Urban Sawmilling Guide

Every year in our cities and towns, thousands upon thousands of trees and the billions of board feet they contain are thrown away as garbage. What isn’t dumped in landfills is buried on construction sites, ground up for mulch, or cut into firewood. At the same time, we pay dearly at lumber yards and home centers for many of the hardwoods and softwoods we continue to burn, bury, grind, and throw away. Our forests cannot be treated as an inexhaustible source of timber. Along with sustainable forest management, we must make better use of wood from other sources, like the trees that grow in our own yards, parks, and even near our city streets.

As we see it, every urban tree we use for lumber is one less tree that must be cut from our forests and one less piece of green waste that would be dumped in our landfills. Everyone we talk to about harvesting urban timber is enthusiastic about the idea. We hear from people all over the world who want to know what they can do in their local cities and towns to help make a difference. You’ve just taken your first step. Download the Salvaging, Sawmilling, and Marketing Urban Wood Guide for more information.

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Urban Sawmilling Video Series

Urban Sawmilling Series Episode V - Kamuela Hardwoods

Established in 2010 as a collaboration between an ISA Certified Arborist and a sustainable...

Urban Sawmilling Series Episode IV - Hunski Hardwoods

James and Nick Hunsaker run Hunski Hardwoods, an urban sawmill near Sacramento, California....

Urban Sawmilling Series Episode III - Van Urban Timber

Eric Savics and Danny Hagge established Van Urban Timber to produce live-edge slabs and custom...


Urban Sawmilling Success Stories

Woodworker Builds Business Salvaging Trees

While working as an arborist in Colorado, Ryan Baldwin saw an opportunity to turn city trees...

Habitat for Humanity Provides Locally Rescued Wood

Wisconsin's dead urban trees could produce over 73 million board feet of lumber each year. The...

Tree Removal Business Diverts Trees From Landfill

Shawn Moore of Trimmed Line Tree Services uses an LT50 Hydraulic portable sawmill and EG200 twin...