Curtis Turner Studio

 
Harvesting a Burr Oak
Harvesting a Burr Oak
Club members harvesting a Burr Oak.

Working with Forestry Departments

Urban forestry departments and arborists are often confronted with the difficult decision to remove a significant tree.  The decision may be the result of storm damage, old age or land development.  Most forestry professionals dislike the removal of large trees.  Often, these trees are turned into mulch.  Just like woodworkers and artists forestry professionals see beauty and value in this natural resource.  Fortunately, many forestry professionals welcome the opportunity to work with local woodworkers, woodturners and artists to harvest a portion of an important tree.  This is a way to honor this unique natural resource.  This link contains a listing of Texas Woodturning clubs.

Local artists are encouraged to contact their local forestry departments and arborists about collecting a portion of an important tree.  Artists should consider donating a finished piece back to the city as a way of giving back.  These items could go to charity auctions to raise money for schools and libraries.  Imagine the money a school could raise by auctioning artistic items made from the old shade that generations of children played under.

Craftsmen should take the time to develop an ongoing relationship with these departments.  Artists should open their studios for tours to these professionals.  Take the time to explain their safety procedures, and the processes involved in harvesting and curing the wood.  Take extra care to respect the park or area in which the material is collected.  After all, you want to be invited back.

A supportive article recently appeared in the newsletter for the International Society of Arboriculture Texas chapter.  Link to newsletter see page 12.
Curtis harvesting a Catalpa tree
Curtis harvesting a Catalpa tree in coordination with a local forestry department.