Media Release

Adventures in Wood Salvage: Tree tour explored urban wood utilization 


July 28, 2014 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – On Thursday, July 24, approximately 50 people joined LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) for a tree tour exploring urban wood utilization. The tour addressed the question of how we can make better use of wood from trees in the city that have reached the end of their lives.

Tour leaders included Andrew Baughn, an arborist with Eco Tree Co. who works to salvage the wood from trees he cuts down, and Adam Dalgarno, a woodworker at Rusted Maple Carpentry and Design who works with wood from Toronto’s felled trees.

Tour participants learned the story of a large, old silver maple tree that shaded a nursery school playground until it fell during last winter’s ice storm. Baughn salvaged the tree and worked with Dalgarno to transform the wood into a beautiful live edge bench. The tour ended with a visit to the newly installed bench, which now offers a place to relax in the playground where the tree once grew. “Salvaging wood is a wonderful process where we uncover the unseen beauty from the heart of a tree,” said Baughn. “Every piece of wood is unique.”

In addition, the tour discussed the impact of pests like the Emerald Ash Borer on our urban forest – and what this means for woodworkers. “Many ash trees in Toronto have already died and more will continue to succumb to this invasive beetle,” said Erin MacDonald, Volunteer and Stewardship Coordinator at LEAF. “The sudden availability of so much ash makes it even more important that we address the issue of what’s happening to our urban wood. We can treat it as a valuable resource rather than a waste.”

The tour also included a stop in Trinity Bellwoods Park, where Laura Jamer, a volunteer with Friends of Trinity Bellwoods Park, discussed their Adopt-A-Tree Program. This volunteer program helps newly planted park trees during the first few years after planting – the toughest years for tree survival. Local residents water the trees regularly and provide basic care, giving these new trees the best possible chance at reaching maturity.  This ensures the long-term sustainability of our urban forest as they take the place of those that have had to come down – the cycle continues!

The tour was supported by the City of Toronto - Economic Development and Culture. “Using local wood to make things locally, just like producing green energy locally, keeps dollars in the local economy and creates new job opportunities for Toronto,” said Rob McMonagle, Senior Advisor, Green Technology & Green Energy.

For more information on LEAF or this event, visit

Photo opportunities and interviews available upon request.



Robyn Stewart
Education & Outreach Coordinator, LEAF
416-413-9244 x14 (Office) | 416-834-3785 (Cell)

Erin MacDonald
Volunteer & Stewardship Coordinator, LEAF
416-419-9244 x12 (Office) |


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