Cutting the Cost of Urban Forestry

Removing urban trees is an ongoing and necessary process for protecting public safety, eliminating conflicts within the built landscape, and promoting forest health. But felling, bucking, transporting, and processing removed trees is a costly process.

A typical assortment of logs sourced from roadsides and other urban settings in Baltimore County, Maryland.

A typical assortment of logs sourced from roadsides and other urban settings in Baltimore County, Maryland.

Researchers have previously cataloged ways to generate profit from the recovered logs as a means to making the process more affordable. In this current study, Forest Products Marketing Unit Program Manager Rusty Dramm is working with partners to identify process improvements that can reduce the costs of urban forest management.

This study will examine four issues common to operational costs:

  1. Potential benefits of establishing municipal sort yards for receiving tree materials.
  2. Development of lumber recovery factors from logs not suitable for commercial sawmills.
  3. Documentation of barriers and opportunities for marketing products from urban trees as a means to offset the cost of removal.
  4. Identification of ways to cost-effectively direct wood material not suitable for mill production to other uses.

Municipal tree managers and public works departments will be able to use the results of this study to improve the efficiency of their tree disposition programs.

For more information, see this Research In Progress report.