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Posts Tagged ‘Urban Wood Waste’

WHAT: A gathering of urban forestry partners sharing ways to increase the repurposing of removed trees and wood waste.

WHO:  The Georgia Arborist Association (GAA) & the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) with area arborists, urban foresters, sawyers, millers and members of the                       concerned urban canopy community.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 6:30-9pm

WHERE: Eventide Brewing, 1015 Grant St., SE, Atlanta 30315

SCHEDULE:  6:30pm – Mobile mill demonstration

7:00pm – Urban wood overview

7:30pm – Refreshments

FEATURES:   Urban forestry experts from GAA and GFC.

Joe & Laura Sisko, Atlanta Fine Woods (wood sourcing specialist)

Sims Acuff, Eutree (miller of reclaimed wood)

Mal McEwan, Georgia chainsaw artist

BACKGROUND:  As trees age and face greater risk of pests and diseases, communities and homeowners have had to remove more large trees from the urban canopy. An estimated 200 million cubic yards of wood residue is produced annually in the Southeast, and most of the residue becomes chips or compost, or is dumped in landfills. Processing and transportation of large logs can be difficult and expensive. Awareness of wood waste issues is growing and the wood processing community and its customers are looking to this resource to help manage the urban canopy.

Merchandising urban wood to its highest and best use enables municipalities to:

* significantly reduce waste disposal costs.

* produce sustainable local lumber for municipal projects and for local craftsmen.

* reinforce the renewable and sustainable qualities of working forests.

* sequester carbon.

* build networks of producers and end users that preserve the value of the forest.

For more information about urban wood utilization, visit www.urbanwoodexchange.org..

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By P. Eric Wiseman, Ph.D. Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation Virginia Tech

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Urban forests are an important component of Georgia’s natural resources. They clean our air, protect our water, and beautify our cities. They also create jobs for arborists, nursery operators and urban foresters. According to a 2009 study by the US Forest Service, there are over 293 million trees in Georgia’s urban and community areas. Each year, thousands of these trees are cut down due to storm damage, pest infestation, land development, and natural attrition. This is a tremendous fiber resource that has high potential as urban forest products. Utilization of urban forest waste is good for both the environment and the economy. Processing downed trees into firewood, lumber, and other products diverts waste from landfills and creates revenue for an assortment of green industries.

Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) sees opportunities for greater utilization of urban forest waste around the state. For this reason, the GFC wants to better understand current practices and perceptions of waste utilization among tree care services and municipalities. The GFC has partnered with the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech to conduct an online survey of ISA Certified Arborists and municipal tree waste administrators during 2015. Virginia Tech researchers were selected as partners for this study because they have conducted similar surveys in Virginia and North Carolina as part of a multi-state project funded by the US Forest Service. In this survey, questions will be asked about current practices of urban forest waste generation and utilization by commercial and municipal operations. The researchers also hope to understand perceptions about the incentives, barriers, and interest level in urban forest waste utilization. With the results of this survey, the GFC will target its outreach and technical assistance programs to increase participation and profitability in urban forest products. Solicitations to participate in the online survey were sent in early March 2015.

For further information about this project, contact Dru Preston in the Utilization Department of the Georgia Forestry Commission at (478) 283-5117 or at dpreston@gfc.state.ga.us.

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Many homeowners feel the overwhelming need to clean up tree debris left behind by storm events. Tips for managing the volume of downed trees, branches and other debris include:

  • First, assess safety conditions of your family, home and neighborhood.
  • Homeowners who spot downed trees on primary roadways may notify local officials by calling Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) or their respective county EMA offices. Teams from various agencies will be dispatched to clear downed trees that are blocking primary roadways, so roads can be reopened for official vehicles to respond to emergencies. Primary roadways include county and state maintained roadways. Roadways may include private roads, if life and/or property are in danger and emergency vehicles are blocked from responding.
  • Call insurance providers if there is structural, vehicular or property damage and follow their instructions to accurately file claims.
  • Follow instructions of local, state and federal officials for your area prior to attempting to remove tree debris in your yard or neighborhood. Local governments have different debris cleanup procedures. They will tell you where to place debris for pickup; what branch lengths, bundle sizes and number of accepted bundles will be picked up; and when pickups will occur.
  • In cleaning up tree debris, keep trash bags and heavy cord handy. Pile debris where it will not restrict your movements, the movements of tree crews or your neighbors, and be sure to allow access for other debris to be removed. Determine what part of the debris may be recycleable and pile it separately. Most woody debris can be recycled.

The Georgia Forestry Commission recommends homeowners only attempt to clean up minor tree debris.

  • Tree trunks and large limbs can be very heavy and their movement should not be attempted by one person.
  • Do not attempt to remove leaning trees or large branches on roofs. Improper movement could cause additional structural damage.
  • Be very careful when moving downed trees and branches laying over one another. They are likely to be under tension and when you move them, they could snap violently and cause personal injuries.
  • Operating a chainsaw on storm-damaged trees is dangerous. Historically, more people are injured by chainsaws than the storm that caused the tree damage. Never operate a chainsaw alone or without proper instructions. In addition, always use the necessary safety equipment, including leather gloves, a full face shield or safety goggles, hearing protection, a hard hat, long sleeves and pants, over-the-ankle leather boots (with a steel toe, if possible) and chainsaw chaps.

The Georgia Forestry Commission also recommends that homeowners call certified arborists for major tree debris removal and proper maintenance of remaining trees.

  • Certified arborists can assist homeowners who have trees that have been struck by lightning. Hazardous trees and limbs should be removed. However, major pruning should be delayed six to 12 months (preferably during the winter months). Sometimes, tree mortality takes at least that long or even longer to occur, so major expenditures before then would be wasted. When it appears the tree will survive, more careful pruning and continued fertilization (with deep watering, if necessary) is recommended.

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"Mother Nature" by Neil Cox

When city trees die, there are many options for removal and reuse of the wood. In London, Ontario they’ve settled on something a little more unusual; a public-private partnership is using the trunks from street trees to create art. When the hazard tree is removed, the trunks stay in place where they are carved into fantastical shapes by local artists and painted or varnished to protect the sculptures from weather. The trees have become a wonderful tourist attraction with fifteen of them placed throughout the City. Don’t worry, if you’re not headed to Canada any time soon, a virtual tour is available. If you’re a member of the Society of Municipal Arborists, look for more about London’s project in the March/April edition of City Trees.

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