Let's say there's a big old Oak tree in your backyard. It was there long long before you lived there and probably longer than your house was there.
Well, after about 100 years of growth, that Oak tree is reaching the end of its living life, and it has to come down.
What do you do?
You search for local tree services to get quotes to remove it and then you choose the tree service that you feel has the best reputation, price, and availability.
So the tree service you chose arrives, the skilled workers climb high in the tree with all kinds of safety equipment, cut the big branches off, and then chip it all up into mulch.
Then they cut large sections off the trunk of the tree.
These big logs can weigh more that 10,000 pounds each. Moving these beasts around is no easy task without a crane or at least a front-end loader.
So they usually chop the logs up into manageable chunks, load them in the truck, clean up, and drive away.
But what happens next?
What do they do with those thousands of pounds of wood?
Well some of it gets chipped into mulch, some processed into fuel, but quite often, it goes to a landfill.
It gets thrown away like trash.
It's called "waste wood".
Why? Partly because it is very cost prohibitive to do anything but just throw it away. Just moving them is dangerous and takes very large machines. But also, because that's just what's status quo.
Waste is simply considered a part of doing business.
Now please know we're NOT attacking tree services or arborists.
This story of waste is told in almost every industry throughout the world.
But we're talking about wasting trees. Specifically, trees that grow in our Urban Forest.
Our Urban Forest is one of our most abundant and precious natural resources we have. But it is disappearing at an alarming rate.
In the past 30 years, 50% of Charlotte's tree canopy has been cut down.
Every day, in Charlotte, 40,000 pounds of trees are wasted.
That's 9 million pounds a year in just one city.
We say wasted, because those trees could be used for something else. They could have a long, useful life even after their living life has ended.
What if the trees around us in our Urban Forest were there intentionally? What if we could use these trees to their fullest potential? What if we could change the way we look at waste wood? What if we could hold an industry accountable for they way we use our natural resources? What if we could make a difference in this world?