Wood Samples

Urban wood is comparable to traditional lumber … with richer characteristics.

Supply – Taking only what the forest gives.

Urban wood is equal to traditional lumber.  However, it is not harvested in the traditional sense. Urban wood comes exclusively from trees that have died naturally from pests and disease, or have otherwise succumbed to construction and human related circumstances. This makes available quantities and species vary by what the forest gives.

Character – Individual, sustainable.

Urban wood has rich and varied character across species. The character comes from the constraints and adaptations of the urban tree and is made possible by sawmills that process urban logs and handle each one individually with an eye for the best cut for each log.

Urban wood grade compares to mill run.  All sound material from each log is included in the lumber and processed locally, making urban wood the most sustainable type of wood available.  It has been compared to Italian marble–no two pieces are alike. These photo samples are limited examples of the characteristics available in urban wood. Although the species shown are plentiful, and usually available, there are many more hardwood species available, such as honey locust, red oak, pine, hackberry, catalpa, etc.

When providing lumber for any given project, in consultation with architects and clients, sawmills that process urban logs determine the best cuts of any given tree to reveal the most character possible.


Join the Movement

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 funded in part by the USDA Forest Service, State & Private Forestry, Cooperative Forestry, and the USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory.  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.