Dovetail Partners to Investigate Carbon Storage Benefits of Urban Wood Products

(Mpls, MN) – Dovetail Partners has initiated a project to evaluate and quantify the carbon storage benefits of products made from urban trees. The project is supported through a grant awarded by the Wood Education and Resource Center, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, U.S. Forest Service.


The project, Carbon Storage Factors for Urban Hardwood Forest Products, will develop specific carbon storage factors for urban hardwood products including a range of solid wood products plus mulch and fuel.


“Previous research has estimated the life-cycle impacts of forest products from traditional and rural regions and this new project will enhance our understanding of the carbon benefits of urban wood products,” says Steve Bratkovich, project manager from Dovetail Partners.


This study will also address the question of whether urban hardwood products contribute to the net reduction of both emitted and atmospheric CO2.  Existing research on commercial products plus anecdotal urban timber harvesting experience suggest that urban hardwood products may reduce CO2 at least as much if not more than commercial (rural) forest products.


The project will use examples from the Twin Cities in Minnesota and Cincinnati, Ohio to describe the process of converting urban trees to lumber and to develop tools that estimate the carbon sequestration benefits.


“The results of the project will highlight how urban wood products are produced and utilized in these two regions and this can provide a basis for evaluating carbon impacts in other parts of the country,” says Sam Sherrill, a collaborating researcher on the project and internationally recognized expert on urban wood utilization.


The project was initiated in June 2010 and final results will be available in 2011. A final report will be prepared and made available.  A webinar will also be hosted to share the outcomes.

About Dovetail Partners
Dovetail Partners is a Minnesota-based non-profit organization that provides authoritative information about the impacts and trade-offs of environmental decisions, including consumption choices, land use, and policy alternatives.


Urban Wood Products

Bravo! I have been envisioning how every city could ask its citizens to plant more trees and then by having biomass pick up days that biomass could be made into bio fuels and clean bio char. It seems that there are millions of homeowners wanting to help and this is a significant way to get everyone on board for reducing GHGs.

Thanks for your farsighted thinking and research,
Charlotte O'Brien