URBAN SALVAGE:

FINDING TREASURE AMONG THE FIREWOOD
Bowerbird Timber Collection, Wesburn Victoria

Part of the skill of a successful salvage is the ability to adapt the cutting methods to the requirements of the job at hand.

Born and raised in the Yarra Valley, Tim Kennedy has noted the changes in the local forestry industry in recent years. In his work as a consulting arborist he saw a lot of high quality timber lost to firewood in the tree removal industry, so to make better use of such timber, in 1996 Tim founded Bowerbird Tree Salvage. Not all trees can be converted into quality woodworking timbers, but over the past three years Bowerbird Tree Salvage has amassed a selection of over 40 species. These include Australian natives such as Silver Wattle, Mountain Ash and Blackwood as well as exotic timbers such as Chinese Tulip, Himalayan Cedar and Spanish Chestnut, all salvaged from urban parks, yards and gardens. Where a tree must be removed, or it has come down during a storm or high wind, Tim will determine whether there is useable timber that can be salvaged, and can offer specific advice on cutting and drying if the property owners wish to retain the timber for their own use. The return from the salvage depends not only on the species and the quality and amount of useable timber in the tree, but also on factors such as site access and transport. The tree can be cut on site, or transported to Bowerbird's premises at Wesburn for cutting on a commercial Australian Ecosaw Mill. For Bowerbird no job is too small or too large. Turning potential firewood into sawn timber isn't the end of the story. Bowerbird air dries the timber and now has a wide selection of timbers available for commercial and hobby use, in boards, slabs and root balls. Tim is developing associations with other value-adding services, such as 'one-off' furniture makers and woodturners, to offer a complete service from fallen tree to finished heirloom or other end-use, and to re-kindle interest in woodworking as a viable commercial venture in the local area. For further information on Bowerbird Tree Salvage and their timber stocks, contact them on 03 5967 1327 or Mob: 0417 384 069.

Storms and high winds can produce a lot of useable timber in the form of fallen trees. However, the siting of the trees can leave a lot to be desired in terms of accessibility.