Search Results for "urban wood standards"

Urban Wood Standards & Certification Highlight Webcast

The latest in the ongoing efforts to develop North American urban wood standards and certification was presented during the Oct. 8 Urban Wood Utilization webinar organized by the USDA Forest Service.

The two-hour program is now available on-demand.

Jennifer Alger, president of Urban, Salvaged & Reclaimed Woods, provided the update on Standards for Certification and Chain of Custody (CoC) for urban lumber that have been in the works for over a year. She said a 60-day public comment period that closed on Sept. 30 garnered feedback from stakeholders across the country and Canada.

Alger said the proposed urban lumber standards cover definitions, processing, grading, drying and chain of custody requirements. She said the standards and related certification is needed not only to create guidelines for properly managing the urban wood movement from tree removal through the lumber mill. Certifying urban lumber that meets the standards will help build awareness about urban wood’s socio-economic and environmental benefits in the marketplace.

The webinar also shed more light on the strengthening of cooperation among urban wood groups across the country. The Urban Wood Network has created a steering committee comprised of Alger, representing the west region; Joe Lehnen, forest utilization and marketing specialist for the Urban Wood Program of Virginia, east region representative; and Dwayne Sperber, owner of Wudeward Urban Forest Products, Wisconsin representative.

Other presentations of the webinar included:

  • Outreach to Urban Wood Consumers in Wisconsin & Urban Wood Network Update by Don Peterson, executive director of Renewable Resource Solutions. 
  • Far West Forest Products – Using Salvage Wood (Wood Innovation Grant) by Alger.

  • CalFire Urban Wood Grant at work in San Diego by Cody Harrison, beyond sustainability specialist at Corona Enterprises and Tom Hamilton, CEO of LumberCycle.

The webinar was moderated by Ann Sarnecki, partnership coordinator of the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, in Madison, WI.

Watch Webinar

 



IWF Cancelled; Urban Wood Seminar to Be Virtual Event

The International Woodworking Fair, North America’s largest gathering for wood products professionals, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The show had been scheduled for Aug. 22-25 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

As a result of IWF 2020’s cancellation, the Urban Wood Network is making arrangements to transition the free seminar it was planning to host at the show as a virtual event. The date and time for the digital presentation of “The Urban Wood Movement: Expanding from Coast to Coast,” will be announced in the coming weeks.

All of the presenters for the seminar have committed to participating in the online program. They include Jennifer Alger, CEO of Far West Forest Products; Carmen Rodriguez, chief marketing officer of Eutree and Dwayne Sperber, owner of Wudeward Urban Forest Products. Rich Christianson, editor and publisher of Illinois Urban Wood, will moderate the session. The program is sponsored in part by the Georgia Forest Commission.

The free urban wood utilization session builds on programs offered to professional woodworkers at IWF 2016 and IWF 2018. The program will identify how woodworkers can benefit from the unique aesthetic and environmental properties of locally-sourced urban wood. The program will also highlight new national standards and certification of urban lumber.

To receive additional information, including a registration link when it becomes available, contact info@urbanwoodnetwork.org.



Penn State Developing Tech that Destroys Pests in Wood

Penn State scientists validated the effectiveness and cost efficiency of radio frequency technology for pallet sanitation during a commercial trial held at University Park. Image: Penn State

A technology that uses dielectric heating and radio frequency energy to destroy destructive pests lurking within wood products is closer to reaching the marketplace after a commercial trial at Penn State’s University Park campus.

The Dec. 17 demonstration, which was observed by regulatory and wood products industry professionals from the U.S. and Canada, validated the effectiveness and cost efficiency of the radio frequency, or RF, technology for pallet sanitation.

The treatment offers enhanced ability to terminate wood insect and nematode pests compared to conventional heat practices, noted Mark Gagnon, Harbaugh Entrepreneur and Innovation Faculty Scholar in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

“This innovation has the potential to be transformative in required international trade wood-sanitation treatment,” said Gagnon, who has been instrumental in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program since its inception, encouraging entrepreneurship across the college.

“RF treatment is more efficient and uses fewer resources than conventional kilns and chemical drying methods, and that is not only better for a company’s bottom line, but it is also better for the environment.”

Developed by Penn State scientists John Janowiak, professor of wood products engineering, processing and manufacturing, and Kelli Hoover, professor of entomology, the patent-pending, wood-treatment system heats wood in a unique configuration by using electromagnetic wave penetration, similar to that of a microwave oven.

It heats wood from the inside out, first causing the core temperature to elevate rapidly, making it an ideal method to destroy pests that have burrowed within, noted Hoover.

“Invasive pests cause about $120 billion a year in damage to our valuable forests, ecosystems and agricultural crops, and they continue to be a problem due to increased world trade,” she said, pointing to the emerald ash borer and Asian long horned beetle as examples. Both pests found their way to the U.S. in untreated pallets shipped from China in the early 2000s; the emerald ash borer alone has destroyed tens of millions of ash trees in 30 states.

Mark Hamelin, RF Kiln Technology, center, adjusts the power input for a dielectric heating cycle. He is shown with John Janowiak, professor of wood products engineering, processing and manufacturing, and Karolina Szymona, postdoctoral researcher.
IMAGE: Penn State

Ensuring that wood used in international trade is pest-free is not just an ethical business practice, but it is a legal requirement, according to Janowiak. Wood packaging materials, including pallets, crates and chips, must be debarked, treated and inspected per international regulations. Adhering to these standards is especially crucial for the U.S. wood industry as 40 percent of its logs are processed into wooden shipping pallets.

For years, wood-products manufacturers have had two options to deal with wood-boring insects — traditional heat-treatment or fumigation. RF technology is poised to offer the industry another choice, one that the scientists say is faster and more streamlined than the use of conventional kilns and that can help decrease energy costs. In addition, the cost to treat wood using RF technology potentially is lower than current pallet heat-treatment practices, set at 5 cents for a standard 48-by-40-inch shipping pallet.

“Our technology has a huge economic potential that can provide long-term savings for companies,” said Karolina Szymona, a postdoctoral researcher on the project. “While saving money is important, to me the real value is that it saves energy, which means saving our natural resources and reducing the carbon footprint.”

RF technology also can replace the process of fumigating wood with methyl bromide — a chemical that is being phased out — and help the U.S. wood products industry to retain export markets while moving away from chemically-treated wood.

“There has been a real demand to develop suitable alternatives to replace methyl bromide, which is an ozone-depleting chemical,” said Ron Mack, commodity treatment specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. “Dielectric treatment is one of the leading alternatives to replace it.”

While the technology has undergone numerous tests and has received a stamp of approval from industry boards as well as the International Plant Protection Convention of the UN — the board that oversees wood packaging trade standards — the research team needs third-party validation and assistance with developing operational protocols to make its innovation “mill ready.”

To that end, the scientists are working on a bilateral agreement with the U.S. and Canadian lumber standard accreditation committees, both of which had representatives on-site for the trial in Penn State’s Forest Resources Laboratory.

“This is a safe, stable and proven technology,” said Chuck Dentelbeck, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Lumber Standards Accreditation Board. “But introducing any new technology is like being in a marathon; you have to bring them [pallet manufacturers] to the starting line and let them decide if it makes sense for them. Once they know the benefits, I believe many will run with it.”

Sharing his enthusiasm is project collaborator Mark Hamelin of RF Kiln Technology, of Midland, Ontario, Canada, who deemed the commercial trial a success. “This was a pretty big day, having these agencies witness how efficiently and effectively our process works,” he said. “There are challenges ahead, the biggest one will be convincing people in the industry who have been using a different technology for 50 years that we have a better mousetrap.”

The project has received state and federal appropriations, including continuous funding since 2003 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Methyl Bromide Transitions Program. It also received financial support from the college’s Research Applications for INnovation program, which provides funding for researchers who are ready to move toward commercializing their research.

More information about RF technology and project collaborators is available online at https://abe.psu.edu/research/bio-based-products/wood-packaging/about-research. Further, the USDA and industry partner Mark Hamelin of RF Kiln Technology are part of a formal Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Penn State to advance RF technology.



Urban Wood Movement’s Growth Focus of IWF 2020 Seminar

Free presentation at North America’s largest woodworking event will highlight opportunities for woodworkers to leverage the unique local appeal and environmental benefits of using urban wood.
International Woodworking Fair

August 25-28, 2020

Seminar Organizer

Seminar Organizer

Sponsor

ATLANTA – The Urban Wood Network (UWN), in partnership with the International Woodworking Fair (IWF), will present a free seminar, “The Urban Wood Movement: Expanding from Coast to Coast.”

The 90-minute session is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, August 26. This represents the third consecutive edition of the biennial event to feature a seminar devoted to urban wood utilization. IWF, North America’s largest gathering of woodworking professionals and suppliers, runs August 25-28 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

“It’s amazing how far the urban wood movement has advanced since we held the first seminar at IWF 2016,” said Rich Christianson, editor and publisher of IllinoisUrbanWood.org, a website advocating the responsible reuse of felled community trees for lumber and wood products. “Since then, the Urban Wood Network has emerged as a rapidly expanding national association representing stakeholders up and down the entire supply chain including arborists, sawyers and custom woodworkers. We’re looking forward to sharing the latest information at IWF, including the creation of national standards and certification of urban wood lumber and products that will help drive market demand.”

“Lumber produced from urban wood can be utilized in a broad range of scales ranging from one-of-a-kind custom furniture pieces to large-scale construction projects,” said Don Peterson, executive director of the Urban Wood Network. “As detrimental as the wide sweeping urban tree mortality has been to communities, it has also made large volumes of urban wood available for conversion into lumber, providing enough resource for large scale projects.”

Christianson will moderate the session that will feature a trio of presenters, all representatives of companies belonging to the Urban Wood Network. They include:

  • Jennifer Alger, CEO of Far West Forest Products based in Sheridan, CA. Far West is a family-owned logging and sawmilling business that actively promotes the use of local native species and underutilized logs including reclaimed urban wood.
  • Carmen Rodriguez, chief marketing officer of Eutree based in Villa Rica, GA. Eutree is a boutique lumber mill that partners with Atlanta-area tree services repurpose trees as lumber, flooring, slabs and more.
  • Dwayne Sperber, owner of Wudeward Urban Forest Products based in Milwaukee, WI. Wudeward exclusively sources Wisconsin Urban Wood in working with architects, interior designers, builders, homeowners, developers, manufacturers and furniture makers nationwide.

The panel of experts will discuss urban wood’s unique local appeal, environmental advantages, finding local sources, business benefits and more. The presenters will also answer questions about urban wood utilization directed by individual audience members.

The Georgia Forestry Commission has signed on as the first sponsor of the IWF 2020 urban wood seminar.

For more information about the IWF urban wood seminar, including sponsorship opportunities, contact Rich Christianson at richc.illinoisurbanwood@gmail.com or phone 773-822-6750.

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About the International About the International Woodworking Fair
The International Woodworking Fair, owned by the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association and the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America, is North America’s largest industrial woodworking event. IWF 2020 is scheduled for August 25-28 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. It is the “must-attend” show for manufacturers of furniture, cabinets, flooring and other secondary wood products. More than 30,000 visitors registered for IWF 2018, which featured displays of machinery and supplies from nearly 1,100 companies covering 1 million square feet of exhibit space. Learn more and register at iwfatlanta.com.

About the Urban Wood Network
The Urban Wood Network (UWN) is a national association established to inform, collaborate and connect to build business and consumer confidence in the urban wood industry. UWN’s membership includes municipalities, government agencies, arborists, saw mills, woodworkers and other stakeholders in the United States, plus Canada and other countries. Learn more about the UWN and membership benefits at urbanwoodnetwork.org.



Urban Lumber Business Strategies Theme of May 13 UWN Webinar

The Urban Wood Network (UWN) will present part three of its Future Visioning webinar series on May 13 with “Urban Lumber Business.”  UWN invites municipalities, arborists, sawyers, woodworkers, advocates and all others interested in advancing the urban wood movement to participate in this 75-minute webinar.

The Urban Lumber Business webinar will highlight proven strategies for scaling up and marketing an urban wood business. It will include how to use the new urban wood industry standard and chain-of-custody certification to simplify a business’s processes. The presentation will also walk participants through some of the bottlenecks that exist in urban lumber processes and how to overcome them.

This webinar has been approved for 1.25 CEUs through ISA: BCMA Management, Certified Arborist, and Municipal Specialist.

UWN Future Visioning Webinar Schedule
March 11: The Urban Wood Network: Future Visioning
WATCH ON DEMAND

April 8: Urban Lumber Standards
AVAILABLE ON DEMAND SOON

May 13: Urban Lumber Business

June 10: What to Do with the Rest of the Tree(s)

July 8: Forming a State Organization: Nebraska Urban Wood
REGISTER NOW FOR ANY OR ALL WEBINARS



UWN Presents Urban Lumber Standards in April 8 Webinar

The Urban Wood Network (UWN) continues its 2020 webinar series on April 8 with Urban Lumber Standards. UWN invites municipalities, arborists, sawyers, woodworkers, advocates and all others interested in advancing the urban wood movement to participate in one or all of these 75-minute webinars.

Each of the webinars is scheduled for the second Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. Pacific, 11 a.m. Mountain, 12 p.m. Central, and 1 p.m. Eastern. In addition, the recorded webinars will be archived on UWN’s website.

Webinar #2: Urban Lumber Standards – April 8, 2020
One of the things that keeps coming to light in order to take our industry to the next level and rescue more trees is to get urban woods specified by more architects and designers, and therefore sell more product, is the need for industry Standards and Chain-of-Custody. These standards and chain-of-custody certification will build confidence in architects and designers to spec locally grown urban wood products. After a peer review process and input from urban wood stakeholders from various backgrounds and experiences located coast to coast and Canada we now have Urban Wood Industry Standards and chain of custody certification. This webinar will highlight the new pathways for urban woods to be certified.

Join Webinar

UWN’s 2020 Future Visioning Webinar Series schedule:

  • The Urban Wood Network: Future Visioning – March 11, 2020
    Watch on demand.
  • Urban Lumber Standards – April 8, 2020
  • Urban Lumber Business – May 13, 2020
  • What to do with the rest of the Tree(s) – June 10, 2020


Wudeward’s Owner Shares Vision & Passion for Urban Wood in Podcast

Dwayne Sperber, owner of Wudeward Urban Forest Products of Milwaukee, WI, was the featured guest of a recent Woodpreneur podcast, produced by Acre of Timbers.

Sperber is well known on the urban wood scene for his passionate involvement with Wisconsin Urban Wood and the Urban Wood Network. Wudeward is a business focused on supplying Wisconsin Urban Wood to architects, designs, builders and wood product manufacturers. 

Among many other things, Sperber presents his views of the current state of the urban wood movement, tips for developing a local urban wood network and how adopting industry standards – which are in the works – will help propel market demand for urban wood in the future.

Listen or watch the podcast.



Forest Service Slates Urban Wood Utilization Webinar for Oct. 8


The U.S. Forest Service is relaunching the semi-annual Urban Wood Utilization Webinar series with an update on standards for certification and chain of custody for urban, salvaged and reclaimed woods

The webinar is scheduled for 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Oct. 8.

The webinar will also include regional reports of the urban wood movements. Confirmed speakers include Don Peterson, executive director of Renewable Resource Solutions, who was instrumental in the launch of the Urban Wood Network, and Jennifer Alger, CEO of Far West Forest Products and president of Urban Salvaged and Reclaimed Woods Inc.

No pre-registration is required to watch the webinar. Simply log into usfs.adobeconnect.com/uwu. 

The last Urban Wood Utilization Webinar was held in April 2018. Since then, Ed Cesa, the former host, has retired from the U.S. Forest Service.

Ann Sarnecki, partnership coordinator of the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, is now in charge of the webinars.

 Click here to access archived webinars dating back to early 2015.



National Wood Certification Project Update

Editor’s Note: This article was previously published in the North Carolina Urban Wood Group’s September 2018 newsletter.

By Lucy Cohn-Still
Urban & Community Forestry Specialist
NC Forest Service

While attending the International Society of Arboriculture’s 2018 Annual conference in Columbus, Ohio, I participated in the urban wood certification grant meeting with Dovetail Partners executive director Kathryn Fernholz and other key players in the Urban Wood Certification Project to increase awareness and product demand for national urban wood use. We met together to discuss and examine the existing programs that are utilized in the management and care of the urban forest to identify areas of alignment and potential for mutual recognition between compatible programs. The project also includes looking for any needs and gaps in addressing urban wood use and opportunities to increase awareness and product demand.

The scope of work for this proposal includes working with partners to develop an urban wood certification approach that could be adopted and promoted by existing programs (including The Arbor Day Foundation, Society of Municipal Arborists, Right-of-Way Stewardship Council, Utility Arborists Association, Tree Care Industry Association, and Dovetail Partners Inc.), and utilized by municipalities and businesses. The results of this collaboration would support state urban wood groups, create messaging, and be presented to various audiences and venues.

Several areas of opportunity are available for development of an urban wood certification approach and promotion of urban wood use.  The opportunities we discussed include possibilities related to:

  • Green Building Programs
  • Third-Party Forest Certification Programs
  • Third-Party Forest Certification Chain-of-Custody Programs
  • Mutual Recognition and Program Partnerships
  • Regional Activities

Urban wood use may already occur to a limited degree within green building programs and third-party forest certification programs. Further research could identify current activities in these areas to highlight possible case studies or promotional opportunities. With further development, the use of urban wood in green building could be expanded and recognition within third-party forest certification programs could be formalized.

North Carolina’s role within this project is to provide financial and technical assistance, as well as work with Virginia and other states throughout the south east to promote urban wood utilization and standards. This certification project is a national project involving several partners, but North Carolina will assist within the southeast by raising awareness and encouraging discussions about urban wood standardization and utilization. Our next step will be to develop draft pilot strategies and ideas of approaching urban wood certification.

For more information on the Urban Wood Certification Project, visit www.dovetailinc.org or contact me at Lucy.Cohn-Still@ncagr.gov.



SIGN UP FOR FREE URBAN WOOD NETWORK WEBINAR

The Urban Wood Network (UWN) will present a free informational webinar at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 17. If you have an interest in help advance the urban wood movement, then sign up now to attend. This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with the UWN, its mission and its aspirations. In addition, you’ll be able to ask questions and provide much welcomed input.
The Urban Wood Network was launched last summer by representatives of Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin. Membership is not only open to entities and individuals in those states, but to others east of the Rocky Mountains.

Speaking of webinars, the Wood Education and Resource Center will present its Spring Urban Wood webcast on Tuesday, April 3. Highlights include updates of the Urban Wood Network and work to develop urban wood certification standards.

Read this month’s Illinois Urban Wood Update for more details about each of these webcasts and registration information.

Also, this month, read about the Virginia Urban Forest Council’s new urban wood business directory and the latest updates on the spread of the dreaded emerald ash borer throughout North America.
Don’t forget to share your urban wood success stories, photos and experiences.

Enjoy!
Rich Christianson
Communications Director
Illinois Wood Utilization Team
info@illinoisurbanwood.org