By Neil Schroeder
Our activities this year have set records in many ways. We have a large increase in membership. Our sales of equipment are accelerating. Bough sales have increased. More younger folks are joining our organization. Interest in protecting the environment is much more obvious in the membership. Bundled firewood sales have nearly doubled!
On a negative point several members suffered losses from the terrible fires of last Summer and Fall and the ice storm this winter created severe losses to the woodlands of an even greater number of farms in our membership. Our customers have agreed to help us help our people. New Seasons stores will sell bundles of firewood obviously retrieved from the burned forest. The ice damaged trees will also be converted to bundles and our customers want to tell their clientele how they are assisting tree farmers in recovery. Rebuilding Oregon forests is high on the list of goals for our members and our business partners.
SuperSplit log splitters and Logrite forestry tools are selling faster than the factories can fill the orders. We have enhanced our profits and gained new members through sales of these outstanding products.
Our membership continues to change in such a positive way. If you could just look at a list of the job titles and occupations of each OWC person, you would share my enthusiasm. Enjoy a conversation with another salesman or a physician or a horse breeder or cut flower grower or a logger or forester or CPA or attorney or teacher or veterinarian or policeman or artist or engineer or videographer or government inspector. You can imagine the considerable skills and qualifications of all, yet the common ground is our beautiful forests and keeping them healthy and productive.
Our dedicated members are willing to provide their resources to enhance and build the organization. Through volunteer efforts new customers have been found for firewood boughs and equipment. Videos made by our members are helping us gain new members and new customers. We have some very creative people in our organization!
By Karen Karger
As members of the Oregon Woodland Cooperative, we all appreciate the woodlands, forests and even individual trees. Now The Oregon Department of Forestry has announced that Gov. Kate Brown has declared April as Arbor Month, extending the time for communities to plant trees and to celebrate and recognize the importance of trees throughout the state. Quoted in a news release from the Oregon Dept. of Forestry, Oregon State Forester Peter Daugherty explains, “There has long been a broad understanding of the economic and environmental benefits of our forestlands, but this proclamation helps highlight the equally vital social benefits that both rural and urban forests provide to the people of Oregon.”
Kristin Ramstad, manager of the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program, says Arbor Month is the perfect time to reflect on the contribution trees make – to our physical, mental and emotional health, to the livability of our communities, to our safety, the quality and quantity of our air and water, and to our economy.
The month-long celebration comes at a time when many of our members, friends and neighbors are still recovering from the devastating wild fires last year and we recognize the need for vast tree-planting efforts.
The proclamation was the result of more than a year of collaboration between the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Urban and Community Forestry Program and Oregon Community Trees, a non-profit organization that promotes healthy urban and community forests. The full text of the proclamation can be read here.
By Karenga Ross
OWC member, Roland Ross, is a videographer in the Portland metro area. He records commercials and short films for small business in the area and recently completed a second set of videos for the OWC, showcasing the power and ease-of-use of the SuperSplit log splitter. Roland joined OWC four years ago after purchasing a home in Unincorporated Washington County, Oregon on 36 acres of Douglas Fir with his wife and kids. Our very own OWC member and Master Woodland Manager, Neil Schroeder, ventured to the Ross homestead to help them on their path to forest stewardship. With a forest management plan in place, the Ross family began to care for their property and are now certified American Tree Farmers through the Oregon Tree Farm System (OTFS).
This recent video shoot of the OWC distributed SuperSplit log spitter took place at OWC member, Lyal Purington’s farm where he used his SuperSplit J Model 5.5 HP Honda Gas Engine log spitter with extra wide production table, ergonomic handle, and heavy duty bearings to showcase how quickly and easily he cuts through large and small pieces of wood. Neil, once again, served as our voice-over talent to talk through the benefits and features of the SuperSplit. Huge thank you to OWC member Karen Karger for creating the script! Roland used a DJI Mavic Air 2 drone to record flying over the forest and into Lyal’s work area. Then, Roland circled the drone around Lyal as he cut through large logs and chucked them right into the back of his truck and then smaller logs right into a wooden bin. Roland then switched to his iPhone with BeastGrip case to record Neil’s OWC bundled wood shots. The SuperSplit performed flawlessly every time and it was truly a team effort! See the new video on OWC's YouTube channel.
By Susan Schmidlin
Producers of firewood for the Oregon Woodland Co-op made their way to member Lyal Purinton's farm to see his innovative production techniques.
Lyal has built a specialty sawhorse that can hold several small 8 foot long logs in place at one time. The grooves are set so the chainsaw can slip between the top vee thereby holding the logs in place while cutting the logs into uniform 16 inch blocks. From the sawhorse, the blocks are placed on a staging table near the Super Splitter where Lyal can quickly split the blocks into sizes for the bundles, load cribs for storage and sort the wood out that is not of a high enough quality to be used in the bundles. The wood that gets rejected for bundles is graded during this process to determine if it can be sell-able in bulk, or if it stays on the farm to be used in the shop/ kiln as the heat source to dry the wood.
Lyal's shop is heated with a small earth stove. On the end of the building by the stove, fans on the top racks push air one direction while fans on the lower deck push the air in the opposite direction creating a circular flow throughout the whole building. Dehumidifiers are used to extract the excess moisture and are hooked to hose bibs that take the water outside the building.
The interior building design, with the top 'floor' that can retract and extend, allows for 12 cribs of firewood to be placed easily with the front loader forks on the tractor. Kiln dried wood can be ready for sale in six weeks as opposed to naturally dried firewood taking a minimum of six months. Even the stacking technique for the finished product has been thought out. Lyal stacks the bundles on the pallets with the label side facing out rather than up.
This simple trick helps keep the smoother side edges as the ones for the base of the next row rather than the more bumpy label side. This allows for not only a more stable way to transport, but also makes each pallet easier to stack the rows six high rather than the usual four high for more efficient transport.
By Neil Schroeder
We are now a dealership for Supersplitter Company. They manufacture the fastest small log splitter on the market. This wonderful machine is very well built, has almost no maintenance problems and is a pleasure to use. Most of the folks presently involved in the OWC firewood program are now using them because it dramatically increases production and allows us to split the wood in the sizes needed to make exemplary bundles. It is possible for two folks to easily split a cord an hour with the Supersplit!
As a dealer we can now offer discounts to members. We believe we should pass on the benefits achieved from being a dealer to our members. If you own forestland in Oregon, you are welcome to apply for OWC membership.
Find further information here on all the SuperSplit models and options that are available to customize your machine.
For more information, price quotes and to order, contact email@example.com or (888) 800-1192
Over 50 OWC members and guests attended the 2018 Annual Meeting on April 28. Thanks to everyone who helped make it a success. Ken Nygren helped bring the group back to basics with his talk about poles and piling. Mark Havel accomplished his usual super presentation on low impact logging using the arches and demonstrating good chainsaw technique. I think many who were there were very impressed.
Mike Howell did an excellent job demonstrating the Supersplit machine and explaining the techniques of making our high quality firewood bundle. Thanks to Lynn and Barb who did a great job in presenting the financials during our business meeting. Greg Wildhaber and wife Caroline blew us away with the wonderful flavors and delicious pork roast.
Neil is stepping down as President this year and was recognized for his many years of service to OWC. He and Ardis were most appreciative of the beautiful engraved wood gifts. The Myrtlewood Pie display piece is spectacular and the Rosewood pen set is most appreciated. Thank you all again for the great meeting and all of the work you did to get things done in time and cleaned up afterward.
Saturday, April 28, 9:00 am to 2:30 pm (doors open 7:30 am)
Kinton Grange, 19015 SW Scholls Ferry Rd, Beaverton, OR
All OWC members and their families are invited to attend the 2018 Annual Meeting on April 28. Starting at 9:00 am, there will be a brief business meeting. President Neil Schroeder will report on the state of the Co-op, and members will vote on proposed Bylaws amendments and to elect new officers.
Ken Nygren, a consulting forester and partner with White Oak Natural Resource Service near Hillsboro, will talk about the high-value utility pole market. Working with Bell Timber as the buyer, Ken will describe how landowners can manage select stands for poles. Large diameter Douglas fir and western redcedar poles sourced from the Northwest command top dollar and have no competition in the rest of the US.
OWC is now the local distributor for the SuperSplit log splitter, a high-speed kinetic machine that out-performs hydraulic splitters. Our distribution agreement means that OWC can now offer a substantial discount on the most popular machines to its members. There will be demonstration set up to show the SuperSpit in action. Details on discount pricing and ordering will be provided.
OWC is also now a dealer for LogRite Tools. LogRite makes a wide variety of tools and equipment useful for working in the woods, including log arches, cant hooks, peaveys, axes, etc. Again, OWC will be able to pass along savings to its members. Some of the products will be on display, along with discount pricing and ordering info.
We will share a potluck lunch, so please bring a generous salad, side dish or dessert. The main dish will be a delicious pork barbecue prepared by Greg Wildhaber.
We hope to see you there!
When not taking care of trees on their tree farms, several OWC members make custom furniture from trees sustainably harvested from native Oregon trees. We make several styles, including stump tables, tree ring tables and benches. They are sold through the Co-op’s ally, Oregon Heartwood.
Our Forest Furniture pieces are one-of-a-kind furnishings for modern living spaces. The stump tables are fashioned from native trees sustainably thinned from Arbor House Tree Farm in Oregon. Most of our stump tables are made from Douglas-fir but other native species such as madrone may be available. The bark is removed and the wood air-dried before the tops are hand-sanded.
We fashion each table as a custom order to the customer’s specifications, subject to stock on hand. We can apply a choice of durable finish to the tops and/or sides, and either adjustable feet or felt cushions on the bottoms.
Our tree ring tables are made from sustainably harvested Douglas-fir or Bigleaf Maple. Evenly-sliced tree "cookies" are carefully dried and seasoned to prevent splitting. Painted metal hairpin legs make a sturdy table. The tops can also be purchased separately, if you want to provide your own table legs, use it as a centerpiece on your dining table, or hang it on the wall.
For more information about ordering custom Forest Furniture, please visit Oregon Heartwood.
During the months of November and December, Co-op members harvest boughs from native evergreen trees growing on their tree farms. We sell these to florists in Portland and Salem who use them to make centerpieces and table decorations for the holidays. We also sell to folks making wreaths and garlands.
This year, nine OWC families are involved in producing boughs from a variety of species, including Noble fir, Grand fir, Incense cedar, Port Orford cedar, Ponderosa pine and Western while pine. We wait to harvest until shortly before delivery to the customer so our greens are fresh and fragrant.
Although most of OWC’s bough business is wholesale, anyone can purchase our evergreens for home decoration. Through the Co-op’s sister company, Oregon Heartwood, we sell locally to order and can ship anywhere in the country. To order our holiday greens, please visit OregonHeartwood.com/boughs.
Our bough harvest season is short but busy, ending before Christmas. When it’s all done, then we can relax with our families to enjoy the winter holidays. (Our bundled firewood producers never sleep, though.)
Woodfirst Sustainable Enterprises, based in Klamath Falls, OR, provides mobile saw milling services throughout Oregon. The company is a Working Partner for the Oregon Woodland Co-op. Chris Johnson, Woodfirst owner has 35 years of sawmilling experience. He has offered to donate to OWC 10% of the gross proceeds from any jobs performed for or referred by Co-op members.
Two portable sawmills are available to turn logs into lumber. The Woodmizer LT40 can take up to a 36 inch diameter x 20 ft long log, and can produce planks up to 20 inches wide. The Alaskan-style chainsaw mill can cut slabs up to 38 inches wide, e.g. for live-edge table tops.
To maximize production efficiency, a landowner should have one or two laborers for offloading lumber, depending on the size of the logs. It’s recommended to have a forklift, tractor. or backhoe with a thumb for lifting and moving logs to the sawmill once it is set up and level. With supplemental labor and equipment provided by landowner, Chris can produce 350 to 500 board feet of lumber per hour.
For details and pricing, contact Chris by phone 541-892-0323, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.