Tag: Horigan Urban Forest Products

Update on the Urban Wood Network-IL Chapter

We held our first in-person meeting of the new UWN-IL chapter on March 9 at the showroom of Icon Modern in Chicago. Twenty people attended including 10 via Zoom.

Thank you Rocky Levy, owner of Icon Modern and long-time urban wood advocate, for hosting us.

The meeting featured presentations by three current UWN-IL members on why they joined the chapter including Max Brown, village forester of Glen Ellyn; Rocky Levy of Icon Modern; and Erika Horigan of Horigan Urban Forest Products. We also had great discussions on what is needed next for UWN-IL including connecting with the Illinois DNR, municipal park districts, lumber suppliers and other end users. There was also interest in seeking grant funding for UWN-IL to help propel urban wood into the marketplace and to highlight the benefits of using urban lumber.

Full minutes of the March 9 meeting will be available at our next hybrid chapter meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. May 19.

The in-person meeting will be held at Horigan Urban Forest Products, 2302 Meadow Lane, North Chicago IL 60064. For those unable to attend in-person, the meeting will also be held on Zoom.

As of now, chapter meetings are scheduled to take place on the third Thursday of odd-numbered months.

To get on our mailing list to receive UWN-IL news and event updates, including a Zoom link for the May 19 meeting, email Erika Horigan at illinois@urbanwoodnetwork.org.

All urban wood stakeholders including tree care specialists, sawyers, woodworkers, architects, municipal managers, urban foresters and others are encouraged to attend our chapter meetings. Membership benefits include branding opportunities, sharing best practices with other members, and participating in educational webinars and workshops.

FYI: The Urban Wood Network will soon launch a revamped website. It will include an area devoted to UWN-IL. Stay tuned.

Invitation to Take Part in Urban Wood Network-IL’s Dec. 2 Next Steps Zoom Meeting

Dear Illinois Urban Wood Stakeholders,
We held an exploratory meeting of for the Urban Wood Network (UWN) Illinois Chapter on September 20.  Sixteen people, including arborists, sawyers, municipal managers and woodworkers, were in attendance. We were also joined by Kari Devine of the Urban Wood Network. She provided information about UWN membership benefits including branding, marketing, and educational resources.
We got some great feedback from the Zoom meeting and an enthusiastic response to move forward. For those who attended, you’ll be receiving a follow up e-mail with a recap of that meeting. 
We’ll be holding our next UWN meeting to further explore the needs of the Illinois Chapter and establish a steering committee at 10 a.m. December 2.
I sincerely hope you will join us. Please sign up in advance.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Erika Horigan
Horigan Urban Forest Products, Inc.
Horigan Tree Care, LLC



Chicago woodworker inspired by urban wood

By Mike Lee

This piece was very much an inspirational construct.  The client had given me total artistic freedom; her only request was that I make her a small mid-century modern writing desk.
Initially, my intention was to source wood from a traditional hardwood lumberyard, but first I looked in my shop to see what I had in stock. There, I discovered that I had been sitting on some very old reclaimed quarter sawn wood boards purchased from the Rebuilding Exchange. The 5/4 thick trim was recovered from an old Chicago apartment.  It had a beautiful quarter sawn pattern – perfect for the desktop. 
It was then that I decided to try and keep the piece as locally sourced as I could. In search of more locally reclaimed wood, I came across an amazing hardwood company, Horigan Urban Wood in Skokie. To my surprise, they had a fantastic selection of locally sourced urban hardwoods. There I found some beautiful dry kiln white oak with unique colorization due to the kiln process. This worked perfectly with my design, which was to mix and match woods to give the desk a subtle two-toned look.
Finally, I chose walnut for the apron, drawer, and desktop trim.  
Building this desk really opened my eyes to the benefits of reclaimed and locally sourced urban woods. There are many species of wood in the Chicagoland area that go to waste and need to be salvaged, and there seems to be an enormous market for these locally sourced pieces.
About the Author
Mike Lee is owner of Lee Custom Wood Designs based in Chicago. Lee is a self-taught woodworker who formerly worked in AdTech & Media before doing some “heavy soul searching” led him to start his own woodworking and furniture design business. Learn more at leecustomwooddesign.com.

Q&A with Erika Horigan of Horigan Urban Forest Products

Horigan Urban Wood ProductsHorigan Urban Forest Products of Skokie, IL, has been blazing trails in the utilization of urban wood for 15 years. In recent years the Horigans moved into larger quarters that includes a sawmill, warehouse and retail operation.

Erika Horigan, who co-owns the company with her husband, Bruce, discusses how Horigan UFP got started and her enjoyment in seeing felled community trees get a second chance as lumber and wood products.

“We first thought of the idea of milling urban logs in the late ‘70s. My husband Bruce, who is a certified arborist, was working in the tree care industry. He could hardly believe how many good milling logs were going into the landfill.”

Read about the company’s success on UrbanWoodNetwork.org.

AWI Chicago Members Learn About Urban Wood at Icon Modern

More than two dozen members of the Chicago Chapter of the Architectural Woodwork Institute participated in a workshop held Feb. 22 at Icon Modern in Chicago.

Featured presenters Bruce and Erika Horigan, co-owners of Horigan Urban Forest Products in Skokie discussed the urban wood supply chain from sources and removal through environmental impact and benefits of putting community trees to their highest possible use.

The event included a tour of Icon Modern’s showroom and fabrication shop where work is in progress to convert urban-sourced hickory trees into fine furnishings for the new McDonald’s corporate headquarters.

Thanks to Rocky Levy and his partner Aaron Tvrdy for a very informative evening and for doing their part to spared the word about the opportunities and benefits of using urban wood in architectural wood products.


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.

Chicago Botanic Garden Exhibit Exposes the ‘Hidden Art of Trees’


The Joutras Gallery at the Chicago Botanic Garden is showcasing furniture and accessories crafted from hardwoods culled from area urban forests by eight wood artisans.

Participating artists include Kelly Bresnahan, Greta de Parry, Michael Doerr, Celia Greiner, Mike Jarvi,  Matthew Osborn, Lou Pignolet, and Sean “Lucky” Rice. The exhibit also include tree trunk specimens milled by Horigan Urban Forest Products of Skokie, IL.

The exhibit runs through Aug. 21. The Chicago Botanic Gardens is located at 1000 Lake Cook Road in Glencoe.

Learn more about the exhibit.


Update: USGBC Illinois Postpones May Urban Wood Event


The Illinois Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council announced that it has postponed its urban wood event originally scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19 at Horigan Urban Forest Products.

The program –  Urban Forestry in Chicagoland: Renewable Wood Products from Beginning to End User – will be rescheduled in late summer or early fall. Instead of being held at Horigan Urban Forest Products, the event will be at the Writers Theatre in Glencoe in late summer or early fall. The event will now coincide with the Writers Theatre receiving its LEED Gold Certification.

Plans for the cancelled May 19 event called for highlighting urban forestry and how using locally produced urban wood fits into LEED building projects. The event was to include a tour of Horigan’s warehouse, custom sawmill and kiln drying operations at its facility at 7255 St. Louis Ave. in Skokie. The company, owned by the husband and wife team of Bruce and Erika Horigan,  processes and inventories a wide variety of local hardwoods and slabs.

The May 19 meeting agenda had included presentations by Bruce Horigan and Jon Faris, general manager of the Writers Theatre in Glencoe. Horigan was to discuss how urban forestry is implemented in Chicagoland, how it can be used in green building projects to earn LEED credits. Faris was to discuss how the Writers Theatre worked with Studio Gang Architects to use urban wood products to pursue LEED Gold certification.

USGBC Illinois Chapter has more than  800 members including real estate professionals, architects, engineers, designers, contractors, product manufacturers, state and local government officials, homebuilders, homeowners, and anyone interested in green building. The Illinois chapter is the local affiliate of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a national non-profit composed of leaders from every sector of the building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.

Early-Bird Discount Conference Registration Extended


Consider this our Leap-Year Amnesty Plan.

The Illinois Wood Utilization Team is offering a second and final chance to register at the advance discount registration rates for both the Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference and companion Hardwood Lumber & Sawmill Workshop.

Register by Monday, February 29 to save $25 on online and $50 on at-the-door registration fees. (See fee schedule table at the bottom of this post.)

Best yet, take advantage of the Daily Double Discount Package  to save an additional $35 to attend both programs..

The Hardwood Lumber & Sawmill Conference is limited to 50 attendees. The program, presented by Prof. Daniel Cassens of Purdue University’s Department of Forestry, is scheduled for Thursday, March 17 at the Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook. The workshop is being presented in special partnership with the DuPage Country Forest Preserve and the Illinois Wood Utilization Team. The classroom of the workshop will include presentations on lumber grading, milling strategies and drying. The program also will include a portable sawmill demonstration. The $85 registration fee includes lunch and beverage breaks. Click here to view the workshop schedule and to register.

The Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle is scheduled for Friday, March 18 at Hamburger University in Oak Brook, IL.

Organized by the Illinois Wood Utilization Team, the conference has the support of Horigan Urban Wood Products, Wisconsin Arborist Association, American Society of Landscape Architects – Illinois Chapter, ElkhartWood, Illinois Arborist Association, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, International Woodworking Fair, Tree Care Industry Association, Urban Wood Project of Southeast Michigan  and USDA Forest Service.

$125 early-bird registration fee includes:

  • 12 presentations focused on various links of the chain for converting urban trees into lumber and wood products;
  • Portable sawmill demonstration;
  • Urban Wood Products Showcase;
  • Networking reception with tabletop exhibits; and
  • Continental Breakfast, Lunch, Networking Reception Appetizers and a.m. and p.m. refreshment breaks.

Click here to view the conference schedule and sponsors and to register.


Register by >>> Early-Bird
Feb. 29
Feb. 21 to
March 16
Hardwood Lumber & Sawmill Workshop $85.00 $110.00 $135.00
Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference $125.00 $150.00 $175.00
Daily Double (Both Programs) $175.00 $215.00 $260.00

Thank You Urban Wood Conference Supporters!

Horigan Urban Forest Products

Horigan Urban Forest Products, an Ash Sponsor, has reclaimed lumber from thousands of trees that would otherwise likely have been chipped, mulched or split into firewood.

The Illinois Wood Utilization Team gratefully acknowledges the far-flung support for the Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference, Friday, March 18, 2016 at Hamburger University in Oak Brook, IL.

Sponsors and partners of the conference are demonstrating their commitment to helping further the sustained development of growth of local, state and regional urban wood marketplaces through their participation in the conference.

Ash Level Sponsors
In addition to warehousing more than 50,000 board feet of urban lumber – from ash to black walnut – Horigan Urban Forestry Products of Skokie, IL, offers custom milling and kiln drying services.

The Wisconsin Arborist Association, a chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, is dedicated to improving the knowledge and quality of the profession of arboriculture. Its members include commercial, municipal, utility and academic arborists.

Sterling Tree Solutions, based in River Forest, IL, specializes in total tree care including tree removal, pruning and trimming. The company has been servicing the Chicagoland area for 75 years. The experienced team at Sterling Tree Solutions offers not only immaculate, careful tree removal services, but also is dedicated to the utmost care and integrity of a tree.

Graf Tree Care of St. Charles, IL, was founded in 1999 by arborist Phil Graf as a two-man tree trimming operation. The company has expanded its client base and grown its business to include Plant Health Care and tree diagnostics, root feeding and disease and pest control. In 2009 the company launched its Natural Resources Management and GIS division to map and monitor the spread of the emerald ash borer. The company now has a staff of 12, including five employees certified by the International Society of Arboriculture.

The Chicago Park District was incorporated in 1934 with the consolidation of twenty-two separate and independent park districts that already existed within Chicago. The oldest and (financially) largest parks agency in the United States, the Chicago Park District is now the steward of 8,300+ acres of open space, including more than 585 parks, 26 beaches, 10 harbors, 50 natural areas, and 2 world-class conservatories. The Chicago Park District is one of the nation’s leading providers of green space and recreation. Its long tradition of exquisitely-designed landscapes includes legacy work from such world-renowned figures as Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., the Olmsted Brothers, Jens Jensen and Alfred Caldwell. Accordingly, the Park District is very intentional about its urban lumber resources and has active representation on the Illinois Wood Utilization Team.

Conference Partners
The American Society of Landscape Architects – Illinois Chapter, with nearly 500 members, is one of the largest chapters of ASLA. Members attending the Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference will receive 6.5 CEUs. In addition, 6.0 CEUs are being offered for the March 17 Hardwood Lumber & Sawmill Workshop at the Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook, IL.

is an urban wood utilization program that unites the city of Elkhart, Indiana’s Environmental Center and its Forestry Division. The program identifies trees targeted for removal that can produce logs suitable for furniture, art and other value-added products. The program brings together Elkhart community sawyers, woodworkers and other individuals who could put this wood to good use.

The Illinois Arborist Association, a chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, aims to “foster interest, establish standards, exchange professional ideas and pursue scientific research in Arboriculture.” The IAA is offering 4.0 CEUs for members who attend the Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference. Read more.

The Illinois Center for Sustainable Technology’s interest in the urban wood movement is embodied in its mission statement: “to encourage and assist citizens, businesses, and government agencies to prevent pollution, conserve natural resources, and reduce waste to protect human health and the environment of Illinois and beyond.”

The International Woodworking Fair is North America’s largest industrial woodworking event. The next edition is set for August 24-27, 2016 in Atlanta, GA.

The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus  is a membership organization of the Chicago region’s 273 cities, towns and villages. The Caucus provides a forum for metropolitan Chicago’s chief elected officials to collaborate on common problems and work toward a common goal of improving the quality of life for the millions of people who call the region home.

Meyers Woodworking & Lumber, based in Batavia, IL, is a full-service custom sawmill operation with a dry kiln on premise. Owner Ron Meyers has been a strong ally for the local urban wood movement and has donated services for many great causes including the Out of the Wood Exhibit in West Chicago, student furniture projects at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the March 17 Hardwood Lumber & Sawmill Workshop at the Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook, IL. Contact Ron Meyers at 630-308-2955.

The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) is a trade association of more than 2,200 commercial tree care firms and affiliated companies whose “mission is to advance tree care businesses.TCIA develops safety and education programs, standards of tree care practice, and management information for arboriculture firms around the world.

The Urban Wood Project of Southeast Michigan is dedicated to promoting value-added repurposing of community trees upon their removal. The organization helped establish three retail outlets for urban lumber and goods. Its network of local sawmills turns dead urban trees into products that bring lasting value and exceptional character for consumers.

Primary Conference Sponsor
The Illinois Wood Utilization Team’s projects are made possible through grant funding by the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, U.S. Forest Service. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Conference Organizer
The Illinois Wood Utilization Team, comprised of stakeholders up and down the supply chain – from public and private sector land managers, arborists and foresters through sawyers, the A&D community  and woodworkers – was established in 2009 in response to the devastation wreaked by the invasive emerald ash borer. IL WUT’s mission to develop and promote local, state and regional market exchanges to encourage the highest-value use of dead and dying ash trees quickly expanded to encompass community trees of all species capable of yielding logs for lumber for use in furniture, cabinets, flooring and other consumer and industrial products. IL WUT’s staunch advocacy of urban wood n wood utilization dovetails not only with “green”  initiatives but with the source local-buy local movement.

Click here to learn more about sponsorship and tabletop display opportunities,



Horigan Urban Forest Products








Basic Sponsorship








American Society of Landscape Architects




International Woodworking Fair