Tag: Illinois Wood Utilization Team

IL WUT’s Global Reach

il-wut-visitor-mapBy Rich Christianson

IllinoisUrbanWood.org blew past 15,000 page views for this calendar year in October. As of today, the website has 15,603 total views — more than double the number recorded for all of 2015 and seven-fold the clicks totaled in 2014 when the website was launched.

I detailed the largest factors behind this dramatic uptick in an October 11 webcast produced by the Wood Education Resource Center. They include:

> Giving search engines more opportunities to “recommend” the site by posting 60 articles and videos through October, 60% more than posted all of last year. In October I noted that IllinoisUrbanWood.org ranked number one in Google search for the terms Urban Lumber, Urban Wood Utilization and Urban Wood Sawmills. IL WUT ranked number three for Urban Wood and ranked eight, nine and 10 for Urban Wood Products.

> The increased content posts have fed the monthly Illinois Urban Wood Update, a monthly newsletter that debuted in July 2015. It is the monthly newspaper that brings the latest headlines to subscribers.

> That subscription database has climbed dramatically from 351 at the end of 2015 to 803 by the end of September 30, 2016, a robust 129% increase.

It’s been truly gratifying to see the interest in IL WUT’s online activities swell. I also find it interesting that while U.S. and Canadian page views represent 92.7% and 2.4% of this year’s total respectively, visitors have entered the website from 83 other countries. Beyond the Top 10 countries summarized in the accompanying graphic are many nations that one would not suspect would have much interest in the urban wood movement, places like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Cambodia and the Cayman Islands to name a few. I imagine visitors from some of these far off lands arrived by accident but I’d like to think that many were led our way by the will to learn more about urban wood and urban forestry.

Even if it’s a stretch, I can still hope that all left a little more gratified and educated than when they landed.

Note: For those interested, here’s a link to my Illinois Wood Utilization Team update PowerPoint for the WERC Webcast.

 

 

 

 

 



TigerStop Embraces the Urban Wood Message

tigerstop-logoTigerStop LLC of Vancouver, WA, a leading manufacturer of precision stop/gauge and pusher system technology, recently did its part to communicate the potential benefits of using urban wood by posting and sending a blog to its customers, “Urban Wood Movement Takes Root.”

Authored by Rich Christianson, communications director of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team, the blog begins, “A tree that can bear lumber is a terrible thing to waste. Yet, according to a USDA Forest Service study, every year an estimated 3.8 billion board feet of lumber that could potentially be milled from urban trees is instead cut into firewood, mulched, chipped or deposited into a landfill.

“It’s this sad realization that so much good wood is going to waste that has drawn a growing number of land managers, tree care professionals, sawyers, woodworkers and even architects to the urban wood movement. These forward-thinking professionals are forming partnerships and forging local networks to put urban trees felled by insect infestation, storm damage, urban development and mortality to their best possible use, including lumber, furniture and other wood products whenever possible.”

The blog includes five examples of urban wood users in five different states and concludes with a link to the newly released Urban Wood User’s Resource Guide.

Read the full blog at TigerStop.com.

 

 



Scenes from the 34th Illinois Arborist Association Convention

The Illinois Arborist Association’s 34th Annual Conference & Trade Show is one for the books.

The successful event, which brings together hundreds of arborists, tree care professionals and industry suppliers, took place Oct. 18-19 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Tinley Park, IL.

The Illinois Wood Utilization Team was among the three dozen exhibitors of the event trade show. IL WUT representatives displayed samples of urban wood lumber, passed out copies of the new Urban Wood User’s Resource Guide and signed up attendees to the monthly Illinois Urban Wood newsletter. IL WUT representatives also took full advantage of networking opportunities to discuss urban wood use with current practitioners and those considering joining the movement.

The well-attended conference sessions provided IAA members with opportunities to earn CEUs. Educational tracks included Commercial, Municipal, Demonstration Tree, Oak Forest Restoration Along the Rural Urban Interface, Spanish and Utility.

Learn more about the Illinois Arborist Association.



IWF Urban Wood Seminar Report Slated for Oct. 11 Webcast

iwf_22298-26-16Highlights from the urban wood seminar at the International Woodworking Fair (IWF) will be presented during an Oct. 11 webcast by the Wood Education and Resource Center.

Rich Christianson, communications director of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team, will lead the discussion about “Urban Wood Utilization: Making Products & Profits from Landscape Trees.” The seminar, organized by the Full Circle Urban Forest Network, was held Aug. 26 at IWF 2016, North America’s largest woodworking event.

The IWF presentation is one of nine updates on the docket for WERC’s Fall Urban Wood Utilization Webcast, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EST) Tuesday, Oct. 11.

Here’s the full schedule of the webcast.

1:00 p.m. Introduction and Overview
Ed Cesa, U.S. Forest Service, Wood Education and Resource Center

1:10 p.m. Update on Urban Forest Products Standard
Bob Rouse, Tree Care Industry Association

1:25 p.m. Update on International Woodworking Fair Urban Wood Activities & Illinois Wood Utilization Team Activities
Rich Christianson, Illinois Wood Utilization Team

1:50 p.m. Example of Urban Wood Utilization in Charlotte, NC
Harry Watt, NCSU Wood Products Extension

2:15 p.m. Urban Wood Products Exchange and Urban Wood Usage Video
Eric Muecke, North Carolina State Forestry

2:25 p.m. Northern Virginia Urban Wood Utilization and Marketing Workshop
Joe Lehnen, Virginia Department of Forestry

2:35 p.m. Harrisburg, PA, Urban Wood Utilization Efforts
Ellen Roane, Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry

2:45 p.m. Update on Wisconsin’s Urban Wood Utilization Activities
Sabina Dhungana, Wisconsin Division of Forestry

2:55 p.m. Update on MI Urban Wood Utilization
Jessica Simons, Southeast Michigan RC&D Council

3:00 p.m. Final comments and date for next webcast
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Attend the Oct. 11 webcast by following these instructions:

Connect to the Adobe Connect web meeting: https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/werc-500/

 

  • Keep “Enter as a Guest” selected
  • Type your name into the “name” box
  • Click “Enter Room”
  • For audio: Dial in by phone: 888-844-9904; access code: 7578516

The webcast will be archived and available on demand at http://www.na.fs.fed.us/werc/eab.shtm.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sterling Lumber Garners Pair of Business Awards

Sterling Lumber

Carter Sterling, third from left, is among winners of Ernst & Young’s 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year for the Midwest region.

Lightning struck Sterling Lumber Company of Phoenix, IL, in a good way. The company was recently recognized for its business leadership in separate award ceremonies, one by accounting firm Ernst & Young and the other by the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation (CSEDC).

Ernst & Young named Carter Sterling, CEO of Sterling Lumber, as its EY Entrepreneur of the Year for 2016 in the Midwest Region. The award recognizes trending entrepreneurs who have elevated their respective companies in the areas of innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

The 60-year-old family business is a national leader in the production and installation of ground protection mats for the building of electrical transmission and distribution networks, as well as major highway and bridge infrastructure and the oil industry. Sterling Lumber has been listed on Crain’s Fast Fifty in each of the last two years and has amassed a five-year growth rate of 569 percent.

Sterling Lumber has also been active in the Chicago-area urban wood market, including partnering with the Chicago Park District on a number of initiatives such as using felled park district trees to remodel the Bears Den at Soldier Field. Its division, Sterling Tree Solutions, is an active member of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team and sponsored the Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference held in March.

Sterling accepted the award on behalf of his father and brothers during a black tie gala held at Navy Pier. “The timing of this award couldn’t be better,” Sterling said. “It reflects an amazing year of growth and accomplishment for our company. We’ve evolved from supplier to manufacturer in a single leap, with the goal to dominate industry sales.”

Throughout its three decades in existence, the EY Entrepreneur of the year has honored the inspirational leadership of entrepreneurs such as Howard Schultz of Starbucks Coffee Company, Robert Unanue of Goya Foods, and Mindy Grossman of HSN. Recent U.S. national winners include Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn; Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of Chobani; and 2015 winners Andreas Bechtolsheim and Jayshree Ullal of Arista Networks.

As a Midwest Award winner, Sterling is eligible for consideration for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016 national program. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur of the Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the Entrepreneur of the Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, CA, on Nov. 19. Read more about the EY Award.

Sterling-Lumber-Big-Shoes-AwardCarter Sterling was also on hand when his father John and his family were presented with 2016 Big Shoes Award by the CSEDC.

Phoenix Mayor Terry Wells told the crowd of 150 in attendance that the Sterling family was well worthy of the Big Shoes Award for bringing its business to his south suburban town.

Read more about the Big Shoes Award.

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Diverse Audience Unites at Urban Wood Event

ILWUT_LogoBy Rich Christianson

Arborists, foresters, sawyers, architects, woodworkers and other professionals came together at the Bringing the Urban Wood Full Circle Conference to learn and share ideas for propelling the urban wood market.

The unique conference focused on converting community trees into lumber and wood products. It was presented by the Illinois Wood Utilization Team March 18 at Hamburger University on McDonald’s corporate campus in Oak Brook, IL. Sponsors included Horigan Urban Forest Products, the Wisconsin Arborist Association, Sterling Tree Solutions Meyers Woodworking & Lumber, Graf Tree Care.

While most of these diverse conference delegates hailed from the greater Chicago area, others traveled from southern Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska and even Ontario, Canada.

Among the many highlights:

  • Edith Makra, chairperson of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team, kicked off the conference noting that there is an estimated 3 to 4 billion board feet of lumber potentially available from the nation’s urban forests. Capitalizing on this greatly underutilized raw material would require local markets throughout the country to strengthen their links in the chain from land managers and tree care services to sawyers and woodworkers.
  • Ian Brown, urban forestry district manager for Milwaukee, discussed how Milwaukee is diverting 100% of its logs to local sawmill and in the process reducing disposal costs by 50%.
  • In a similar vein, John Lough, senior city forester of Chicago, shared the Windy City’s urban log removal and reclamation plan.
  • Separate presentations by August Hoppe, president of Hoppe Tree Services and the Urban Wood Lab in Milwaukee, and Jessica Simons, coordinator of Michigan’s Urbanwood Project based in Ann Arbor shared different models for developing retail outlets for urban wood lumber, slabs and wood products.
  • Three architects participated in the conference. Laureen Blissard, principal of LTBL Envirotecture presented how urban wood fits into sustainability building programs including LEED. Jeff Perkis, senior project manager for Chipman Architecture Design and owner of Story Wood, recounted how dozens of hardwood trees downed in a freakish 2011  storm in West Chicago were salvaged and turned into furniture and other wood  products. One of the most recent is a bell stand Perkins made for the West Chicago museum. Architect Paul Pettigrew, also an associate professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, showed more than 100 slides of projects made by his students of his popular furniture and architecture class over the years.
  • Ken Wier, owner of i2i Design, told the audience why he loves making furniture from urban wood because of its rich and often unpredictable splendor compared to hardwoods harvested from traditional forests. Wier’s discerning customers include Starbucks, Mariano’s and Freshii.
  • Mike Dimitroff, manager of art initiatives for the Chicago Park District, showcased a variety of projects that use wood reclaimed from city parks including the Bears Den at Solider Field and at CPD community wood shops. Dimitroff was joined by Jim Semelka, urban forestry advocate for Sterling Tree Solutions, to discuss how the public and private company partner on urban wood tree reclamation programs.
  • Dimitroff also showed how thermally modified urban wood is being used as a decking material for the CPD’s harbor dock. Brian Mitalo, regional salesperson for Tourneslol Siteworks, which makes outdoor furniture and more from thermally modified lumber TML), agreed that there is great potential for converting urban wood into TML.
  • Prof. Dan Cassens, wood extension specialist at Purdue University, pulled double duty. First he lectured on how urban wood sellers can compete with traditional hardwood lumber and wood products by not only being novel, but by being nimble. Cassens also conducted a live portable sawmill demonstration using logs generously donated by Ron Meyers of Meyers Woodworking & Lumber of Batavia, IL.

Rounding out the event were plenty of networking opportunities, including a networking featuring table top exhibits and more than a dozen furniture and other items displayed in the Urban Wood Products Showcase.

The Bringing the Full Circle Conference was preceded by an all-day Hardwood Lumber & Sawmill Workshop instructed by Prof. Dan Cassens, wood products extension specialist at Purdue University.

THANK YOU CONFERENCE SPONSORS & PARTNERS!

Horigan Urban Forest Products

ASH LEVEL SPONSOR

 

WAA-Logo

ASH LEVEL SPONSOR

Sterling-Tree-Services-Logo

ASH LEVEL SPONSOR

 

Basic Sponsorship

MEYERS WOODWORKING & LUMBER

Graf-Tree-Care-Logo

ASH LEVEL SPONSOR

CPD.Logo

ASH LEVEL SPONSOR

Elkhart-Wood-Logo

CONFERENCE PARTNER

American Society of Landscape Architects

CONFERENCE PARTNER

Urban-Wood-logo

CONFERENCE PARTNER

International Woodworking Fair

CONFERENCE PARTNER

Mayors-Caucus-Logo

CONFERENCE PARTNER

IIA-Logo

CONFERENCE PARTNER

TCIA-Logo

CONFERENCE PARTNER

 

 

IL-Sustainable-Technology-Center-logo-1

CONFERENCE PARTNER


USDA-Forest-Service-Logo

PRIMARY CONFERENCE SPONSOR

ILWUT_Logocropped

ORGANIZER: ILLINOIS WOOD UTILIZATION TEAM



Register for Hardwood Workshop & Urban Wood Conference Online by March 16

ILWUT_Logocropped

Online registration for the March 17 Hardwood Lumber & Sawmill Workshop and Brining the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference remains open through Wednesday, March 16.

Register by then to save $25 compared to 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 $45 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 $110 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, Sterling Tree Solutions, Meyers Woodworking & Lumber, American Society of Landscape Architects – Illinois Chapter, ElkhartWood, Illinois Arborist Association, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, International Woodworking Fair, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, Tree Care Industry Association, Urban Wood Project of Southeast Michigan and USDA Forest Service.

$150 online 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.

Need more info?
Contact Rich Christianson, Conference Director, richc.illinoisurbanwood@gmail.com; 773-822-6750.

 

Register by >>> Now thru
March 16
On-Site
March 17 Hardwood Lumber & Sawmill Workshop $110.00 $135.00
March 18 Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference $150.00 $175.00
Daily Double (Both Programs) $215.00 $260.00


Early-Bird Discount Conference Registration Extended

ILWUT_Logocropped

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
On-Site
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


Daily Double Discount: Hardwood Lumber & Urban Forest Events

save-moneyBy Rich Christianson

The countdown continues…

In eight weeks the Illinois Wood Utilization Team (IL WUT) will present a pair of special education events of interest to all participants of full circle urban forestry and urban wood markets. This especially includes all stakeholders along the urban wood market supply chain from public a private landowners and managers to tree care professionals and sawyers right on through architects and woodworkers.

The events – in order of appearance – are:

Hardwood Lumber & Sawmill Workshop, Thursday, March 17 at the historic Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook, IL.

Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference, Friday, March 18 at Hamburger University in Oak Brook, IL.

Both programs feature live portable sawmilling demonstrations.

IL WUT has made every effort to offer each of these full-day programs high in value and low in cost. As an additional incentive, anyone registering to attend both programs can save an additional $35. The Daily Double package is $175 vs. $210 to register separately for the events.

Early-Bird Registration Ends February 29
Not only is the clock ticking until the start of the events, it is also ticking down to the end of early bird registration and early-bird savings.

Register by Monday, February 29 to lock in the lowest registration pricing.

 Register by >>>

 

Early-Bird
Feb. 29

Feb. 21 to
March 16
On-Site
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

Need a Place to Stay?
The Hyatt Lodge at McDonald’s Campus is the headquarters hotel for both events. Click here to reserve a room.

Interested in Sponsorship & Display Opportunities?
Three levels of sponsorships are available for the Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference: Ash, Oak & Walnut. Sponsorships fees include a display table and one to three conference registrations.

Got Questions?
Contact Rich Christianson, Conference Director, richc.illinoisurbanwood@gmail.com; phone 773-822-6750.

 

 



Urban Wood Conference: Join the Source Local, Buy Local Movement

Horigan Urban Forest Products, urban wood

Photo: Horigan Urban Forest Products

By Rich Christianson

“Buy American” has spawned the “Buy Local” movement.

The opportunity to support your community by sourcing materials and buying value-added products locally is a key component to what makes the urban wood market tick. For far too long far too many community trees ravaged by invasive insects, felled by storms or removed for development have been chipped or mulched without much thought given to salvaging and utilizing the wood from these trees for lumber and ultimately furniture, cabinets, flooring and other value-added products.

The swiftness and widespread devastation wrought by the emerald ash borer has given a growing number of foresters, arborists, custom sawyers and custom woodworkers pause to consider what more can be done with an urban tree after its life has ended. Urban wood utilization movements have taken hold in nearly every state of the union and several Canadian provinces.

The Illinois Wood Utilization Team has networked with many independent and government groups, including forming a strong partnership with urban wood groups in Wisconsin, Michigan and Missouri. This partnership includes sharing intelligence, ideas and best practices to develop and promote a stronger urban wood market.

The best of the best of this shared learning will be on full display at the Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference, March 18, 2016 at Hamburger University, Oak Brook, IL. This event is a unique forum for land managers, foresters, arborists, sawyers, woodworkers, architects and designers, retailers, educators and other stakeholders that make up the links of the urban wood supply chain to share, learn and network with like-minded professionals.

There is already a small but growing number of companies and individuals committed to the source local, buy local appeal of urban wood utilization. They have seized the opportunity. But there is plenty of room for more entrepreneurs ready to roll up their sleeves and do themselves and their communities a great favor.

I can think of no better way to jump start the urban wood marketplace than by attending the Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference.

I hope to see you there!

REGISTER NOW!

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

 

 

converting dead and dying trees into