More Cities Giving New Life to Urban Trees

Sacramento, CA (August 21, 2012) – Felled, dying, and unwanted urban trees are finding a second life as furniture, flooring, craft arts, and fuel. In California, the Sacramento Tree Foundation is ramping up the city’s first Urban Wood Rescue Program. And in Newark, New Jersey, Citilog is taking unwanted trees from parks, yards, and city streets to recycle for new uses. Reclaiming urban lumber rather than sending it to landfill is a growing and profitable movement in states across the U.S.

Through a grant from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Sacramento Tree Foundation is partnering with the city to salvage the state’s majestic canopy for rescue and new life as a piece of furniture or other use.

Under the agreement with the foundation, the City will give wood at least 30 inches in diameter and 10 feet long to the foundation. Smaller pieces of high quality wood such as alder wood and walnut will also be turned over for the nonprofit to pass on to craftsman organizations at little or no charge. Larger pieces, sought after by businesses who want slabs, will likely be sold at a to-be-determined cost.

The City chips its green waste and sends what it doesn’t use in its streetscapes to a co-generation power plant, where it provides fuel. Of the City’s annual loads, at least three tractor trailers full of large trunks and branches previously trucked to the power plant will be rescued and serve a new purpose.

In Newark, Citilog, and companies like them, are also giving new life to unwanted trees. Rather than paying to send damaged or dying trees to landfills. Cities save money on disposal and create a sustainable, value added model.

Recycling trees rather than sending them to landfills is a growing movement.  California and North Carolina have held state summits on using local reclaimed lumber.  The Urban Wood Project in Southeast Michigan began wood recycling in 2005.

Related Resources:
City, Sac Tree Foundation come to the rescue of urban wood
Got trees? Newark sawmill seeks to cull urban forests
The Sacramento Tree Foundation
The Urban Wood Project in Southeast Michigan
Urban Forest Projects Alliance