landfills.

In some cases, the trees are chipped then composted or sold to be used for for energy production. But most of it, particularly large logs and big branches, are just left to decay. This process may wind up converting carbon polymers into a greenhouse gas, maybe CO2 or even worse methane.

 2) TRENDS 

Urban timber quality is increasing: Modern arboriculture and greater attention to urban green resources are producing better quality urban trees. Then, at the end of their useful life cycle, better logs can be realized.

This trend also implies that there is a reduction of iron in trees in terms of nails, screws, etc. As the quantity of iron pieces embedded in urban wood decreases, damage to sawmills and sawblades will likely decrease.

Cities may express a multifunctional market: Urban areas may express increased demand for creative arts and crafts, including those with intrinsic symbolic values based on where the trees lived. There is also the potential to use more of the wood for didactic, therapeutic and training purposes.

All of possibilities may increase the appreciation for uneven logs and branches with unique shapes.

 3) PROJECT

 What could happen: The biggest challenge is changing people to view removed trees not as a waste but as a  resource.

An arborist trained on the subject will see the “resource” already on the tree, while pruning or cutting it in pieces. Then, even with a simple chainsaw, he may be able to produce a resource, in terms of pieces for crafts, art and furniture.

Beyond that,  now a days, portable mills are readily available. These machines can be used to convert logs and large branches into lumber. These operations may also take place where the tree has been removed.

A dying tree removed from a park, may return a benches, tables or playground equipment for the park itself.

Urban timber could be used to produce outdoor or indoor furniture, as well as art and design works or common use objects. Smaller branches could be made into items utilized for didactic and therapeutic activities.

Thus, just leaves, small branches and sawdust would be left for composting or used for energy.

4) URBAN WOOD UTILIZATION IMPLIES POSITIVE EFFECTS

Cultural and social effects:

  • Involving people in urban timber work may help to deliver important environmental messages. For instance: Wood is a sustainable carbon stock. Its use may help in controlling greenhouse gases.
  • Urban wood manipulation may help us, mainly our youngsters, to limit the drift within the “virtual world.” In fact, wood, the first matter humanity manipulated, will help us to remember that we have hands capable to do lots of things in the real world.
  • Several jobs within this field may be implemented by disadvantaged people, providing an inclusive effect.

 

 Environmental effects:

  • Carbon sink: Wood is the carbon that trees assimilate. Preserving wood, as art works or furniture for example, increases carbon sequestration. Its quantity may be defined. 
  • Sustainable energy production: Leaves and other leftovers may be utilized for this purpose.
  • New plantings: Urban timber markets may generate economic resources and motivations to plant more trees at both the public and private scale.
  • Improved maintenance: The urban timber market may motivate better care for trees. A full circle urban Forestry approach may take place. 
  • The availability of valuable urban timber may decrease the demand for tropical tree use. That may provide some help in saving environmentally relevant forests and in reducing import expenses.

Socio-economic effects: Urban timber production and transformation, within a multifunctional urban market, may develop through small and medium enterprises. These businesses can create jobs, along the whole supply chain from the grounded tree to timber production, design, art, didactic, social therapy and so on.

Why urban timber production may be convenient:

  • As urbanized areas grow, then the number of trees, planted and wild, must grow as well. Their required maintenance ultimately implies the production of urban wood. A great part of that may be converted into valuable urban timber. A multifunctional urban market may give a value even to species under-appreciated by the wood industry. 

  • Urban timber may have certified symbolic values based on the site where it comes from. Timber materials may, then become: “Rome trees’ timber,” “Central Park trees’ timber,” Tivoli Park trees’ timber” etc. In a multifunctional market, a board or an object with a certified origin may have an added value.
      
  • Based on CO2 sequestration a professional certification may be associated with a board or an object. Then, for instance, an owner may buy an urban timber dinner table and state to his hosts, “My dinner table is a 25kg carbon sink.”
  • Urban Forests and their timber may become relevant CO2 sinks that a city may include in its carbon balance in line with the Kyoto treaty.
  • New tools are available to produce timber from urban logs.
  • Timber transformation may be multi functional: production of objects, education, social services, therapy, environment, etc.

5) ACTIONS TAKEN

Since 2004 S.A.P. has taken logs and large branches of trees removed in private and public gardens, for safety and health reasons, to produce simple furniture pieces, as well as materials to conduct workshops with children and socially disadvantaged people.

Most furniture piece produced have been accompanied with a certificate stating their origin and a rough estimation of their carbon content.

In 2006 S.A.P. requested the Vatican administration to take the St. Peter Square Christmas tree at the end of the exposition period. S.A.P. used St. Peter Christmas tree logs and branches in experimental productions and workshops. 

In 2016 S.A.P. proposals on urban timber were joined by “A Roma Insieme”, an association focused on jail population support. A training activity was, then, arranged for inmates in Regina Coeli Institute, in 2017 and 2018.

5) PILOT PROJECT

In 2018 an interesting pilot project took place within the Leopardi elementary school of Rome to use trees removed on its land for an outdoor theatre project.

Steps: S.A.P., in the winter 2018 had some meetings with Mr. Giovanni Figà Talamanca, in charge for “Educational Politics” in the I’ Municipality of Rome, presenting him the project “Urban Timber from the Trees of Rome.”

The Giacomo Leopardi school lays in a large garden, rich in Pinus tress. School and Municipality Administration were already on the way to have 12 Pinus (Pinus pinea and P. halepensis) removed to increase garden safety.

Mr. Talamanca was able to link our project and the Pinus planned removal. The School administrations approved our proposal to convert some logs in outdoor furniture and a contract was signed.

The arboricultural firm in charge of the job was able to cut the trees, preserving several logs. The alumni parents’ association was involved to express proposals. The idea of the outdoor theatre was launched and approved. Project guidelines were defined and approved by the school direction.

S.A.P. experts, with a “Granberg” frame mounted on a Stihl machine saw milled 30 logs producing flattened ones, boards and short sections.

A volunteering parents’ group, named for the occasion “log rollers,” participated in locating the logs in the theatre selected site, in assembling the benches, in smoothing and in painting them.

The Theatre: The following furniture pieces were produced and placed:

  • N. 6 big round logs 2m long;
  • N. 19 flattened logs to be used as benches;
  • N. 8 benches assembled with boards on orthogonal sections 30cm high; and
  • N. 20 orthogonal sections sits.

Results:

 1 – For the school and the administration::

  • Reduced costs to obtain the theatre; and
  • Project administrative process definition.

2 – For the parent volunteers:

  • School garden improvement; and
  • Participation, ability acquisition.

 3 – For S.A.P.:

  • Working days;
  • Project administrative process definition; and
  • Urban Timber idea promotion.

4 – For the Environment:

  • Landfill prevented: 5 tons — 30% of the total biomass produced; and
  • Estimated carbon stock in the logs’ theatre: 2,5 tons.

5- For Local Economies:

  • Investment in local businesses.

6 – Development Programs:

  • Interest expressed by local institutions, mainly in the artistic environment, is increasing.

 



USDA Ends Domestic EAB Quarantine Regulations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced Dec. 14 that it is changing its approach to fight the emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation that has spread through much of the United States.

The agency published a final rule in the Dec. 15 Federal Register that removes the federal domestic EAB quarantine regulations that have proved ineffective and will redirect resources to more promising methods. The new rule took effect Jan. 14. Documents may be viewed online.

APHIS said it has been transparent about the challenges associated with controlling the emerald ash borer and that the domestic quarantine has not proven effective in stopping its spread. The agency has worked to identify more effective and less intrusive methods and will now direct available resources toward non-regulatory options for management and containment of the pest, such as rearing and releasing biological control agents. APHIS said results have already proved effective and the actions announced today will allow the agency to increase their use.

Removing the quarantine regulations ends APHIS’ domestic regulatory activities, which includes actions such as issuing permits, certificates and compliance agreements, making site visits, and conducting investigations of suspected violations.

APHIS said it is working with the National Plant Board on effective strategies to manage firewood movement, which is one of the ways the emerald ash borer spreads.

Since first being detected in the Detroit area in 2002, the emerald ash borer has spread through 35 states and killed tens of millions of ash trees.

Illinois is among states that eliminated its internal quarantine regulations. Illinois discontinued its quarantine mandate in fall of 2015.

Meanwhile, officials of Minnesota and North Dakota, each said they would continue to enforce state emerald ash borer regulations. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture said this includes monitoring for EAB in un-infested areas, quarantining newly infested counties and regulating movement of wood products around the state. In addition, the department said it would take on some of the work previously carried out by the USDA by limiting the movement of ash and firewood from other states into Minnesota.



Video: Wood from the Hood’s story and slideshow tour

The Minnesota Woodworkers Guild devoted its December 2020 meeting to examining the realm of urban lumber production through the eyes Rick and Cindy Siewert, owners of Minneapolis-based Wood from the Hood in Minneapolis, MN.

The Siewert’s founded Wood From The Hood to reclaim discarded trees from local neighborhoods to create beautiful, high-quality wood products. The Siewerts discuss the story of how Wood From The Hood came to be and why urban wood is a valuable and sustainable resource for creating unique furniture and other wood products. They also give a tour of their facility, including the showroom they opened in summer of 2019.

Wood From The Hood operates a sawmill and dry kiln. Its lumber is sold to woodworking professionals and hobbyists. The company also manufactures a variety of wood products ranging from cribbage boards and picture frames to dining and conference tables. 
Learn more about Wood From The Hood.

The Minnesota Woodworkers Guild is a group of professional and amateur woodworkers bound together by three goals:

  • To advocate high standards in our craft;
  • To meet new friends and discuss woodworking; and
  • To educate ourselves and the public about woodworking.

Learn more about the Minnesota Woodworkers Guild.



Urban Forest Connections: More Than 60 Webinars Served

The December 2019 Urban Forest Connections webinar included a presentation of urban wood certification by Jennifer Alger of Far West Forest Products and the Urban Wood Network.

Since the first Urban Forest Connections webinar – Urban Forests for Human Health and Wellness – was presented on Sept. 10, 2014, the U.S. Forest Service’s National Urban Forest Technology & Science Delivery Team has organized and produced more than five dozen webinars dedicated to a wide range of urban forestry topics.

The most recent webinar, Extreme Events in the Urban Forest: Assessment, Response, and Recovery, was conducted on Feb. 10.

The next webinar, Tree Equity for Climate and Health: State and Local Applications, is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, March 10.

The Forest Service’s Urban Forest Connections webinar series brings experts together to discuss the latest science, practice, and policy on urban forestry and the environment. These webinars are open to all. Past webinar presentations and recordings are available below.

Each of the webinars features experts who discuss the latest science, practice, and policy on urban forestry and the environment.

The entire Urban Forest Connections webinar series is archived for on-demand viewing on the Forest Service’s website.

Two of the archived webinars have had a distinct urban wood theme, including:

Scaling-Up Your Urban Wood Opportunities: A Role for Everyone
December 11, 2019
Kathryn Fernholz, Dovetail Partners, Inc.
Jennifer Alger, Urban Salvaged and Reclaimed Woods

Remove and Repurpose: Increasing the Value of Urban Wood
December 9, 2015
Steve Bratkovich, Dovetail Partners
Dave Gamstetter, Cincinnati Park Board

Other Urban Forest Connections presentations have delved with a variety of urban forestry topics. Here are just a few examples: 

A Call to Action for Ash Tree Conservation and Resistance Breeding
March 11, 2020
Kathleen Knight, USDA Forest Service
Jennifer Koch, USDA Forest Service
Jonathan Rosenthal, Ecological Research Institute

Breeding and Restoring the Next Generation American Elm
September 11, 2019
Carrie Pike, USDA Forest Service
Leila Pinchot, USDA Forest Service
Charlie Flower, USDA Forest Service

Construction Damage, Severe Storms, and Tree Failure Analysis
September 12, 2018
Eric North, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Larry Costello, University of California Emeritus & Oracle Oak LLC

Tree Selection for the 21st Century
December 13, 2017
Greg McPherson, USDA Forest Service

Climate Change & Urban Environments: Adaptation Through Diversity
December 14, 2016
Leslie Brandt, USDA Forest Service
Justi Evertson, Nebraska Forest Service & Nebraska Statewide Arboretum

The Science and Future of i-Tree
May 13, 2015
David Nowak, USDA Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service applies for 1.0 ISA CEU credit for each live broadcast. ISA credit and certificates of participation for other credentials can be requested at the end of the live broadcasts. CEUs and certificates of participation are not available for watching recorded webinars. 

Sign up to receive announcements of future Urban Forest Connections webinars.

 

 



CBS News Features Report on Baltimore Urban Wood Project

Furniture made from urban lumber promotes sustainability, job growth in cities

The Baltimore Urban Wood Project was showcased in a report aired by CBS This Morning on Dec. 12, 2020.

CBS News reporter Errol Barnett focused on how wood is being salvaged from dilapidated rowhouses and urban trees in Baltimore to produce furniture, create jobs and keep these repurposed materials from ending up in the  waste stream.

In addition to the Baltimore Urban Wood Project, the report features representatives of Urban Wood Rescue of Sacramento, CA, and Room & Board of Minneapolis, MN, which has used a lot of Baltimore urban wood to make furniture.

 



NASF Fact Sheet Highlights Wisconsin Urban Woods’ Success

The National Association of State Foresters (NASF) recently featured Wisconsin Urban Wood and its role in helping to develop the national Urban Wood Network in a recently published fact sheet highlighting the importance of state and federal support of urban wood utilization programs.

The publication summarizes several key benefits made possible by WUW’s commitment to giving trees removed due to death, disease invasive pests or other circumstances a new life as lumber and wood products. These benefits include reducing the amount of woody materials going to landfills, creating private sector businesses and jobs that help grow local economies and demonstrate the environmental benefits of urban wood.

The fact sheet provides a targeted message that can be shared with legislators, agency and municipal staff, and others to help them understand the value of local urban wood utilization programs and economies such as those created by WUW members.

 



UK Researchers Search for Ash Borer-Resistant Trees

Before the emerald ash borer arrived, ash trees made up about 4% of the trees across Kentucky. World famous Louisville Slugger baseball bats were traditionally made from white ash.

Ash trees infested by the emerald ash borer can take up to several years to die after first being attacked. Yet, relatively healthy ash trees have been  discovered amid stands of dead and dying trees. These survivors are known as “lingering ash.” They are untreated trees that are still healthy in areas where more than 95% of the other ash trees have been killed by the emerald ash borer. 

Researchers at the University of Kentucky (UK) hope to use the seed and genetic material from these lingering ash trees for breeding programs and research purposes to develop ash trees that confer some resistance to the emerald ash borer.

“The idea is those trees that have some natural genetic resistance to the emerald ash borer are going to be the future of ash,” said Ellen Crocker, UK assistant professor of forest health extension in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “We’ve been trying to find some of these trees for several years now, and when we do, we get their seeds, so the Kentucky Division of Forestry can propagate them at their nursery and hopefully, get them back into the natural landscape.”

Identifying lingering ash trees may present a way forward for ash in North America, using seed and genetic material from these trees for breeding programs and research purposes, with the hope of developing ash trees that confer some resistance to EAB.

UK researchers are seeking the public’s help to find lingering ash trees. They said they can most likely be found in a stand where 95% or more of the trees have been dead for two or more years. The best lingering ash candidates would be greater than 10 inches in diameter.

In a similar vein, several years ago, the U.S. Forest Service and Ohio State University embarked on a collaborative effort to preserve and study the lingering ash through grafting, which allows both preservation and replication to study resistance to EAB.