At WunderWoods we produce custom hardwood lumber, slabs and woodworking and sell kiln-dried, air-dried and green lumber products made from locally salvaged logs. We build custom wine cellars, built-ins and other furniture. Most of the urban logs that we use come from tree service companies, with the balance coming from construction sites. WunderWoods started out as my hobby, and then grew into a full-time business. https://wunderwoods.wordpress.com
My foray into the urban wood industry came about unintentionally; I found free wood and I started cutting it from scratch. I started working with urban wood as a less expensive way to procure lumber for my own woodworking, but found many more logs available than I could personally use. I hate to see good logs turned into mulch and urban wood tends to have more character and be more unique. Today, 50% of what we produce comes from urban wood.
One of our biggest challenges is getting urban logs with minimal effort. Only a handful of the local tree service companies take the time to call us about using the trees they are removing; many of them still cut the wood up and dispose of it, not knowing the value that it could have. In addition, dealing with metal in urban trees and its typically lower grade, in the traditional sense of grading, are challenges.
Our best local urban wood resources are the tree service companies and arborists that make sure to get the trees processed instead of going into the waste stream. To make the most of urban wood, the focus needs to be at the initial point of decision for the guy with a chainsaw in his hand. The best tree guys take the time to call me and do a little extra work to make sure I have a chance to mill the logs.
Our typical customer is a high-end buyer looking for a unique product. Currently slabs sell the best, followed by rustic lumber. The best way for us to reach our customers is to make a high-end, top-quality product. Our products tell a feel-good story by promoting the beauty of the urban wood resources that are out there. We tell that story with our products, by word of mouth and through our blog and website.
Our mission is to inform, collaborate, and connect to build business and consumer confidence in the urban wood industry. Whether you are looking to expand your existing model or want to start a new business dedicated to urban wood, click here to see how we can help you be successful.
The Urban Wood Network is made up of individual and organizational efforts in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin, working in cooperation to connect and enhance the full circle of sustainable urban forestry. This website was created as part of the grant project, Bringing Urban Forestry Full Circle: Localized Approaches for Capturing Value and Enhancing Public Benefits from Urban Forests, funded by the U.S. Forest Service. The Urban Wood Network provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics.