In 2015 I salvaged my first trees, they were elm. These trees were being removed as part of a park renovation at Whitefish Montana’s depot park. I remember calling the city to ask what was going to happen to the trees. I showed up to the park, having received the go ahead to pick them up. Was I ever unprepared? I had 1994 f150 and my second hand Stihl 026. How was I to get these massive trunks into the back of my truck? Foolish and young I Paul Bunyoned what I could, I found if I could lift it the the tail-gate of my truck I could shimmy them up into the bed of my truck. I also found that if I cut them smaller they weren’t as heavy.. Duh.
Fast forward 6 years and those first logs were milled and dried in my town lot backyard in Whitefish. I turned one into a standing height table and the other found a home in my wife's
counseling practice in Kalispell. We have moved to the woods and I now mill mostly with a bandsaw mill, lift with the aid of machinery and continue to rescue trees around the valley. These trees are not the result of deforestation. They are not fuel for the economic machine that is fashion furniture. These trees are removed because they are sick and dying, or maybe because they are too crowded and removing them leads to a healthier forest. Each tree receives a tag and is let to air dry before a final kiln dry. It then enters my workshop where I turn it into quality custom pieces of furniture. This is not fad furniture, the type that looks nice the first week in your home, but quickly begins to wear and fall apart. I seek to make furniture that gets better with age. Furniture that your children and your grandchildren might want to have in their homes. Through urban tree salvage I am able to localize the supply chain. Creating furniture where it grew. This is what zero carbon is all about. Limit t
he travel, limit the environmental impact, limit the need to replace. Buy a table once, enjoy it for many lifetimes!
Video above: salvaged cottonwood on the mill
Image below: processed cottonwood turned into a beautiful top