Category: News

Petitioners Push for National Urban Wood Day

President Dwight Eisenhower is presented with a commemorative clock from representatives of the National Lumber Manufacturers Association in 1960 after signing the proclamation designating the third week of October, National Forest Products Week.

The Virginia Urban Wood Group is leading the charge to designate the Friday of National Forest Products Week “National Urban Wood Day.”

“I believe it is time for a National Urban Wood Day. The urban wood movement, pioneered by some of the early advocates like Sam Sherrill, Steve Bratkovich, Ed Cesa, Stubby & Maria Warmbold and others, has come of age, developing into a thriving, booming sector of the forest products industry,” said Joe Lehnen, forest utilization & marketing specialist of the Virginia Department of Forestry.

“I am proposing that we collectively petition the American Wood Council which promotes National Forest Products Week (third week of October), to designate the Friday of that week as National Urban Wood Day.  There is precedent for special designation days of that week since the NFPW recognizes Wednesday as National Biofuels Day.”

The petition reads as follows:

“There are more than 130 million acres of urban forests. Annually, more trees are removed from urban areas than from all of the National Forests in the United States.

“Urban wood products from these trees have become part of the fabric, style and culture in many office buildings, businesses and homes. The urban wood economy and consumers desire for locally sourced products has become a movement too large to ignore.

“The Urban Wood movement now employs thousands of people, has created new jobs, and growing local economies. It has also purposefully added value and dignity to the trees of our urban forests, honoring these urban trees beyond their biological lives.

“More than any other day of the week, Fridays are a day when people gather around products made from urban wood: the bar top at the local craft brewery, the furnishings at a locally owned restaurant, a family dining table made from a tree that once stood near grandma’s home. The warmth, beauty, and creativity of urban wood products draws people into community.

“Therefore, we the undersigned, propose that the Friday of National Forest Products Week be designated as National Urban Wood Day, a day to honor a rising star of the forest products industry.”

Individuals and groups interested in signing on to the petition can do so by contacting Lehnen at joe.lehnen@dof.virginia.gov.

President Dwight Eisenhower signed the first proclamation designating the third week of October as National Forest Products Week to recognize the value of forest products and commit to conservation practices that help responsibly manage U.S. forests. This week celebrates the role and impact of forests and wood as an integral component to our nation’s society. National Forest Products Week is scheduled for Oct. 20-26 this year.



Event to Highlight ‘Urban Wood from Coast to Coast’

“Urban Wood from Coast to Coast” is the working title of a three-hour session planned for the annual Partners in Community Forestry Conference Nov. 20-21 in Cleveland, OH.

This interactive session will tentatively include information and project examples from Baltimore, MD; throughout California, and the Upper Midwest region. The session will demonstrate how urban trees and wood deconstruction materials are being put to use as value materials through local networks across the country.

Supporting highlights being planned, include:
● Video Showcase: show series of #forestproud 5-minute videos on urban reclaimed and fresh cut wood;
● Maker Showcase: show examples of products, branding, and social media campaigns that work;
● Discussion and update of opportunities to connect urban wood with green market opportunities, including green building and certification;
● Explore the economics of urban wood: how to develop a business plan to launch a fresh-cut urban wood operation; and
● Engage in roundtable discussions on regional urban wood initiatives in California, the Upper Midwest, Baltimore, and other areas.

Katie Fernholz of Dovetail Partners and Sarah Hines of the USDA Forest Service are leading the effort. They are working with Pete Smith, urban forestry program manager of the Arbor Day Association.

Learn more about the conference at arborday.org.



Tables Made in Seattle Reside in NYC

We often assume that furniture made from urban wood tends to stay in or at least near the neighborhood where it was removed.

This is far from the case for a series of American Elm tables made by Urban Hardwoods of Seattle for a healthcare client’s office in New York City. The wood was salvaged from a large tree that fell during a storm in Northwest Oregon.

Founded in 2001, Urban Hardwoods’ Executive Collection includes conference tables, desks and credenzas.

Visit Urban Hardwoods’ website.



SUFC Names New Co-chairs

Mark Garvin, formerly with the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), and consultant Jennifer Hinrichs have been selected to serve co-chairs of the Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition (SUFC). Both have long been involved with SUFC. 

Garvin recently retired from TCIA, where he worked for more than 22 years, including nine years as the association’s president and CEO.
TCIA’s membership includes more than 2,400 commercial tree care firms and affiliated companies.

For the past nine years, Garvin has represented TCIA in the SUFC, including participating on two committees and serving as a member of the Steering Committee.

Hinrichs has been involved with SUFC since the Coalition’s early days. She hired SUFC’s first convener over 13 years ago when it was affiliated with the National Tree Trust and later served as its convener and interim director for nine years, growing it from 20 to over 35 national members. For the last two years she has served in a voluntary capacity as an adviser to the Steering Committee.

Hinrichs has more than 25 years of non-profit management and consulting experience that includes NGO leadership, coalition capacity building, and communication expertise in both the private and public sectors.

The SUFC’s mission is to convene and mobilize a network of diverse national organizations to foster thriving communities through healthy urban and community forests.

Learn more at SUFC.org.



August Hoppe Joins TCIA Board

August Hoppe, owner of Hoppe Tree Service and the Urban Wood Lab in Milwaukee, WI, was elected to the Tree Care Industry Association Board of Directors.

Hoppe has a long history advancing the urban wood movement. He is a past president of the Wisconsin Arborist Association and is a member of Wisconsin Urban Wood.

In addition to Hoppe, Tad Jacobs, president of Treemasters of San Rafael, CA, was elected to the TCIA Board and current board member Noel Boyer, owner of All About Trees of Springfield, MO, was elected to a full three-year term.

The Tree Care Industry Association is a trade association of 2,300 tree care firms and affiliated companies and was established in 1938 as the National Arborist Association. TCIA develops safety and education programs, standards of tree care practice and management information for tree and landscape firms around the world. We provide continuing education, training, conferences and publications to promote the safe and appropriate practice of tree care.



Like Urban Wood Network on Facebook

The Urban Wood Network is now on Facebook. Become a fan and keep up to date with the latest developments of the urban wood movement, informative webinars and other news.

Like Urban Wood Network.



Alabama Launchpad Jumpstarts Urban Wood Business

Alabama Launchpad is an early-stage seed fund investor started in 2006 by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama to drive innovation and job growth through startup competitions and ongoing mentoring for Alabama entrepreneurs.

In 2016, Alabama Sawyer of Birmingham, AL, was the recipient of an Alabama Launchpad award. Husband-wife team Cliff and Leigh Spencer note in the accompanying video that entering the annual competition with the intent to win is a lot of work but not without a payoff. The couple netted $100,000 and lots of great publicity.



Lumber Woman Repurposes Wood from Topeka’s Urban Forest

As the story goes, Tina Albright was inspired to launch Lumber Woman & Co. after a large limbs of sycamore tree in her family’s yard fell on her husband’s car.

According to the Topeka Capital Journal, Albright’s search to find someone to mill the tree’s log into lumber to build a treehouse led her to Tom Hogard, aka, Tom The Sawyer. Hogard milled the log but also convinced her that the wood was far too valuable to be squandered on a tree house.

She agreed and the wood instead became new flooring for the Albright’s home and food for thought to start a business around selling urban wood slabs and wood products.

Check out Lumber Woman & Co. on Facebook.

Read the Topeka Capital Journal’s full article.



Video: (Urban) Forest Proud

Forest Proud celebrates the omni importance of forests, including urban forests, as demonstrated by the accompanying video.

“Our mission is to build trust and support to manage, harvest, conserve, and play in North America’s forests in ways that address key societal challenges.” the website notes.

“We are a diverse community of forest stewards responsible for shaping the future of North America’s forests. We value the renewable products and benefits they provide us and are committed to making choices that keep forests as forests.”  

Learn more at forestprod.org.



The Greenfield, WI, Urban Wood Model

Greenfield, WI, a Tree City USA, has developed the Greenfield Model to repurpose trees removed by the city into lumber and other value-added products. The Greenfield Model is based on the Milwaukee Model and consists of three key players: the city, a container company and a medium-sized sawmill.

The model in use begins with training city tree crews in tree removal practices that that preserve their wood whenever possible. Greenfield estimates that it up to 30% of its tree removals are eligible for milling at Kettle Moraine Hardwoods, its sawmill partner. Sawn and dried lumber is sold to area companies and individuals. The other trees are used for things like pallets, mulch, biofuel, animal bedding, and firewood.

Read more about this Wisconsin Urban Wood success story on the Urban Wood Network’s website.

The GM began as a project between Wisconsin Urban Wood and the City of Greenfield and was facilitated by a 2016 grant from the WIDNR Urban Forestry Division.