Media Release

Tree Tour explores salvaging urban wood in the Junction

Salvaged wood table in Toronto

(June 26, 2013, Toronto, ON - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE) On Wednesday, July 3, from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Ryan Kuz, owner of Karmatree, and Dennis Hale, co-owner of Storyboard Furniture, will explore the art of salvaging wood from urban trees. The Salvaging Urban Wood Tree Tour will begin at the southwest corner of Keele St. and Dundas St. West in Toronto. From there they will explore the beautiful trees of the Junction, discussing the species and situations that make for the best urban wood salvage operations. 


The tour will explore the entire process - from identifying good candidate trees, to planning the removal to milling the wood. Both companies use environmentally-responsible practices.  Karmatree offers pruning and maintenance services, removing trees only when necessary.  Storyboard Furniture uses bike-power wherever possible and has a local workshop, keeping their environmental footprint as low as possible.


“Our main goal is to make profoundly beautiful and meaningful furniture with ecological integrity. By salvaging dying trees in our client's own yards it allows us to create unique and personal conversation pieces that enrich their lives by deepening their relationship to their environment”, says Dennis Hale, Storyboard Furniture.


The Junction, with its many salvage and design stores, offers an ideal location for the tour.   It also happens to be home to Janet McKay, LEAF’s Executive Director.  The tour will conclude with a visit to her yard, where she recently, with the help of Karmatree and Storyboard Furniture, salvaged the wood of a dying black locust tree. 


“We want to preserve all trees, but sometimes urban trees have to come down.  When they do, why not capture that wood and turn it into products that can be used right here in the city?” says Janet McKay, LEAF.


Tour participants will be surprised by how many common urban trees species can be made into useful products.  And they will learn that one of the most important considerations in urban wood salvage operations is safety.


“Working with your arborist from the earliest stages is crucial in the process,” says Ryan Kuz, Karmatree. “You want to salvage the wood in the largest pieces possible, but it has to be done safely.  That can be tricky in urban environments.”


All three tour leaders stress that once a tree has to come down, it is important to plant new trees to replace the lost canopy cover. LEAF offers a subsidized tree planting program that helps homeowners get the right tree in the right place.   


LEAF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of the urban forest and engages citizens in urban forest stewardship through planting, education and training. LEAF offers a range of tree tours throughout the year in Toronto and York Region. Topics for upcoming tours include recovering urban fruit on the Edible Tree Tour, adopting trees on the Monarch Park Tree Tour, discovering and identifying tree species on the Christie Pits Tree Tour and more. The tours educate the public and encourage neighbourhood action to protect and improve the urban forest. LEAF’s Tree Tours are supported by Ontario Power Generation, York Region and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.




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