Forest Products News

Upcoming Forest Products Events

Live Edge Slab Business Workshop – Grafton, Wisconsin
This one-day educational and networking workshop focuses on the business and operational skills needed to successfully operate a small sawmill business producing live edge slabs for high-quality furniture.
The educational topics covered include selecting and sourcing logs, sawing logs for making slabs, sawmilling, drying methods, processing slabs and marketing slabs. Attendees will also learn about various sawmill and woodworking equipment and drying technologies available to manufacture and add value to live edge slabs properly. In addition, there will be on-site slab sawing demonstrations and a dehumidification kiln tour.
Sponsors of this workshop include the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Urban Wood Network -Wisconsin, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, University of Wisconsin Madison Extension, U.S. Forest Service Wood Education and Resource Center and North Carolina State University Wood Products Extension.

Who Can Benefit From Attending This Workshop?

  • Small sawmill owners and operators
  • Woodworkers
  • Retail woodworking stores
  • Lumber distributors
  • Foresters and arborists

Date And time
Thursday, June 9, 2022, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. CDT

Location
Hoppe Tree Service
Arrowhead Rd
1009 Arrowhead Road
Grafton, WI 53024

Cost
$45 Per Attendee

To learn more about this workshop and register, please visit the registration page for the event.

 

National Firewood Workshop Coming To Wisconsin
Firewood plays a vital role in our state, especially in regions that do not have access to markets for small-diameter logs. This year the National Firewood Workshop will be held in Wisconsin.

The two-day educational and networking event supports the split-firewood industry by hosting business discussions with leading firewood industry professionals and offering outdoor demonstrations of firewood equipment by the leading vendors of the US and Canada.
The topics covered include business management, marketing, splitting and processor equipment, dry kiln equipment, kiln certification, transportation issues, automation, bundle packing and other topics important to a successful firewood operation.
North Carolina State University Wood Products Extension organized the workshop. Sponsors of the workshop include the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, U.S Forest Service, University of Wisconsin Madison Extension, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, the Wood Education and Resource Center of Princeton, West Virginia and the Firewood Scout.

Date and time
Wednesday, June 15, 2022, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. CDT
Thursday, June 16, 2022, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. CDT
Doors open at 8 a.m. each day.

Location
Arlington Ag Research Station
N695 Hopkins Road
Arlington, WI 53911
View map

Cost
$50 Per Attendee

To learn more about this workshop and register, please visit the registration page for the event.

 

Wisconsin Local Use Dimension Lumber Grading Classes  – Woodruff, Wisconsin
May 31, June 1 – 2, 2022
Due to a larger classroom becoming available, we are able to add a few spots for each day. To register for one of these courses, please visit this webpage.

Kiln Drying In The Lake States – What Happens Inside A Lumber Dry Kiln

By Scott Bowe, Professor of Wood Products at the University of Wisconsin’s Kemp Station and Scott Lyon, DNR Forest Products Specialist, Green Bay

The Great Lake States region produces some of the best hardwood and softwood lumber globally. Most of us have driven by a sawmill or concentration yard and have seen lumber dry kilns — rows of large rectangular buildings with massive doors.

What goes on inside these kilns? What value is added during drying? How many days does it take to dry lumber? Why dry lumber at all?

We dry lumber for several reasons. The first is to prevent fungal degradation and insect attack—a tree in the forest lives in a tough world. Decay fungi, stain fungi and insects are always looking for their chance to use the tree for a food source, home or both. Continue reading “Kiln Drying In The Lake States – What Happens Inside A Lumber Dry Kiln”

New Technology Highlighted In Publication

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Products Services recently worked with UW-Extension and the Department of Agriculture Forest Products Lab to develop a technical primer highlighting vacuum drying technologies for lumber manufacturing.

This research was completed by using the vacuum kiln at Northcentral Technical College. Vacuum drying technology has recently gained attention in Wisconsin because of the availability of lower-cost vacuum kilns for smaller wood product manufacturers.

Vacuum drying utilizes a pressure vessel, a heat source and a vacuum pump to control the drying conditions under less-than-atmospheric pressure. This process is an economical alternative to conventional drying for many species under various environmental and economic conditions.

Vacuum drying can reduce drying time and be more energy-efficient than conventional steam drying. However, there are many factors to consider when comparing the two technologies. Ideal applications for vacuum kilns include high-value wood species, difficult-to-dry species (e.g. oak), timbers, large sections of logs and lumber (including live-edge slabs and wooden rounds), decorative or thick veneer and small-scale woodworking operations.

The new report describes the principles and practices of vacuum drying and discusses its advantages and disadvantages. To learn more about this technology and drying lumber, please view the recent technical report by visiting this webpage.

Lake States Woodshed Mapping Project

A group of researchers and Extension professionals from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are working on a “Woodsheds” mapping project (similar to the concept of a watershed) to develop an interactive web-based mapping application they hope will be useful for forest landowners, forestry professionals, and wood products industry professionals. A 5-10 minute survey is intended to find out what your information needs are, and to see if you’d like to be part of a user testing group that helps them refine this tool. Direct any survey questions to ehuff@msu.edu. Please use this link to complete the survey by April 18th:
https://msu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bQTG51T8YwRmUM6

Restoring Coastal Wetlands With Low-Value Woody Material

By Scott Lyon, DNR Forest Products Specialist, Green Bay

Conservation partners, including Ducks Unlimited, Wisconsin DNR, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, City of Green Bay and UW-Green Bay, worked together to construct a woody breakwater to restore and enhance wetlands for wildlife and more.

The project took place in fall 2021 at the mouth of Duck Creek, offshore from the Ken Euers Nature Area in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The project involved several years of planning that brought together a team of fish and wildlife biologists, wetland and aquatic plant scientists, foresters and engineers to discuss ideas and plans to restore wetland vegetation in the Duck Creek Delta.

Steve Kaufman, DNR Forester on the Oconto Falls team, and Scott Lyon, DNR Forest Products Specialist with Forest Products Services, participated in technical advisory committee meetings and assisted in connecting the project coordinators with woody materials to be used in the structure.

The resulting breakwater structures were predominantly trees rather than a traditional breakwall composed of mostly rock and is one of the first for the bay of Green Bay and the broader Great Lakes system. Continue reading “Restoring Coastal Wetlands With Low-Value Woody Material”

Black Walnut Trends In Wisconsin

By Brian Anderson, DNR Forest Inventory Analyst, Rhinelander and Alex Rosenflanz, DNR Forest Inventory Specialist, Madison

Acres Of Black Walnut Forests
Black walnut is a valuable and highly sought-after species found in the Midwest and Eastern United States. In Wisconsin, its distribution is primarily limited to the state’s southern region, although scattered sites are found farther north. The total acreage of black walnut in the state has increased nearly three times, from approximately 35,065 acres in 2004, to 101,274 acres in 2019.

Of that total, surprisingly, only 10% is attributed to stands established by artificial regeneration. The distribution of acres by stand age shows a boon in stands aged 31 to 90 years since 2004, with younger age classes remaining relatively steady since 2009 (Figure 1). Relatively few stands have reached ages over 90 years.
Continue reading “Black Walnut Trends In Wisconsin”

New Forest Products Specialist In Dodgeville

By Collin Buntrock, DNR Forest Products Team Leader

I am very pleased to announce that Brian Zweifel has accepted the statewide Forest Products Specialist position in Dodgeville. Brian’s first day was Feb. 14.

Brian brings a diverse background in forestry and partnership development and will play a key role in forest products training, business and market development regionally and across Wisconsin. He has worked as a DNR forester and consulting forester and has experience with international marketing and forest products extension.

He is excited to bring his experience as a field forester and forest products extension to the forest products services team to support, promote and grow Wisconsin’s forest products industry.

Upcoming Forest Products Events

Wisconsin Local Use Dimension Lumber Grading Classes (WI LUDL) – Woodruff, Wisconsin
May 31, June 1 – 2, 2022
To register for one of these courses, please visit this webpage.

Hardwood Sawmilling Certificate – Antigo, Wisconsin
June 6 – July 1, 2022
This unique certificate prepares learners for hands-on, in-demand positions within the hardwood lumber industry. This short four-week certificate will help launch you into a lifelong, rewarding career. All classes are taught in person and utilize Northcentral Technical College’s 27,000 square foot state-of-the-art Wood Technology Center of Excellence.

The training will focus on hardwood lumber inspection; sawing, edging and trimming to maximize profits; hardwood log scaling and grading; and species identification for hardwood lumber and logs.

To learn more about this program, please visit this webpage. To register, visit the registration page.

Small Live Edge Slab Business Workshop – Grafton, Wisconsin
June 9, 2022
This one-day educational and networking workshop focuses on the business and operational skills needed to operate a live-edge slab producing sawmill business successfully. There will be on-site slab sawing demonstrations. To learn more about this workshop and register, please visit the event’s registration page.

National Firewood Workshop – Arlington, Wisconsin
June 15 – 16, 2022
This firewood industry event combines education and networking opportunities. The workshop offers discussions on business and equipment topics and outdoor sawing and firewood splitting demonstrations by multiple equipment manufacturers.  To learn more about this workshop and register, please visit the event’s registration page.

Monitoring The Condition Of Wisconsin’s Forest Regeneration

Have you ever wondered how Wisconsin’s forests are monitored for regeneration? Forest regeneration, the process of renewing tree cover by establishing young trees, is one of the most basic and important elements of sustainable forest management. After a harvest or disturbance event, like a fire or heavy winds, successful regeneration is crucial to developing healthy, productive forests that can provide sustainable economic and ecological functions. Forest regrowth patterns must be well understood to manage Wisconsin’s forest resources sustainably.

In 2018, the DNR’s Forestry Division launched the Forest Regeneration Monitoring (FRM) program to better assess the status and progression of naturally regenerating forests on county, state, federal and private lands across the state.

Continue reading “Monitoring The Condition Of Wisconsin’s Forest Regeneration”

Wood Energy – Renewable And Locally Available

Did you know that wood energy makes up a large percentage of Wisconsin’s renewable energy consumption? In 2017, biomass (including wood) accounted for an estimated 70% of the state’s renewable energy use.  Are you a business, school or institution interested in learning more about whether wood energy is a good fit for you?  See how the Forest Products Services program can help!

Graphs displaying renewable energy use by source.

Source: https://psc.wi.gov/Pages/Programs/OEI/WisconsinEnergyStatistics.aspx