The Shepherd Express recently profiled the City of Milwaukee’s urban tree program, which has saved the city a significant amount of money by sending downed trees to local sawmills instead of a landfill. More than 4,000 trees are cut down by City of Milwaukee foresters annually because of disease, damage, or death. Since 2012, instead of paying over $100,000 in landfill tipping fees, the city is able to repurpose the trees into urban wood lumber. This lumber is then used by architects, artisans, and suppliers like Wudeward to create shelving, flooring, architectural detail, and furniture. It can be applied pretty much anywhere wood is normally used in a home or business interior.
Dwayne Sperber of Wudeward was quoted in the story. Wudeward has repurposed wood from downed City of Milwaukee trees to supply projects, for area homes, businesses, and commercial real estate developments.
“My customers are asking me for a responsibly sourced product,” Sperber said in the article. “I think it’s pretty cool that in Milwaukee building and project needs are being fulfilled by a wood source that perhaps came from right down the street and that otherwise would have been wasted. This movement is changing our culture, just like recycling did.”
Scott Lyon, forest products specialist at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said he believes the market for urban wood is expanding and that demand has been increasing in Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Appleton and Eau Claire. Lyon told the Shepherd Express that Wisconsin is one of the leaders in urban wood utilization across the country.
“I know there are at least 30 companies in the state that are producing products out of urban wood,” says Lyon. “There is a need, however, to help end-consumers to understand the benefits and value of using urban wood.”
Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Urban Wood.Posted by Gravity Posted on 03 Dec