Urban Wood Utilization


We see trees in the urban environment as part of a continuous cycle. A tree is planted, for some amount of time it grows, and then inevitably it declines and must be removed. Historically, removal has been considered a negative side of urban forestry. The cost of removing a tree and then disposing of the resulting debris is seen as a burden to homeowners and municipalities alike and thus leaves a gaping hole in the urban tree cycle.

Wood biomass from the urban forest is often disposed of simply for the sake of being rid of it. It might be dumped in a pile to rot, used for animal bedding, burned, or used to fill garbage disposal sites. To complete the cycle of the urban tree we see a need and opportunity to make use of the resulting biomass. Good logs can be milled into lumber for furniture, flooring, or kitchenware; lower quality materials can be used as a biofuel to displace fossil-fuel use, or composted into quality soil amendments.

Wood Chips

The easiest way for us to transport brush that results from tree pruning and removals is to chip it on site. We end up with quite a few wood chips and try to get them back to community members who can use them. We keep a database of people who are interested in having wood chips dropped off, which allows us to dump nearby our worksite, rather than driving across town to a designated dump site. If you would like to be included in this database, fill out our woodchip request form.





Pieces that are too large to chip, but not of high enough quality to be milled into lumber are typically used as firewood. As with wood chips, we keep a list of firewood dropoff locations. We prioritize deliveries to people who utilize EPA certified clean burning wood stoves. If you are interested in receiving raw, unprocessed firewood from the Urban Tree Alliance please fill out our firewood request form

Lumber Quality Logs

Occasionally we remove a tree that has a trunk section suitable for milling into lumber for use in flooring, furniture, etc. Extracting these logs, which can easily weigh two tons, is part of the challenge of Urban Wood Utilization. We have several ways of moving these high-value logs, though, including our low-impact mini skid steer, truck-mounted cranes, and special trailers. If you are interested in purchasing urban lumber, or products maybe from urban trees, we recommend contacting:

Baraboo Woodworks

The Habitat ReStore of Dane County

The Wood Cycle of Wisconsin