Forest Products News

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

Markets growing for urban wood across Wisconsin

Written 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. Continue reading “Markets growing for urban wood across Wisconsin”

Complete the Secondary Wood Manufacturer Survey

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources -Division of Forestry is conducting a survey on Wisconsin’s secondary wood manufacturing sector. This sector includes Wisconsin firms that purchase and produce products from lumber, blocks, wood components, fiberboard, plywood, veneer, and manufacturing residue.

The goals of this survey are to: 1.) update the Wisconsin Wood Using Industry Directory, 2.) determine the impact of the secondary wood industry on Wisconsin’s economy, 3.) determine residue availability, and 4.) develop an understanding of educational and training needs for the success of the wood industry. Continue reading “Complete the Secondary Wood Manufacturer Survey”

Wood Energy Webinar a Success

In July, the Wisconsin Statewide Wood Energy Team hosted a free webinar titled, “Wood Energy Systems and Forest Industry Companies: When Are They the Right Fit.” Thirty people attended the webinar. The webinar addressed why wood energy is a good fit for sawmills and other forest products manufacturers. The webinar presenters also covered topics such as the production of heat from wood, combined heat and power that produces heat and electrical power, how wood energy can help with residue management, and what tools are available to look at the feasibility of a project. Some example projects were also highlighted to show how wood energy is benefiting actual companies. For those of you who missed this webinar, please visit the Wisconsin State Wood Energy Team website for educational videos, case studies, tools, and other information to learn more about whether wood energy is the right fit for your home or business.

Celebrate Wisconsin Forest Products Week

Wisconsin has 17.1 million acres of forestland covering nearly half of the state and is home to more than 1,200 forest products companies producing a variety of products that we use daily. In recognition of the importance of forest products to Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker proclaimed the third week of October (October 21-27, 2018) as Wisconsin Forest Products Week.

The proclamation encourages citizens to recognize the many products that come from forests and the people and businesses that work in and care for forests. Forest businesses and organizations are encouraged to host an event or open house to commemorate this event. For ideas or suggestions or to learn more about hosting an event, please contact a member of the DNR forest products team.

Let’s celebrate Wisconsin’s diverse forest products sector during Forest Products Week on October 21-27, 2018!

Mass Timber Proposed in Milwaukee Building

A Wisconsin-based real estate development firm, New Land Enterprises, plans to construct a seven-story mass timber office building on a vacant site in downtown Milwaukee. The building was designed by Korb + Associates Architects and would be the tallest of such structures in Wisconsin.

What is mass timber?
Mass timber is a category of structural framing styles typically characterized by the use of large, solid wood panels for wall, floor, and roof construction. Examples include: glued-laminated timber (glulam), nail-laminated timber (NLT), cross-laminated timber (CLT), and dowel-laminated timber (DLT).

Continue reading “Mass Timber Proposed in Milwaukee Building”

Offering a railroad tie manufacturing workshop

Are you considering sawing railroad ties but don’t know where to start? Do you wish to gain a better understanding of log selection and manufacturing as it relates to tie grades and markets? The Wisconsin DNR, in partnership with the Wisconsin Wood Marketing Team, will host a one-day workshop on railroad tie manufacturing on September 18, 2018.

This course will cover the basics of tie grades, defect limitations, log selection and overall feasibility of sawing ties. The workshop will conclude with a hands-on grading exercise and discussion.

Head sawyers, lumber inspectors, mill owners, managers, salespeople, loggers, foresters and others interested in railroad tie manufacturing are encouraged to attend this informative seminar to be held at Northcentral Technical College, Wood Technology Center for Excellence in Antigo, Wisconsin.

Registration will be taken online (see the online registration portal here) or by mail (see the mail-in registration form here).  The registration fee of $20 includes lunch.

Contact Collin Buntrock (608-286-9083, Collin.Buntrock@Wisconsin.gov) for more information.

Wisconsin delegation explores China market

A delegation of six forestry businesses from Wisconsin, along with representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection and Scott Lyon from the Department of Natural Resources, participated in a trade mission to China on March 20-April 4, 2018. The purpose was to explore and expand markets for Wisconsin’s forest products. Continue reading “Wisconsin delegation explores China market”