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Urban Wood Rescue Program Update

August 1, 2017

As they near the end of their lives, urban trees often need to be removed for a variety of reasons like disease, safety, and pests. Historically, these trees have been cut down, chipped, and left at the dump to decompose, which is truly a sad and wasteful situation. Luckily, urban wood rescue programs are popping up across the United States, saving these trees from becoming trash by milling them into usable lumber, which can be used by artists and craftsmen.

In July of 2015, Sac Tree was awarded a grant from Cal Fire’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) to create an Urban Wood Rescue Program. Since then we’ve worked to create a site plan for our sawmill yard and we are going through the City’s permitting process. After we’ve gained the necessary approvals, construction will begin and we’ll be able to kickoff our business plan as we look forward to giving the wood from urban trees a second life.

With that said, we often receive questions about the status of our program and we think that this is the perfect time to update our tree-friendly followers:

  • Unfortunately, at this time we do not have a inventory of milled/dried lumber for sale. We anticipate having lumber available over the next few months and interested parties should check our website or through social media for updates.
  • We plan on offering both dimensional lumber and live edge slabs. We’ll also consider offering full logs and rounds, if desired.
  • After moving to our new yard, we will likely begin accepting donated logs. We will accept logs from our priority species list that are at least 12 inches in diameter and longer than 6 feet in length. While all donations are subject to approval, priority species include: walnut, oak, stone fruit trees (all varieties), maple, sycamore/London plane, elm, Chinese pistache, redwood, cedar, ash, locust, camphor, and zelkova.
  • Unfortunately, we are unable to remove trees. If you’d like to donate a tree, you will need to coordinate with a tree service to have the tree(s) removed and transported to our site.
  • We will have a variety of milling and drying services available. There is a cost associated with these services, which are to be determined once we are up and running.
  • You are welcome to let us know what kind of wood you might be interested in purchasing in the future, ideal dimensions, and anticipated uses.

We are excited to give the wood from urban trees a second life, making wood available for purchase for community projects like benches, fences, and playground equipment to personal projects like furniture and artwork. We are looking forward to sharing the final piece of the story of our urban trees – including what happens at the end of a tree’s lifespan. Please follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and check the website to keep track of our Urban Wood Rescue Program as it develops.