Timbergreen is Sustainable Atwood urban forestry partner.
A Small City Tree Transformed Forever
Homeowner Michael Breezee on the East Side of Madison Wi has many trees in his backyard. One small cherry tree needed to be removed, but Michael hated to just burn the wood in his fireplace. While all the “experts” would say these small logs were simply firewood, wood lover Jim Birkemeier from Spring Green agreed the wood could be made into beautiful, solid wood furnishings for the Breezee family home.
Woodworker Kathy Bastin of Spring Green, provides perspective as to the size of the two logs Breezee brought out to Timbergreen Farm. The logs measured 7″ diameter and 6″ diameter inside the bark – 8 feet long. The smaller log was crooked. These logs were sawn on the WoodMizer sawmill and the lumber was dried using the sun’s energy in Timbergreen Farm’s solar heated kilns.
A sturdy hallway table was made from the best boards of this cherry tree –
an anniversary gift for Michael’s wife..
Here is a close up of the beautiful grain from this small tree.
The small knots add interesting character to the wood,
along with dark marks that resulted from woodpeckers pecking the bark of the young tree.
More of the cherry lumber was used to build the Breezee’s a new wooden staircase in their home. Oak and Elm trees that had died at Timbergreen Farm contributed more boards to help build the railing, post, spindles, treads, risers, and landings. “Solar heated lumber kilns are a key piece of equipment when making furnishings from mixed species of trees,” explained Jim Birkemeier. “The daily cycle of heating when the sun shines is balanced by the night time period where all the different boards have a chance to equalize in moisture content, so stress and defect is minimized and the natural color of the wood grain is preserved.”
Breezee also had Spring Green Timber Growers make a variety of Christmas gifts for his family and co workers from the cherry tree. Many of the gifts were laser engraved with family name and date to make them special keepsakes.
A bedroom floor was installed with red and white oak from Timbergreen Farm – at the top of the stairs.
Other small businesses in the Madison area have worked similar results with salvaged trees,
Many other cities have larger businesses that also salvage urban trees, using them for high value wood products instead of just chipping them for mulch, making firewood – or just landfilling.
I encourage Madison and Dane County governments to encourage new small businesses to grow using the resource of the dead trees cut everday =
creating new jobs and keeping our money in the local economy.
My experience shows that one new well paying job can be created for every 50 average size trees that are salvaged each year in the urban forests of S Wisconsin. Using this locally grown and manufactured wood supports the local economy and reverses the trend of exporting our money and jobs when people buy imported wood products in the big stores. Jim Birkemeier – Spring Green Timber Grower
email me – Jim@TimberGrowers.com