Second Use would like to highlight an unconventional supplier, who has developed a business that makes economic sense, common sense and environmental sense.

Jack Bergquist this spring started Urban Timber Recovery. When a tree falls on a person’s property, the customer can call Bergquist to remove it. What makes Urban Timber Recovery different from a traditional logging company, though, is what Bergquist does after he cleans up the debris. Rather than just turning it into firewood or sawdust, he creates more products from the wood. Bergquist actually mills the wood to sell as is or makes yard furniture out of it. Only then will he sell the rest as firewood. “I try to squeeze as much use out of the tree as I possibly can,” Bergquist says. “That’s a resource that’s usually overlooked and wasted and abused.”

Bergquist formed Urban Timber Recovery after working as a commercial driver for heavy construction for more than 15 years. A mechanical failure injured him, and the soft tissue damage rendered him unable to drive for long periods of time without stretching. During his recovery, he got around to removing some problem trees in his backyard. He quickly found that the task was conducive to his work constrains, good for his body (he cancelled his gym membership), and enjoyable. He decided to take what money he had and bought tools for his business.

When Bergquist has extra inventory lying around, he sells it to Second Use. He’s sold more than 50 items to the store that, in turn, customers have bought very quickly. Most of Urban Timber Recovery’s lumber sells in less than one week.

Fallen trees have ecological value in a forest, but in a person’s yard, they can bring many problems, ranging from bugs to fire hazards. Other options for the fallen tree include making it solely into firewood or grinding it into sawdust for particleboard. Neither option is nearly as sustainable or long lasting as using it for lumber.

“Absolute waste is the biggest part of my motivation,” Bergquist says, “and people considering trees to be a nuisance—more like weeds, instead of anchoring the earth to the hills and producing oxygen and shade.”

A new business, Urban Timber Recovery does not yet have a website. But Jack Bergquist is happy to accept any phone calls or e-mails. You can reach him at 206-265-9487 or alterjax@comcast.net. There are currently about 30 pieces of lumber from Urban Timber Recovery in stock. See these pieces and many others on the lumber section of the Second Use online inventory.