Wanted: Dead lodgepole pines | VailDaily.com

Wanted: Dead lodgepole pines

Bob Berwyn
Summit County Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colorado ” A local operation that turns dead trees into Lincoln Logs for new homes is cranking out lumber faster than it can get wood.

“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.

If they can figure out a way to get the longer logs up to the lathe, the Daytons are willing to pay for the material.

Chainsaw Etiquette is one local company that has been trying to deliver the right-sized raw material to the Daytons.

“We’ve been working with them to help out,” said Patrick Wynne, who runs the company along with partner Mike Stanek. “Once people see that the wood is being re-used, they like the idea that the dead trees go toward building another home.

Property owners are an important part of the cycle.

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.

For more information, contact the Daytons at (970) 453-6855 or nord@colorado.net.

Bob Berwyn can be reached at (970) 331-5996, or at bberwyn@summitdaily.com.

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