Monday, April 25, 2011

If a tree falls, learn from it

By Kelly Gray

Emory is reusing its dead or fallen trees as wood supplies for new kiosks that will help guide visitors in the campus' Lullwater Preserve.

The kiosks will be part of "Emory as Place," an educational initiative about the breadth and diversity of life within the campus and bioregion. From each kiosk, visitors will be able to synch their smartphones to Emory's sustainability map and learn more about the history and ecology of Lullwater.

"Tours of Lullwater provide an introduction to the history, ecosystems and ethical responsibilities in Lullwater that support our institutional legacy. The reuse of these trees is another interesting component in that history," says Ciannat Howett, director of sustainability intitiatives.

Most trees that die in Lullwater are left standing to allow for natural decomposition and to provide habitat for wildlife. But a white oak and two red oaks were recently harvested because they were a potential hazard for pedestrians.

Typically most large commercial lumber yards will not accept urban trees, which often have hidden metal objects in their tree trunks that can damage commercial band saws and shut down production lines.

Mississippi Wood Trader, however, is a unique lumber mill in Atlanta that provides wood for institutional and private customers. The large trees the urban mill processes are typically 80-100 years old, and are used for flooring, beams, molding, table and bar tops.

Windstorm reshapes Atlanta forests

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