Recovering Urban Wood for its Highest and Best Use
Trees are an essential and intricate part of our human lives. When growing, they improve air, water, and soil quality; and provide habitat, shade and beauty. When milled into lumber, they can give us shelter, warmth, and comfort for hundreds of years.
Wisconsin has an estimated 42 million urban trees. Tens of thousands of these trees are removed from municipalities each year due to disease, infestation, storm damage, environmental stresses, or improper management and care. The spread of emerald ash borer infestations, for example, will potentially require the removal and replacement of millions of ash trees across the state.
As urban wood stewards, Wudeward recovers this magnificent untapped resource, saving it from wood chippers and firewood piles to give it a second life as lumber, flooring or millwork. Urban wood has a lower environmental impact than forested wood because plantings outpace removals, it is material diverted from a waste stream, it is regionally-sourced, and it is sustainably-harvested.
We work with architects, interior designers, builders, homeowners, developers, manufacturers and furniture makers nationwide who all have found innovative uses for this beautiful and renewable material. We also share our expertise with municipalities, businesses and residents through onsite tree consultations.
Wudeward owner Dwayne Sperber has always been interested in architecture, wood, and the environment. He was introduced to urban wood more than a decade ago, and with this intersect of his three passions, Dwayne immediately became a major advocate for its use. He has worked tirelessly to build awareness and markets for the abundance of wood being removed due to insect, disease, or circumstance.
Dwayne is a founding partner of Wisconsin Urban Wood, a nonprofit focused on building networks of people and businesses that links material streams and availability of quality urban wood products and services across our state. He also is an appointed member of the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council.