Category: Blogs

Video: WoodSwimmer into Tranquility

In case you need a reminder that wood is the coolest of organic building materials, then check out WoodSwimmer, a stop-motion video by Brett Foxwell. It’s hypnotizing.



SkillsUSA & Urban Wood Unite in Wisconsin

Nearly three dozen students competing in the annual SkillsUSA woodworking competition in Wisconsin crafted end tables using reclaimed urban ash donated by Wisconsin Urban Wood.

Jasper Bushman of WITC Rice Lake and Nathan Voge of Union Grove High School won Gold medals in the postsecondary and high school divisions. They will represent Wisconsin in the SkillsUSA national cabinetmaking competition next month in Louisville, KY.

Other postsecondary medalists included two other WITC Rice Lake students: Mason Kollwitz, silver, and Ryan Erickson, bronze. Ethan Martin of Spooner High School and Evan Huck or Grafton High School took home silver and bronze in the high school division.

The end table was designed by Patrick Molzahn, director of the Cabinetmaking and Millwork program at Madison College and secretary of the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America. The Wisconsin Chapter of the Architectural Woodwork Institute, under the direction of Josh Bartlett of Franklin International, coordinated the event.




ALOHA STATE’S GOT URBAN WOOD

Chicago, Milwaukee, Kansas City and Ann Arbor. There’s no need to think twice about any of those cities being bountiful sources of urban wood. But Kamuela, HI?

I find cause to pause.

Kamuela is on the Big Island of Hawaii and home to Kamuela Hardwoods. The company’s successful urban wood business is perhaps the most intriguing episode of Wood-Mizer’s Urban Sawmilling Series of videos.
Alex Woodbury, a woodworker, who co-founded the business with Josh Greenspan, an ISA certified arborist, says, “Up until recently, as much as 33% of our waste stream produced by our small island population of under 200,000 people was in the form of green waste, and in that green waste was an untold number of millable urban trees. For almost a decade we’ve been diverting some of that waste and producing beautiful sustainable lumber with it.”

Learn more and watch the video about this 49th-stage urban wood enterprise in this month’s Illinois Urban Wood Update.

If you are in a video watching mode, then check out the short presentation produced by Forest Proud that celebrates the omni importance of urban forests.

Also, in this month’s issue, read about Lumber Woman & Co., an urban wood business run by Tina Albright of Topeka, KS. It’s another story of homeowner who had a V8-moment about the potential of putting community trees to good use after researching what to do about a tree that needed to come down on her property.

Plus, the city of Greenfield, WI, represents a case study of how a community can take the initiative to repurpose tree removals into lumber and other wood products. The Greenfield Model is one of many inspirational stories shared by the Urban Wood Network.

Finally, speaking about the Urban Wood Network, learn how to become a member and the benefits that come with it. The initial paid membership drive has netted more than 35 founding members. For only $50 you can join these companies and entities and help shape plans to forward the urban wood movement.

Enjoy!

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

READ THE MARCH ILLINOIS URBAN WOOD UPDATE



CAN CERTIFICATION DRIVE URBAN WOOD MARKET DEMAND?

Dovetail Partners has released a new report, “Increasing Urban Wood Use Awareness and Product Demand: An analysis of green market opportunities.” The report includes an analysis of “existing programs used in the management and care of the urban forest to identify areas of alignment and potential for green market opportunities. The analysis included identifying needs and gaps in addressing urban wood use and opportunities to increase awareness and product demand.”

Among the opportunities summarized in the report include green markets related to third-party forest certification programs and third-party forest certification chain-of-custody programs.

A link to download the report for free is included in this month’s Illinois Urban Wood Update.

On the subject of links, we got a bunch of them in the article about the new Urban Wood Toolkit. The kit includes a series of six bulletins running the gamut from Bulletin #1: A Guide for Creating Urban Wood Utilization Plans to Bulletin #6: Recommended Resources for Building an Urban Wood Use Plan. Also included is a link to the Urban Toolkit webinar that the Urban Wood Network organized last month.

The Urban Wood Toolkit was designed to be used by municipal foresters, city managers, community volunteers, or students who are interested in finding the highest and best use for removed urban and community trees.

And, speaking about the Urban Wood Network, learn how to become a member and the benefits that come with it. The annual membership dues is only $50 per company. It’s a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor of planning the future direction of this erstwhile organization.

Read all of this and more in the Update.

Enjoy!

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

READ THE FEBRUARY ILLINOIS URBAN WOOD UPDATE



A Look Back at 2018’s Most Viewed Posts

The polls are closed and the winners are known. Here are the Top 10 most viewed posts at illinoisurbanwood.org for 2018.

  1. Urban Wood Network Announces ‘How-to Do Urban Wood’ Webinar Series
  2. Chicago Tree Project Continues to Transform Dead Trees into Sculptures
  3. How Much Is Your Log Worth?
  4. UWN to Present Free Urban Wood Seminar at IWFF 2018
  5. Retired Teacher Focuses on Growing Urban Wood Business
  6. Watch Tom the Sawyer Transform an Urban Honey Locust Log
  7. Join the Urban Wood Network Movement
  8. Book Chronicles Urban Tree to Table Movement
  9. Q&A with Erika Horigan of Horigan Urban Forest Products
  10. Story of Riverside’s Wind-Felled Oak Featured in Woodshop News

Top 10 Posts of 2017

Top 10 Posts of 2016



Urban Wood Toolkit Webinar

I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful holiday season

There has been little down time for the Urban Wood Network. Fresh off the heels of its well-received “How-to-Do Urban Wood” webinar series, UWN is organizing a special presentation focused on the new Urban Wood Toolkit assembled by our colleagues in Michigan. The free 90-minute webinar is scheduled for 1 p.m. EST Wednesday, Jan. 30. 

There has been little down time for the Urban Wood Network. Fresh off the heels of its well-received “How-to-Do Urban Wood” webinar series, UWN is organizing a special presentation focused on the new Urban Wood Toolkit assembled by our colleagues in Michigan. The free 90-minute webinar is scheduled for 1 p.m. EST Wednesday, Jan. 30. 

The Urban Wood Toolkit provides a comprehensive checklist for implementing or expanding an urban wood use network. Kudos to Jessica Simon, Margaret Miller and everyone else who participated in creating this marvelous series of documents. Read this month’s newsletter to learn how to register for this special webinar presentation. 

Also in this month’s Illinois Urban Wood Update: 

  • Read how Hoppe Tree Service of Milwaukee has taken a full-circle approach to urban forestry by launching the Urban Wood Lab, a retail outlet for lumber, slabs and wood products created from urban tree removals. 
  • Eutree, an urban sawmill and lumber supplier based in Villa Rica, GA, was honored by Green America with a People and Planet Award. 
  • Sawmilling “out-of-shape” logs to improve yield is the theme of a 2014 report available from the U.S Forest Service, Northern Research Station, in Princeton, WV. It’s worth a read by all of you sawyers out there.

Happy New Year!
See you in 2019!! 
Rich Christianson
 Communications Director
Illinois Wood Utilization Team
info@illinoisurbanwood.org

READ THE DECEMBER ILLINOIS URBAN WOOD UPDATE 



EAB Threatens 50,000 Trees in Lincoln, NE

The deadly emerald ash borer has made its way to Lincoln, NE, putting up to 50,000 public and private ash trees at risk.

According to the Lincoln Journal Star, the city has been bracing for the emerald ash borer’s arrival for the past three years. The wait ended when the EAB was cited within the city this fall.

According to the Journal Star, Lincoln has developed a 15 year plan to spend an estimated $22.8 million to combat the EAB invasion and its impact on 14,000 public ash trees. The plan includes removing about 1,000 ash trees a year and replacing them with other tree species. The city will spend about $10 million of the total to hire private tree care companies to remove ash trees with diameters of 18 inches or more.

The city has also held public hearings to outline its plan to residents. The newspaper reported that there is concern that many residents cannot afford to remove ash trees, which pose a safety hazard,  from their private property.

A related article by the Journal Star focused on a pair of workshops held in late November focused on utilizing some of the ash tree removals for lumber and wood products.

 

 

 

 



Share Your Urban Wood Success Stories, Photos, Videos, etc.

A lot of the best news and events items, blogs and videos about urban wood posted on this website were submitted by sawyers, woodworkers and others who are proud to share their success stories.

And we’re more than pleased to do so!

Here are just a few examples of urban wood in action that came across the transom:

Retired Teacher Focuses on Growing Urban Wood Business

Read more.

Wisconsin Urban Forest Fest Set for Sept. 15

Read more. 

Watch Tom The Sawyer Transform an Urban Honey Locust Log

Read more.

 

There are as many potential story lines as there are urban trees. If you have one to share, we’d love to hear it. Simply send a photo or two and a short write up – even a few bullet points – about the tree and how and why it was transformed into something of value for its second life. We’ll do the rest and share your story with our audience on the IL WUT website and monthly Illinois Urban Wood newsletter.

Direct your urban tree news, events, videos, etc. to Rich Christianson at richc.illinoisurbanwood@gmail.com.



What’s That Urban Log Worth?

Scott Wunder, a custom sawyer and woodworker based in St. Charles, MO, also is a ‘wunderful’ blogger. Over the years he has tackled a variety of subjects, many of them relative to the world of urban wood. I think one of his most interesting and germane to the urban wood conversation is rhetorically titled, “What Is Your Log Worth?”

“The short answer,” Wunder writes, “is probably not as much as you had hoped, but you’re not here for the short answer, so I’ll give you the long one.”

If you’ve got a few minutes, it’s well worth the read.

Also featured in this issue
The Urban Wood Network concluded its four-part “How-to Do Urban Wood” webinar series with “Starting a State Urban Wood Network.” The presentation illustrates by example, featuring three speakers of Wisconsin Urban Wood. You can catch this and the other three webinars On-demand.

Since retiring from his professorship at Purdue University, Dan Cassens has more time to devote to Cassens Lumber, a custom sawmill operation in West Lafayette, IN. Cassens is the featured guest in one of the “Milling Your Own Lumber” video series presented by Poplar Woodworking in conjunction with Wood-Mizer.

Dovetail Partners, a forest consulting firm with strong ties to urban wood markets, invites urban wood enterprises to get listed on its “Buy Local – Wood Products Campaigns” map. Learn how in this edition of the Illinois Urban Wood Update.

Think urban wood for that special someone on your holiday list!

Rich Christianson
Communications Director
Illinois Wood Utilization Teami
info@illinoisurbanwood.org

READ THE NOVEMBER ILLINOIS URBAN WOOD UPDATE



Greater West Town Celebrates 25 Years!

Congratulations to our friends at the Greater West Town Project on reaching the quarter-century of a mark. The GWTP has trained and placed 900 low-income Chicagoans in woodworking shops since it was launched in 1993. The center has moved into larger quarters and added next generation technology over the years. But the one constant during its 25-year history is Doug Rappe, program coordinator and a long-time proponent of using urban wood. Read about Doug and his award-winning program in this month’s Illinois Urban Wood Update.

Also featured in this issue
Dovetail Partners continues to take the lead on developing an urban wood certification program. Lucy Cohn-Still, Urban & Community Forestry Specialist of the North Carolina Forest Service, recently authored an update on the program’s progress. “The results of this collaboration would support state urban wood groups, create messaging, and be presented to various audiences and venues,” Cohn-Still writes.

It’s hurricane season and we’ve already witness the death and destruction wreaked by Hurricanes Florence and Michael. While the immediate focus in a hurricane’s wake is search and rescue by first responders, there is also a need to remove storm damaged trees. This is where the Urban Forest Strike Team springs to action. Read a 2017 blog by Patty Matteson, Southern Research Station, Forest Service in Forestry, that still rings true today.

Finally, the Urban Wood Network presented the fourth installment of its popular “How to Do Urban Wood” webinar series on October 25. Like the previous three segments, it will soon be archived to watch on-demand. Find a link to the webinar archives in the Update.

Looking forward to receiving your urban wood news and photos!

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

 

READ THE OCTOBER ILLINOIS URBAN WOOD UPDATE