Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

How are you connected to the Sacramento Tree Foundation?

Urban Wood Rescue is the newest program of the Sacramento Tree Foundation. It was born out of recognition that our organization needed to address the needs of the whole life of a tree, including the end of life.

Do you have lumber in _________ size?

Possibly.  Although we generally stock standard sizes for redwood and other softwoods, when it comes to hardwoods, your best bet is to come visit our lumber yard during normal hours to see our inventory. We do not mill to custom specifications for small orders. 

Why don’t we have lumber at a particular size?

What other people consider defects, we consider beautiful. This character is what we think makes urban lumber so cool. It also means that we mill according to the natural dimensions (and limitations) of the logs that make their way to our yard.

When are you open? Why aren’t you open more days?

Currently, the yard is open Fridays and Saturdays from 9-5 and Sundays from 10-4. We are a start-up program of a nonprofit organization. You’ll find us spending the other days of the week managing operations such as receiving logs, milling and drying urban lumber, etc. We are happy to schedule visits on other days by appointment if these hours don’t work for you, and we aim to expand our hours in the future.

How is urban lumber different from reclaimed lumber?

Urban Wood Rescue is an urban lumber yard, which means that we steward the end of life process of Sacramento area trees by milling and drying lumber from those trees. Reclaimed lumber is a term that refers to lumber that has been previously used in construction and is being reused, repurposed, or recycled into a new project. Both urban lumber and reclaimed lumber support sustainable practices in the lumber industry.

Tree Cutting, Recovery, and Donation

Can you cut down my tree?

No. Urban Wood Rescue is not licensed to cut down trees. We are happy to recommend local tree companies who can help you.  

Can I get a discount from the tree company for giving you the logs?

In some cases, a tree company may give you a small discount because they will save time from not having to chip or pay the tipping fees at the landfill.  

What kind of logs do you take?
Logs must be relatively straight, otherwise we cannot mill them.
WIDTH: Minimum 14” diameter and up to 6+ feet diameter.
LENGTH: At least 8 feet plus a few inches. The longer, the better! We may accept shorter lengths of particularly unique wood, burls, etc.

Donations are tax deductible. Read more about which species we accept here. All donations must be coordinated in advance by contacting Program Manager Bethany Hannah at (916) 974-4336 or urbanwoodrescue@sactree.com. At this time, logs must be delivered to our location at 6045 Midway Street, Sacramento. 

Can I keep some of the milled lumber from my donated logs?

No. But we will gladly inform you of when the logs are milled so that you have the opportunity to purchase wood from your tree, if you so desire.  Like all donations to nonprofits, you are entitled to receive a tax benefit for your donation but no other compensation. When you donate logs to Urban Wood Rescue, you will be provided with an in-kind donation document that indicates the total board footage of the donation and estimated fair market value of the logs so that you are able to meet IRS guidelines for charitable giving.

Milling and Drying Logs

Do you have a portable milling service?

Not at this time.

Can I bring my log to you to be milled?

We won’t cut your log for you, but you’re welcome to donate your log. When you donate a log, you can get what’s called a “keepsake credit” to purchase lumber from your logs once we mill them or other lumber available in our inventory.  We can’t tell you when your log will be milled, but we give you this credit that you can use when that happens. Conversely, because we are a nonprofit, if you choose not to use a keepsake credit, you may find tax write-off benefit for your donation.

Can you dry my private lumber?

Not at this time.

Surfacing, Finishing and Furniture

Can you flatten the lumber I buy?

Not at this time, but we can refer you to our partners throughout the region.

Do you make furniture?

No, we don’t make finished projects at Urban Wood Rescue, but we can recommend a local artisan that will fit your specific needs.

Will you apply finish to the wood I purchase?

No, the finishing process is up to you or the artisan you commission.

Artisans

Can you recommend a local artisan or maker?

While we can't endorse any company over another, we have created a list of local makers/artisans who have supported the program, use our wood, and/or have dropped off business cards to share.  You can view that list here.

I’m an artisan, can I sell my work at Urban Wood Rescue?

No, but drop off some business cards so we can refer you to our customers. Please reach out if you’d like to be featured on our social media posts.

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