A Note From the Owner

I started woods to woods for a variety of reasons. As a student of biology I was upset by the amount of waste that was happening in our urban forest. It did not make sense to me to drive thousands of miles, muddle up a forest for logs, and all the while be wasting logs that came from the city limits. This is not to say that I disagree with forestry practice, there are many great forestry outfits in this country doing great work, I was just perplexed by the situation. I understood why forest were harvested, but I did not know why our cities were not. It turns out that last set of words was the a very big part of the reason…… “harvest our cities”. That freaked out some people who thought that if a value was built into the trees than people would harvest them for money. In hine site this is not even possible. Yard trees produce way less lumber than a forest tree, even the same size tree. And a average tree removed at a cost of 1500 dollars would yield a log worth a few hundred dollars at best at best. In actuality I would make the argument that not utilizing urban lumber has actually increased urban deforestation. People do not want the 1500-4000 dollar removal bill when a tree fails so, after a tree they had fails, and they have to pay that bill they do not replant large trees, instead they plant small ornamentals. With proper education we can grow trees that serve the purpose of trees, then when they have to be removed, the removal can have some cost offset by the value of the log. But I have never seen the value of a log cover the removal cost, yet alone become a lucrative transaction for the homeowner.

After I got started I realized there was another reason urban forestry was not practiced. Its hard. when harvesting a forest thousands of logs can be harvested, they all grew in the same condition, for nearly the same time so they are pretty uniform, very tall, very straight. And they are not full of clothes line hooks, tree house nails, birdhouse hangers, snow fences, wire fences, bolts, rod iron, cables, car parts, bicycle parts, forks, spoons, toy cars…… well you get the idea, lots of stuff that would play havoc on a large expensive mill.

My goal when I started woods to woods was to help grow a better canopy, and to make sure all that we could use from the canopy could be used. Yes I sell lumber which come from trees, but nothing would make me happier than if from the air all of our metro areas in the Midwest were totally hidden under canopy. This would decrease heating and cooling cost which would drive fuel cost down, and it would increase the total tree matter, which would increase lumber production, increase wood fuel, and decrease fossil fuel consumption, and increased air quality.

Michael Frankhauser