Reclaimed Wood: New Life for Old Trees

These companies pick up old, damaged, or diseased trees throughout the city and reuse them.

| March/April 2004

  • Recycled eucalyptus wood is milled and used for building, flooring, or decking.
  • CitiLog makes cabinetry from some of its recycled wood.
    Photo Courtesy CitiLog

Every year in cities and towns, thousands of trees are knocked down by storms or removed because of development, age, damage, or disease. A few areas have programs that reclaim and recycle urban trees—using them for lumber, cabinetry, or art—so valuable wood doesn’t wind up in the chipper or the landfill.

East Bay Conservation Corps Urban Tree Mill: This Oakland, California, nonprofit offers pick-up service to rescue urban trees destined for the dump, recycling them into lumber, designer countertops, flooring, decking, park benches, and interactive art. The tree recycling yard diverts about 5,000 tons of logs from Bay-area landfills a year. (510) 376-9994.

CitiLog: This New Jersey green business sends residential and urban trees to be custom milled in central Pennsylvania by Amish sawyers, using century-old skills and techniques. The wood becomes cabinetry, doors, flooring, and molding made with nontoxic glue and finished with linseed oil. CitiLog trucks and machines run on biodiesel fuel, and a team of horses removes trees from sensitive areas. (877) 248-9564.

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