When urban trees need to be removed in our area, we like to see that the wood is utilized with a higher purpose. Many beautiful species of hardwood trees are needlessly chopped up into firewood or tossed into a wood waste facility. Salvaging these trees can take a lot of work but the results are well worth the efforts.
First, a certified arborist is commissioned to do the work of felling a urban grown tree. Sometimes a crane or boom truck is needed to pick up the big monster logs to be delivered to the saw mill. A sawyer is then scheduled to methodically cut the wood into live edge slabs and/or dimensional boards. These planks are slowly air dried over the course of two to three years. Lastly, the wood is kiln dried to remove any lasting moisture and to stabilize the cellulose inside the material. Finally, it can be considered seasoned useable lumber that is able to be shaped and made into sustainably produced furniture.
A Live Edge is when the visible natural form on the outside diameter of a tree is left untouched. The tree trunk is milled into wide boards, and only the outer bark is removed to show off its natural shape. Other milling options provide hard straight lines by removing the natural edge for a more uniform board. Each tree has it’s own signature grain, figure, color, and individuality. What’s your favorite tree species?
Our favorite urban salvaged hardwoods to work with are Oregon Black Walnut, Oregon White Oak, Big Leaf Maple, Cherry, Ash, Elm, and Madrone. We are lucky in Portland to have some of the best wood on the planet. That may just be our opinion, but we happen to grow amazing trees in the Willamette Valley. Located in a temperate rainforest with the perfect conditions to grow.
Milbourn Woodworks collaborates with local arborists that are passionate about saving this very precious resource and putting the material to the best use possible. Over the last decade we have built a community of sources for sustainable wood from local mills and FSC certified companies. Do you have a tree that needs to be removed? Is it at least 20” diameter at chest height? Contact us and we would love to connect you with a certified arborist in your area to help with this removal, so that your giving tree can have the chance to be reincarnated and given new life!