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Local Wood Exchange

Rescued Wood is a project led by Habitat for Humanity. This organization is directly involved in recycling trees; yes, utilizing a large majority of the designated trees. Since most trees won’t fit in the recycling bin at the end of your driveway, the removal of urban canopy can be easily forgotten. Rescued Wood, the Wisconsin project that can be found here, sparked our interest into the sustainability future of tree removal. As trees age and face greater risk of pests and diseases, communities and homeowners have had to remove more large trees from the urban canopy. An estimated 200 million cubic yards of wood residue is produced annually in the Southeast, and most of the residue becomes chips, compost, or materials in landfills. Processing and transportation of large logs can be physically challenging and expensive in fossil fuel exchange.  

Naturally, buying local goods diminishes or eliminates fossil fuel consumption used during transportation. Purchasing lumber from nearby distributors is an important investment decision that is cost efficient and ultimately eco-friendly. Neighborhood canopy has the potential to be manipulated into a material so durable you can eat dinner on it.

Merchandising urban wood to its highest and best use enables municipalities to:

* significantly reduce waste disposal costs.

* produce sustainable local lumber for municipal projects and for local craftsmen.

* reinforce the renewable and sustainable qualities of working forests.

* sequester carbon.

* build networks of producers and end users that preserve the value of the forest.

Similar projects across the nation want to preserve the legacy of local urban forests. The emphasis of these groups is to collect and distribute surplus wood in a local wood exchange that would not typically be sold commercially. These in-situ removals only affect trees that are diseased, dead or decrease the overall health of the forest. These sustaining projects maximize the use of urban canopy and give jobs to local woodsmen who are creating high-quality wood products.

We would be impressed to learn who can claim the title for the highest amount of total timber used.

Here are some urban wood use resources that inspire us!

  • – Connects local woodsman with producers of unrefined wood products promoting the awareness of the sustainable urban forest management.
  • Habitat for Humanity –Rescued Wood project directly involved in recycling trees.
  • Atlanta networking event for tree climbers and artists –Georgia Arborist Association hosts events for local wood artisans to share an interest with local consumers.
  • Wisconsin Urban Wood (WUW) organizations recycling urban trees back into the social and economic lives of communities across Wisconsin.

Groups like these are not only preserving the overall health of forests but also reducing the quantity of timber entering landfills. Awareness of wood waste issues is growing. The wood processing community and its customers are looking to these resources to help manage the urban canopy.


Please share successful projects from your state on this page to spread the message!

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  • An interesting infographic illustrating the economic impacts of urban wood exchange! Sourced from here


  • New Project to Recognize Responsible Urban Forestry and Urban Wood Utilization

    Dovetail News Releases


    Check out these national resources for urban wood exchange!!

    Dovetail News Releases
  • Why does our nation's 'legal wood exchange' matter?


    Infographic provided by Food and Agriculture Organization of the US

    Why does legal timber matter?
  • Danny Hess - a woodsman from Santa Cruz is known for handcrafting beautiful surfboards from local reclaimed wood. This short clip follows him into his workshop while he explains how he his hobby became his business.
    Watch: A Peek at the Artistry of Gorgeous Wood Surfboards
    Danny Hess shares his insight—and his new Santa Cruz cabin workshop hidden in the woods.
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