Recover. Reuse. Regrow.
© Photo by #forestproud
Planting and maintaining trees is an essential part of growing a climate-resilient city. But, as we plant more trees and grow the tree canopy in our communities to meet today’s needs , there will inevitably come tomorrow’s question: What will we do with the trees when they come down?
And they will come down, in whole or in part, from natural disasters, pests and disease, drought, new construction, homeowner maintenance, utility line needs, or old age.
Trees store carbon as they grow. That carbon is locked away in its branches, limbs, trunk, and roots.
Here is the challenge: When trees come down in a community, they rarely get a second life. In a given year, an estimated 15 - 30 million tons of urban and community wood is wasted across the country, ending up in landfills, releasing carbon back into the atmosphere as the wood rots slowly away.
At its core, urban wood utilization involves diverting wood from waste streams and creating a second life for urban trees. Each new product and business built around urban wood reduces wood waste, drives new markets, generates local employment opportunities, keeps carbon stored longer, and creates an economy that connects forests to communities in a tangible way. Urban wood utilization offers immense potential to reimagine our cities—and our urban wood streams—as opportunities to develop innovative products and support climate solutions.
The urban wood movement is here to stay, and we’re #forestproud to see it grow.
New to the urban forestry conversation? Check out our series on what the urban forests is, why it matters, why we measure it, and why we are #forestproud to see it grow.
Take a Deep Dive! In December 2022, the CA Urban Wood Academy was held but space was limited. The range of topics and expertise at the Academy was so valuable that CAL FIRE and the USDA Forest Service provided funding to capture the educational highlights. We're pleased to share a full 6.5 hours of FREE high-quality educational content, cut down and packaged into a virtual workshop learning experience via a series of presentations, hosted on SAF ForestEd. This workshop lecture series offers the opportunity to earn 5.5 SAF and ISA continuing education credits. This free virtual workshop is for anyone looking to build or refresh knowledge around urban wood utilization and how the wood product supply chain is key to making significant environmental, social and economic impacts on communities of all sizes. The information presented here ties together urban and community forest management, plans for reducing tree waste, scaling up urban wood utilization and production, creating zero-waste biomass campuses, and connecting to the demand-side of the marketplace.
Urban Wood Utilization
Explore what actually goes into managing urban trees and forests and how communities are balancing economic, environmental, and climate goals.