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Picture This: Ex-Cons Reclaim Urban Wood and Their Lives

urban-ashes-picture-framesUrban Ashes of Ann Arbor, MI, is giving diseased trees and disrupted lives a second chance.

The company specializes in the manufacture picture frames from reclaimed wood from the urban forest trees infested by the emerald ash borer and deconstructed buildings. Urban Ashes’ phenomenal growth is evidenced by the more the more than 200 stores in 40 states that now sell its custom frames, according to a report by the MLive.

The newspaper’s feature on Urban Ashes and its owner Paul Hickman focuses on the role former prison inmates are playing in the company’s success.

“The people part of our story now are even more important to me than the wood is,” Hickman told MLive. “Both were once often considered and discarded as waste. Now both are combining to create an unrivaled story and collection of Michigan-made goods.”

Read the article and view the slide show.



News

08/30/19 – Wood From The Hood Opens Urban Lumber Showroom

08/28/19 – Fiserv Forum Design Team Wins Wisconsin Urban Wood Use Award

08/27/19 – Texas Urban Wood Firm Focuses on ‘Tree to Home’

08/26/19 – ‘Upscale Urban Wood’ Is Theme of Arbor Day Foundation Bulletin

07/30/19 – Madison, WI: A Progressive Urban Wood City

07/24/19 – NC Urban Forest Council Plans Urban Wood Use Workshop

06/26/19 – Watch Urban Wood Toolkit Webinar #1

06/25/19 – Chicagoans ‘Import’ Live Edge Walnut Table from KC

06/21/19 – Petitioners Push for ‘National Urban Wood Day’

06/18/19 – Event to Highlight ‘Urban Wood from Coast to Coast’

05/29/19 – Tables Made in Seattle Reside in NYC

05/28/19 – Video: WoodSwimmer into Tranquility

05/20/19 – SkillsUSA & Urban Wood Unite in Wisconsin

04/15/19 – SUFC Names New Co-chairs

04/10/19 – August Hoppe Joins TCIA Board

04/01/19 – Like Urban Wood Network on Facebook

03/28/19 – Alabama Launchpad Jumpstarts Urban Wood Business

03/18/19 – Lumber Woman Repurposes Wood from Topeka’s Urban Forest

03/08/19 – Video: (Urban) Forest Proud

03/04/19 – The Greenfield, WI, Urban Wood Model

02/15/19 – Forest Service Extends Wood Innovation Grant Deadline

02/14/19 – UWN Q&A: Tim O’Neill, Urban Lumber Company

02/10/19 – New Report Explores How Certification Can Grow Urban Wood Demand

02/08/19 – Urban Wood Toolkit Offers Guidance for Utilizing Community Trees

01/30/19 – Urban Wood Network Sets 2019 Membership Fees

12/27/18 – Urban Wood Network Slates ‘Urban Wood Toolkit’ Webinar for Jan. 30

12/16/18 – Emerald Ash Borer Threatens 50,000 Trees in Lincoln, NE

12/13/18 – Dead Ash Trees Come to Life as Chainsaw Sculptures

12/02/18 – Hoppe Tree Service Takes Full Circle Approach

12/02/18 – Green America Honors GA Urban Wood Business

11/26/18 – How to Improve Yields Milling ‘Out-of-Shape Logs’

11/20/18 – UWN Webinar #4: Starting a State Urban Wood Network

11/07/18 – Urban Sawmilling in Hawaii

10/31/18 – Put Your Urban Wood Business on the Map

10/26/18 – Video: Dan Cassens on ‘Milling Your Own Lumber’

10/22/18 – UWN Webinar #3: How to Produce Urban Wood Products

10/09/18 – National Urban Wood Project Certification Update

09/25/18 – Urban Wood Webinar #2: How to Produce & Market Urban Lumber

09/24/18 – DoMUS Serves as Industry Model for Wisconsin Urban Wood

09/22/18 – Retired Teacher Focuses on Growing Urban Wood Business

08/27/18 – Urban Wood Movement Surges Ahead at IWF

08/17/18 – UWN Webinar #1 On Demand: Urban Tree Removals

08/16/18 – GWTP Celebrates 25 Years Training Low-Income Chicagoans for Woodworking Careers

08/02/18 – Story of Riverside’s Wind-Felled Oak Featured in Woodshop News

07/25/18 – How Urban Wood Use Mitigates Climate Change

07/17/18 – Wisconsin Urban Forest Fest Set for Sept. 15

07/17/18 – Q&A with Erika Horigan of Horigan Urban Forest Products

07/06/18 – Urban Wood Network Announces ‘How To Do Urban Wood’ Seminar Series

06/24/18 – Adding Value to Urban Trees: Two Upcoming Workshops at MSU

06/19/18 – IWF Urban Wood Seminar Gains Diverse Sponsorship Support

06/10/18 – Video: Introducing the Urban Salvaged & Reclaimed Woods Network

05/25/18 – Wood-Mizer Acquires Swedish Manufacturer of 4-Sided Planers/Moulders

05/25/18 – More Than 1,750 Strong! Urban Wood Network LinkedIn Community

05/18/18 – Wisconsin Urban Wood Graces Ortho’s Office

05/18/18 – Study: U.S. Metro Areas Losing 36M Trees Annually

05/11/18 – Communities Across Chicagoland Join to Create Sustainable Future

05/09/18 – Vermont Braces for Emerald Ash Borer Invasion

04/24/18 – UWN to Present Free Urban Wood Seminar at IWF 2018

04/19/18 – Video: How NY Uses Drones to Inspect Urban Forest Canvass

04/18/18 – April 3 WERC Urban Wood Webcast Available On-Demand

04/16/18 – Video: Urban Sawmilling in Sacramento

03/27/18 – Webinar Registration Open: Urban Wood Network – Join the Movement

03/11/18 – Virginia Urban Wood Group Creates Business Directory

03/06/18 – 31 States Infested by EAB

02/25/18 – Chicago AWI Members Learn About Urban Wood at Icon Modern

02/20/18 – New Project to Certify Responsible Urban Forestry and Urban Wood Use

02/16/18 – Michigan Urban Wood Network Launches Website

02/11/18 – Watch Tom The Sawyer Transform an Urban Honey Locust Log

01/21/18 – Tree Services Magazine Focuses on Using Urban Tree Waste

01/20/18 – Video: Salvaging Trees in Vancouver’s Urban Forest

01/19/18 – SUFC Slates Annual Meeting for March 7

12/29/17 – Chicago Tree Project Continues to Transform Dead Trees into Sculptures

12/21/17 – Invitation to Join the Urban Wood Network

12/07/17 – Illinois Architect Takes the LEED in Urban Wood Movement

12/03/17 – Wood-Mizer Offers Free Urban Sawmilling Guide

11/19/17 – Video: Reclaiming Wood from Historic Philadelphia Buildings

11/18/17 – ISTC Open House Offers a Look at Heating with Wood Waste

11/13/17 – Video: Pioneering Urban Wood Use in Austin

11/13/17 – Fall Urban Wood Utilization Webcast Available On Demand

10/21/17 – Video: Richmond Hill Educates Residents about EAB Scourge

10/20/17 – ‘Underappreciated’ Urban Wood Focus of Pennsylvania Workshop

10/17/17 – Cook County Forest Preserves’ Tree Repurposed for Unique Award Plaques

10/05/17 – Illinois Sustainable Technology Center Seeks Businesses for Wood Heating Study

10/03/17 – Why Schmidt Custom Flooring Joined the Urban Wood Movement

09/22/17 – Agenda Set for Oct. 10 Urban Wood Use Webcast

09/16/17 – Enter Rebuilding Exchange’s Contest to Win Nick Offerman Tix

09/14/17 – Southeast Urban Wood Exchange Connects Urban Forestry Professionals

08/23/17 – U.S. Forest Service Updates Inventory of Nation’s Urban Forests

08/22/17 – 160-Year-Old Oak Begets Three Tables for Riverside’s Village Hall

08/21/17 – House Acts to Save Urban Community & Forestry Program from Budget Axe

08/16/17 – How Raleigh’s Parks & Recs Department Re-utilizes Its Trees

07/16/17 – Indy Urban Hardwood Stars in New Wood-Mizer Urban Wood Video Series

07/15/17 – Mid-Atlantic Urban Wood Forum Set for Aug. 15 & 16 

07/07/17 – The Urban Wood Network Launches New Website

07/02/17 – Video: Milling a Huge Burr Oak with a Chainsaw Mill

06/23/17 – Michigan Urbanwood Tour Set for July 28

06/19/17 – Entries Sought for Urbanwood Showcase in Ann Arbor

06/17/17 – Southeast Urban Wood Exchange Invites Businesses to List Their Products & Services

06/13/17 – ‘No Wood Wasted’ Theme of NC Urban Forest & Small Woodlot Workshop

06/10/17 – Wood-Mizer Issues Call for Personal Best Contest Entries

05/21/17 – Wisconsin Urban Wood Signs on as Wisconsin DNR Green Tier Charter

05/19/17 – City Forest Products Celebrates Urban Wood Biz Launch

05/01/17 – WunderWoods’ Sawmill from Down Under

04/17/17 – Four Urban Wood Firms Snare Wood-Mizer Awards

04/17/17 – City Forest Products Slates April 28 Launch Party

04/10/17 – Reclaimed Ash Furniture in Iowa Home Show Expo Spotlight

04/10/17 – U.S. Forest Service Strategizes Woody Biomass Utilization

03/27/17 – Urban Wood Utilization Webcast Set for April 11

03/24/17 – Hobby Becomes a Post-Retirement Urban Wood Business

03/15/17 – Urban Wood Waste Powers St. Paul’s Energy Grid

03/09/17 – Treecycle America Entrepreneur Forges an Urban Wood Network

02/22/17 – Indiana Tree Service Branches Out into Custom Urban Wood Furniture

02/22/17 – Repurposing Urban Wood Waste as Biomass

02/21/17 – Horigan Urban Forest Products Re-launches Website

02/11/17 – Video Update: TV News Features Restore’s Rescued Wood Project

02/06/17 – Video: Be a Smart Ash, Denver!

01/28/17 – Chicago’s Sister City Has an Urban Wood Brother in Sawmill Sid

01/25/17 – Dovetail Partners Reports on Worldwide Refinery Growth

01/22/17 – TCIA Releases Statement on A300 Urban Forest Products Standard Status

01/17/17 – Urban Wood Used in Oak Park LEED Platinum Project

01/15/17 – Rescued Wood: Habitat for Humanity Wisconsin’s Unique Answer to the EAB Problem

01/02/17 – IllinoisUrbanWood’s Top 10 Countdown

12/21/16 – IAA Slates Certified Arborist Workshops & Exam in Glencoe

12/18/16 – Cover Treatment for Wisconsin Urban Wood

12/11/16 – IL Arborist Pursues His Passion with Urban Wood Start-up

12/01/16 – Help Wanted: Homer Glen’s Earth Day/Arbor Day Celebration

11/28/16 – Video: Urban Hardwoods a Growing Company

11/14/16 – Urban Lumber Company Thrives on KC Woods

10/27/16 – TigerStop Embraces the Urban Wood Message

10/26/16 – Scenes from the 34th Illinois Arborist Association Convention

10/26/16 – On Demand Webcast Highlights Urban Wood Activities in Six States

10/13/16 – Baltimore Wood Project Tackles Two Urban Waste Streams

10/03/16 – Woodworker’s Fallen Farm Trees Star in ‘Made in Illinois’ Video

09/27/16 – IWF Urban Wood Seminar Report Slated for Oct. 11 Webcast

09/08/16 – Urban Wood for Community Firewood Banks

08/30/16 – Passions Flow at IWF Urban Wood Seminar

08/29/16 – First Release: Urban Wood User’s Resource Guide

08/19/16 – Forest Fast Break Video: Urban Wood Benefits

08/15/16 – Day of Wood Set for Sept. 8 in Jasper, IN

08/09/16 – Urban Wood Exchange Opens for Business

08/09/16 – FDMC Profiles i2i Design

08/09/16 – Woodshop News Features IWF Urban Wood Seminar

08/07/16 – Video: Tom The Sawyer Mills Black Walnut for Figure

08/06/16 – On Demand: WERC Urban Wood Utilization Webcast

08/05/16 – Forest Fast Break Video: Urban Forests

08/03/16 – USDA Forest Service Awards Urban Forestry Challenge Grants

07/25/16 – Forest Fast Break Video: Urban Forest Wood Usage

07/17/16 – Sterling Lumber Garners Pair of Business Awards

07/16/16 – IWF Seminar Aims to Demystify Urban Wood

07/11/16 – Elkhart EnviroFest to Showcase Urban Wood Works

07/08/16 – Woodturners ‘Bowled’ Over by Urban Wood

06/26/16 – North American Urban Wood Directory Entries Sought

06/24/16 – Chicago Botanic Garden Exhibit Exposes the ‘Hidden Art of Trees’

06/12/16 – Magazine Profiles Baraboo Woodworks’ Urban Wood Model

06/01/16 – Video: Custom Woodworker & Sawyer Make a Great Team

05/19/16 – Urban Wood Stars in Free IWF Seminar

05/19/16 – Couple ‘Sacrificed Our Entire Lives’ for Urban Wood Business

05/15/16 – Video: How Toronto Is Turning Ash Tree Tragedy into Opportunity

05/13/16 – Update: USGBC IL Postpones May Urban Wood Event

05/10/16 – MSU Retails Wood Goods Crafted from Campus Trees

04/24/16 – IIDEX Woodshop Exhibit Spotlights Urban Ash Furnishings

03/29/16 – Urban Wood Products Showcase Winners Strut Their Stuff

03/29/16 – Hardwood Workshop Covers Logs to Lumber

03/28/16 – Diverse Audience Unites at Urban Wood Event

03/28/16 – Illinois Sawmill Directories Updated

03/25/16 – Icon Modern’s Urban Wood Story Told on WBBM Radio Chicago

03/11/16 – AIA Members Eligible for CEUs at Urban Wood Event

03/06/16 – Hunski Hardwoods Logs the West Coast Urban Forest

03/02/16 – Register for Hardwood Workshop & Urban Wood Conference Online by March 16

02/21/16 – Early-Bird Discount Conference Registration Extended

02/19/16 – ASLA CEUs Available for Urban Wood & Hardwood Lumber Events

02/18/16 – Enter the Urban Wood Products Showcase

02/05/16 – Illinois Arborist Association Offers CEUs for Urban Wood Conference

01/21/16 – Urban Wood Conference Topics Go Full Circle

01/21/16 – Urban Wood Boardwalk Cuts a Path to South Side Corner’s Renewal

01/20/16 – Film Opens Eyes to Wondrous Potential of Urban Wood

01/19/16 – Hardwood Lumber & Sawmill Workshop Set for March 17

01/16/16 – Urban Wood Utilization Fits Community’s Utopian Vision

01/14/16 – IWF Supports Urban Wood Conference

01/08/16 – What to Do with Urban Wood Event Rescheduled to Jan. 21

12/31/15 – Full Circle Urban Forestry Takes Root in Elkhart, IN

12/28/15 – Registration Opens for Unique Urban Wood Conference

12/22/15 – Can You Dig It? JULIE 811 Supports IL WUT Conference

12/18/15 – IL Sawmill Directory Being Refreshed

12/18/15 – Coming Attractions: Saving America’s Urban Forests

11/27/15 – Eco Urban Timber Turns Dead Ash into Cash

11/19/15 – IL Wood Utilization Team Meets at Bernhard Woodwork

11/16/15 – USDA Webcast Series Tracks Urban Wood Market Developments

10/30/15 – What to Do with Urban Wood’ Symposium Coming Jan. 7, 2016

10/30/15 – Win a CFDA Creative Furnishings Award Using Urban Wood

10/29/15 – Illinois Wood Utilization Team States Its Case for Urban Wood at IAA Event

10/28/15 – Illinois to Drop Internal EAB Quarantine 

10/25/15 – Photo Gallery: IIT Student Urban Wood Works

10/25/15 – Webinar to Address Cross Laminated Timber, a Potential Urban Wood Use

10/22/15 – NC Urban Wood Group Plans Tour of Carolina Urban Lumber

10/17/15 – Stihl Tour des Trees Supports Urban Forests

09/27/15 – Got Urban Wood News? Share It!

09/27/15 – Save the Date: 2016 Urban Wood Conference & Networking Event

08/30/15 – Picture This: Ex-Cons Reclaim Urban Wood and Their Lives

08/28/15 – Trees Downed in 2012 Storm Crafted into Stand for Local Bell

08/26/15 – Video: Dead Ash Tree Is Chainsaw Artist’s Medium

08/16/15 – IIT Student Urban Wood Works at Aug. 26 Showing

07/18/15 – Urban Wood Makes Waves on Chicago Radio

06/04/15 – ITT Seeks Urban Wood Donations for Traveling Exhibit

05/26/15 – ‘Full Circle Urban Forestry’ Lesson of New Children’s Book

05/21/15 – Illinois Wood Utilization Team Receives ‘Bringing Urban Forestry Full Circle’ Grant

05/15/15 – WUT in the News – Replacement Trees Adding New Look in Southland Neighborhoods

02/05/15 – WUT in the News – Beating the Beetle: Giving Trees a Second Life



Wood From The Hood Opens Urban Lumber Showroom

 

Wood From The Hood, a pioneer in Minneapolis’ urban wood movement, celebrated the grand opening of its lumber showroom with a two-day event Aug. 16 and 17.

Rick Siewert, who along with his wife Cindy, owns Wood From The Hood, said, “It went really well. We had 250 to 300 people and lots of interest and great comments.”

The new showroom features more than 100,000 board feet of kiln dried urban hardwoods including live edge and dimensional lumber, live edge slabs, cookies and paneling. Furniture grade species include ash, elm, black walnut, plus “Minnesota exotics:” honey locust, hackberry, catalpa and other character-grade woods.

Wood From The Hood shares an address with Siewert Cabinet & Fixture, a company with roots dating back to 1965. The Siewerts were inspired to launch Wood From the Hood after witnessing an old ash tree removed from their backyard. They realized that the tree could yield valuable lumber as opposed to being landfilled.

In addition to lumber, Wood From The Hood makes and sells a variety of urban wood items including cribbage boards, cutting boards, growth charts and picture frames.

Learn more at woodfromthehood.com.

 

 

 

 

 



Add Your Voice in Support of ‘OAKtober’

Editor’s note: Information for the campaign requesting that Illinois continue proclaiming October “OAKtober,” was submitted by the Chicago Region Tree Initiative.

OAKtober- Oak Awareness Month: A Brief History

  • In 2015, the Chicago Region Trees Initiative spearheaded a project to raise awareness about 
    • the value of oaks and oak ecosystemsneed to restore them across Illinois
    • the need to restore them across Illinois
  • Our partners sent letters of support to Governor Rauner
  • Governor Rauner signed a proclamation instituting October as OAKtober- Oak Awareness Month in Illinois.

Continuing to raise awareness
New governor, same request! 
In the beginning of August we are submitting an OAKtober- Oak Awareness Month proclamation request to our new governor, J.B. Pritzker. Click here to read our request.

We need your help! Here are some ideas for how you can get involved with OAKtober – Oak Awareness Month:

  • First, send a signed letter of support addressed to Governor Pritzker from your organization. Use this template or draft your own, and forward it to Melissa Custic MCustic@mortonarb.org by August 7.

  • Plan an OAKtober event! Check the OAKtober website ChicagoRTI.org/OAKtober for inspiration: lectures, family days, guided hikes, native plant sales, stewardship days, and more! Event flyer templates and the OAKtober logo are downloadable and ready for use. Make sure to submit events here with keyword OAKtober.

  • Write an article or blog post about oaks in your area: why they’re important, what’s going on in your neck of the woods, where to paddle your canoe for the best oak appreciation, what oaks and companion species you’ve got for sale, and whatever is most relevant & important to your community.

  • Post to social media and use #OAKtober. (Tip: Posts that are brief and have pictures are shared most frequently!)

  • Let us know what you are doing (i.e. send pictures, updates, flyers, plans, etc) so we can share and promote your activities!    





Spurned Woodworker Turns to Toronto for Urban Ash Lumber

By Rich Christianson

Custom woodworker Nicholas Hamilton Holmes can only imagine how many more products he would have crafted from urban wood if the City of Hamilton, ON, had allowed him to utilize some of the thousands of ash trees the city has been removing due to emerald ash borer infestation.

Holmes recently told me via email that, “Hamilton hasn’t really shifted their position as far as I know.”

The headline of February 2014 CBC News’ report pretty much summed up the situation: “Hamilton furniture maker wants to use ash borer wood, city says NO.

The article cited Toronto and Illinois as two examples of areas promoting the use of wood from trees felled by the emerald ash borer. It even quoted IL WUT’s own Edith Makra.

With Hamilton expecting to lose 22,738 trees to the EAB, one would think that the city would have been happy to spare even a few of the higher-quality logs the landfill to be made into something. But when Holmes asked the city for some of the ash logs to mill into lumber, he was not only turned away, but at one point told he would require $2 million in insurance coverage to haul city logs.

Rather than play the role of Don Quixote, Holmes decided not to battle Hamilton over its ash tree policy even though it frustrated him to see so much valuable wood go to waste. While the city’s rejection slowed him down, it hardly dissuaded him from using urban wood in some of his projects. He found a ready source of supply from nearby Toronto,which has taken a proactive stance on ash tree utilization.

Pictured above are a couple of items Holmes made from local urban ash wood. The Shell Table was made from two boards from the same tree milled by Sawmill Sid of Mississauga, ON. Hamilton displayed the table at a special exhibit of furniture and crafts made from Toronto-area ash trees at IDEX, an annual show attended by architects and designers.

Holmes also used urban ash for the Rhythm Rattles shown above and said he is “making a table for a client who had milled a walnut log from their property. I’ll be building it in the next few months and the wood  is looking really nice.”

Learn more about Nicholas Hamilton Holmes at hamiltonholmes.com.



DISCOVER ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN’S URBAN WOOD SCENE!

Looking to get out of town on an Urban Wood Adventure? Then Ann Arbor is the place to be on Friday, July 28.

The day-long event will make stops at Urban Ashes, an artisan picture frame maker; Recycle Ann Arbor’s Birge Urbanwood Center, an urban lumber marketplace; the Traverwood Branch Library, a showcase of how urban wood can be used for green building, and more. The Birge Urbanwood Center will also include an exhibition of urban wood furniture and artwork.

The price of the tour is only $20 and includes a bus transportation, lunch and refreshments. Seating is limited and reservations are required.

Read this month’s Illinois Urban Wood Update for more details and to register.

Also in this issue, if you are the owner of a Wood-Mizer sawmill or know someone who is, be sure to check out details about the company’s Personal Best contest.

Finally, read about some of the latest urban wood activities in North Carolina, including the Southeast Urban Wood Exchange, an online database aimed at connecting urban wood stakeholders, and the upcoming Urban Forest and Small Woodlot Workshop set for Wednesday, July 26 in Research Triangle Park.

As always, send me news, photos, event info, etc. to post on the illinoisurbanwood.org website and to use in an upcoming edition of the Illinois Urban Wood Update.

Enjoy the issue.

Rich Christianson
Communications Director
Illinois Wood Utilization Team

READ THE JUNE ILLINOIS URBAN WOOD UPDATE



DISCOVER ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN’S URBAN WOOD SCENE!

Looking to get out of town on an Urban Wood Adventure? Then Ann Arbor is the place to be on Friday, July 28.

The day-long event will make stops at Urban Ashes, an artisan picture frame maker; Recycle Ann Arbor’s Birge Urbanwood Center, an urban lumber marketplace; the Traverwood Branch Library, a showcase of how urban wood can be used for green building, and more. The Birge Urbanwood Center will also include an exhibition of urban wood furniture and artwork.

The price of the tour is only $20 and includes a bus transportation, lunch and refreshments. Seating is limited and reservations are required.

Read this month’s Illinois Urban Wood Update for more details and to register.

Also in this issue, if you are the owner of a Wood-Mizer sawmill or know someone who is, be sure to check out details about the company’s Personal Best contest.

Finally, read about some of the latest urban wood activities in North Carolina, including the Southeast Urban Wood Exchange, an online database aimed at connecting urban wood stakeholders, and the upcoming Urban Forest and Small Woodlot Workshop set for Wednesday, July 26 in Research Triangle Park.

As always, send me news, photos, event info, etc. to post on the illinoisurbanwood.org website and to use in an upcoming edition of the Illinois Urban Wood Update.

Enjoy the issue.

Rich Christianson
Communications Director
Illinois Wood Utilization Team

READ THE JUNE ILLINOIS URBAN WOOD UPDATE



Michigan Urbanwood Tour Set for July 28

A tour of urban wood businesses and projects in and around greater Ann Arbor, MI, is scheduled for Friday, July 28. The tour will shed light on a variety of innovative ways that dead and dying community trees are being put to use.

Tour stops include:

• Urban Ashes, an artisan picture frame and furniture maker in Saline, MI;
• Recycle Ann Arbor’s Birge Urbanwood Center, an urban lumber marketplace;
• AADL’s Traverwood Branch, a green building that uses local salvaged logs;
• Michigan State University’s Shadows Program, an program that makes collectibles from campus trees;
Tervol’s Wood Products, a local family-owned sawmill; and
• Birge Urbanwood Center Woodworker Showcase, a one-day exhibition of urban wood furniture, artwork and more.

Lunch and refreshments are included in the $20 registration fee.

The tour is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 6:00 p.m. The registration deadline is Friday, July 14. RSVP is required as seating is limited.

The event is hosted by the Sustainable Resources Alliance (formerly the SE Michigan RC&D Council) and Recycle Ann Arbor. Funding for this event is from the Bringing Urban Forestry Full Circle grant project which is supported by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area, State and Private Forestry Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities and is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Click here to learn more and to register.



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.



MSU Retails Wood Goods Crafted from Campus Trees

By Rich Christianson

Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing, MI, is graduating many of its felled campus trees into lumber, dining tables, picture frames and other wood products, rather than relegating them to the chipper for mulch and biofuel.

The university created the MSU Shadows Collection as part of its Sustainable Wood Recovery Initiative. The collectibles, ranging from business card holders ($25) and diploma-sized frames ($50 to $150) to an American elm Waterford side Table ($750) and walnut coffee and occasional table set ($2,150), are all produced by local artisans from trees removed from campus due to decline, storm damage or construction. The items are sold online through the MSU Surplus Store with profits supporting the MSU Department of Forestry and the planting of new trees on the university’s campus

According to a presentation by Paul Swartz, campus arborist, there are more than 24,200 trees on the 2,100-acre campus and approximately 3,000 acres of farms south of the main campus. In the past these trees and branches were chipped and used as landscaping much or burned as biomass fuel. But that was before the university adopted the Sustainable Wood Recovery Initiative, “a cross-functional collaborative formed to look at processes and development of comprehensive business plan for urban wood utilization on campus.”

Among the many highlights of the initiative noted by Swartz include:

  • Developing a model recovery and repurposing supply-chain system for trees removed from MSU for the development of value added products that provide economic, environmental and social benefits to the MSU community;
  • Creating a comprehensive campus tree management system that expands the current tree inventory, maintenance, and removal practices to include wood recovery and utilization;
  • Moving from “cradle-to-grave” to a recycling-based “cradIe-to-cradIe” plan;
  • Improving waste reduction and conserving resources in line with the highest and best-use model of solid waste management promoted by MSU Sustainability; and
  • Improving the university’s total capacity for carbon sequestration through long-term use of solid wood products.

The program is being directed by Dan Brown, wood recovery coordinator at MSU. Approximately 300 trees will be removed each year. Logs suited for lumber will be milled and kiln dried MSU in a 45-year-old steam kiln operated by students under Brown’s guidance. The kiln will dry about 10,000 board feet of lumber per year.

Brown attended the March 18 Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference in Oak Brook. He toted an American elm waterfall side table made by Michigan artisan Nathan Shaver to the conference that was displayed in the Urban Wood Products Showcase.