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Wanted: Dead lodgepole pines

Daily Staff Report

SUMMIT COUNTY ” A Summit County business that turns dead trees into Lincoln Logs for new homes is cranking out lumber faster than it can get it.

“We’re running short,” said Matt Dayton, who has been working on the lathing project for a couple of years at the Summit County materials-recovery facility (landfill).

Small operations like that run by the Dayton family have found uses for the tens of thousands of beetle-killed trees, turning them into wood chip, mulch or pellet fuel.

“The challenge that we’re having is that much of the wood is being cut to short,” Dayton said.

To use them for building, the logs need to be at least eight feet, four inches long and a minimum 10-inches in diameter, he said.

Recycling the logs for building keeps at least some of the wood out of the landfill.

And property owners may even be able to recoup some of the cost of removing dead trees from their property.

Residents with dead trees on their lots can specifically ask that their contractors deliver the logs up to the lathing operation in lengths suitable for construction, Dayton said.

He’s sold some of the logs from the operation to a developer in Leadville, and he wants to develop local markets.

Under a bill recently signed by Gov. Bill Ritter, wood products made from beetle-killed trees can be purchased tax-free.


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