Help your heart by planting trees

February is American Heart Month. Get heart healthy the easy way, head outside! Exposure to trees relaxes and restores your mind, lowering your blood pressure and heart rate. This helps to reduce incidences of cardiovascular and lower respiratory diseases. Conversely, tree loss from the spread of the emerald ash borer, and other insects and diseases, is associated with increased mortality related to cardiovascular and lower respiratory diseases.

walking in park Continue reading “Help your heart by planting trees”

August Hoppe inaugurated to the TCIA Board of Directors

“Urban forestry and tree care is a great industry to be involved with and something that we all should be proud of. Industry professionals leave a lasting legacy in caring for the trees in our community each and every day, and it’s important that we spread the word and help future generations understand the importance of nature and trees.” Continue reading “August Hoppe inaugurated to the TCIA Board of Directors”

2020 Forest Action Plan development begins

Development of Wisconsin’s 2020 Forest Action Plan is beginning now. Over the next year and a half, the Division of Forestry, along with Wisconsin’s greater forestry community, will be working collaboratively to review trends in the current state of forestry and identify future strategies that can help the forestry community refine how we collectively invest resources to address major management and landscape priorities. Engaging with all members of the forestry community is important to the success of the Forest Action Plan.

Here is more information on the Forest Action Plan, the timeline, and how the forestry community will be engaged.

To get updates on the process and progress of the 2020 Forest Action Plan, please sign up for the Forest Action Plan GovDelivery list.

Find up-to-date information on the 2020 Forest Action Plan online here.

If you have questions about your involvement or the Forest Action Plan in general, please contact Amanda Koch at AmandaA.Koch@wisconsin.gov  or at (608) 576-8146.

NR 46 available for public comment

By R.J. Wickham, Tax Law Section Chief – Forestry Field Operation Bureau, Division of Forestry
Contact info: (920) 369-6248, Richard.Wickham@wisconsin.gov

The proposed rules affecting Chapter NR 46 of Wisconsin’s Administrative Code related to Forest Tax Programs, including the Forest Crop Law (FCL) program and the Managed Forest Law (MFL) program, are available for public review and comment.

Signed into law on April 2016, 2015 Wisconsin Act 358 made a number of significant changes to the administration of the FCL and MFL programs requiring a comprehensive update to NR 46. The Forest Tax Section is proposing amendments to NR 46 to become consistent with statutory changes made to Ch.77, Wis. Stats. The proposed updates also include additional changes to NR 46 to incorporate long standing policy and streamline administration of the programs. Our sincere thanks go to the many individuals and partners, including the Wisconsin Private Forestry Advisory Committee, whose review and feedback helped shape these proposed amendments.

Here is the Notice of Public Hearing FR-23-16 document which includes hearing information and explains the process of submitting comments:
https://dnr.wi.gov/news/input/documents/rules/FR2316PublicHearing.pdf

The proposed rule can be accessed here:
https://dnr.wi.gov/news/input/documents/rules/FR2316DraftRule.pdf

Biochar: An Emerging Market for Underutilized Woody Biomass

By Sabina Dhungana, Forest Products Specialist

biochar sample

This is a sample of biochar produced from coarse woody biomass.

What is Biochar?
Biochar is a pure carbon product made from organic material that is generally produced through a process called pyrolysis. Pyrolysis is the decomposition of organic matter at elevated temperatures in an environment with limited oxygen.

Biochar Production and Opportunities for Wood Businesses
Biochar can be produced using woody biomass such as wood chips, sawdust, shavings or bark that is generated from timber harvesting or as a by-product of wood products manufacturing.

Biochar production systems can be classified as either pyrolysis or gasification systems. The pyrolysis of biomass results in three main products: a solid (bio-char), a liquid (bio-oil), and a gas (syngas). Furthermore, pyrolysis becomes self-sustaining as syngas that is produced combusts, generating additional heat for the production process. Gasification on the other hand produces smaller quantities of biochar in a directly-heated reaction vessel with introduced air. Although pyrolysis systems result in higher concentrations of biochar, both production systems can be developed as mobile or stationary units as per the need and availability of the feedstock. Continue reading “Biochar: An Emerging Market for Underutilized Woody Biomass”

Primary mill mapping tool released

By Collin Buntrock, Forest Products Team Leader

The Forest Products Services program recently worked with the Technology Services Section in the Division of Forestry to develop an interactive mapping tool highlighting Wisconsin’s primary wood-using mills.

The new mill mapping tool highlights Wisconsin’s primary mills.

The goal of the mapping tool is to facilitate better marketing of forest products by connecting value-added industries with Wisconsin’s primary mills and by assisting forest managers and loggers with identifying markets for harvested timber. Mill data can be refined by county, species processed, products utilized, and products sold and then downloaded for later reference.

Wisconsin’s primary forest products industry consists of firms that manufacture logs and pulpwood into wood and paper products. Specific examples include sawmills, veneer plants, pulp mills and firewood processors, as well as companies that manufacture products such as composite panels (e.g. oriented strand board, particleboard), shavings, utility poles, wood pellets, and log buildings.

Mill data featured in this tool is collected by Forest Products Services staff as part of the USDA Timber Product Output survey. The FPS program will refine this dataset beginning in early 2019. It should be noted that a subset of mills opted-out of the mill dataset. Therefore, you may be aware of additional mills that are not included in the mapping tool.

If you know of a business that would like to be included in this mapping tool, please send an email to a staff member on the Forest Products Services team and include their contact information, species and products utilized, and products produced.

Markets growing for urban wood across Wisconsin

By Scott Lyon, Forest Products Specialist

Many communities have expressed greater interest in local goods and services over the last few years; as a result, urban wood recycling efforts have increased in Wisconsin. The increase of trees killed by invasive insects and disease caused many municipalities to seek alternative uses for urban wood rather than disposing material in a landfill. Recent efforts to market this growing source of material and develop ways to recycle urban trees within communities led Wisconsin to become one of the leading states in urban wood utilization.

Live edge walnut slab table at a Milwaukee based business.

Throughout the state, markets have started to grow; at least 30 companies are producing products made from urban wood. The City of Milwaukee cut their disposal costs in half by sending their street tree removals to Kettle Moraine Hardwoods and Bay View Lumber. Consumers are drawn to urban wood for its unique character appearance that enhances its use in furniture, cabinets, flooring, millwork, wall and ceiling panels. Urban wood can now be found in large scale projects such as ceiling and wall panels at the new Milwaukee Bucks Arena, and apartment and business buildings in Milwaukee. In both Milwaukee and Madison, the hobbyist wood worker can find urban wood lumber and live edge slabs at the local Habitat for Humanity Restore. Urban wood manufacturers have noted an increase in demand for live edge slabs for use in tables, desks and countertops.

Demand for urban wood has increased not only in Milwaukee and Madison, but across the state in other communities such as Green Bay, Appleton, and Eau Claire. In Eau Claire, urban wood is making some noise (literally) after repurposing in the manufacture of guitars. In addition, the City of Eau Claire has partnered with some Wisconsin Urban Wood members to produce furniture and specialty products. Wisconsin Urban Wood is the brand that assures consumers that the wood originated from Wisconsin’s community forests and passed through an entire supply of Wisconsin-based business to arrive as the final product.

However, a need still exists to help end-consumers and other users, such architects, interior designers, and engineers, understand the benefits and value of using wood and overcome perceived barriers. Wood is a renewable resource as opposed to substitute non-renewable products such as concrete, steel, and plastics.

For more information on urban wood use or to find an urban wood user in your area please visit Wisconsin Urban Wood or the Urban Wood Network.

White Pine Lumber Grading Course Offered

The Northcentral Technical College Wood Technology Program is hosting a white pine lumber grading workshop in partnership with the Northeastern Lumber Manufacturer Association (NELMA), and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. This workshop will provide an in-depth review of softwood lumber grading, specifically for Eastern White Pine. In a mix of classroom and hands-on activities, participants will gain valuable skills and experience in grading lumber.

This workshop will be held on February 21-22, 2019 at the NTC Wood Technology Center of Excellence in Antigo, WI. If you are interested in attending this course, please visit NTC’s Conferences and Seminars webpage for additional information and the registration form.

Upcoming Forest Products Events

LSLA 2019 Winter Meeting
Date: January 16-18, 2019
Location: Appleton, WI

Custom Chair Design and Construction
Date: January 19 – February 3, 2019
Location: Antigo, WI

Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association Convention & Exposition
Date: February 4-6, 2019
Location: Indianapolis, IN

White Pine Lumber Grading Course
Date: February 21-22, 2019
Location: Antigo, WI

Wisconsin Local-Use Dimension Lumber Grading Workshop
Date: February 26, 2019
Location: Fitchburg, WI

Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association Spring Celebration
Date: April 12, 2019
Location: Green Bay, WI