Mountain Brook Red Oak
In April of 2017, the large Red Oak in front of Mountain Brook City Hall was cut down due to disease. According to Mountain Brook’s online informational guide on tree disease, “Insects and diseases can threaten tree health … The treatment method used for a particular insect or disease problem will depend on the species involved, the extent of the problem, and a variety of other factors specific to the situation and local regulations.” For our Red Oak, the most informed solution meant using ACE Tree Service for removal.
Prior to removal, the Mountain Brook Tree Commission was advocating for collaboration between businesses like Alabama Sawyer and the Public Works Department so the city could begin efforts towards a tree recycling program - a recycling program which is currently in effect. Alabama Sawyer now has a relationship with the Public Works Department where they save storm damaged logs for the company to make into furniture.
Moreover, after ACE removed the tree, Alabama Sawyer turned the Red Oak into several pieces of furniture that now reside in Mountain Brook City Hall. Here’s a brief timeline of events:
Red Oak Timeline
April 2017 - The Red Oak was cut down.
May 2017 - The Red Oak was milled.
June 2018 - The Red Oak was dried.
Sept. 2018 - The conference table, round table, and model tables were created.
May 2019 - The furniture was picked up and sent to Mountain Brook City Hall.
The project was perfect for us at Alabama Sawyer, a business that uses timber from the urban forests of Alabama to create furniture.
Of course the project would never have taken place without the hard work and collaboration of many others. Philip Black, an architect on the Mountain Brook City Council gave the Alabama Sawyer woodworkers design work and measurement specifications for the furniture. Assistant City Manager Janet Forbes helped establish a style and look for each piece, and was especially helpful during the meetings with the Tree Council aka the Mountain Brook Board of Landscape Design (MBBLD). The City Manager of Mountain Brook, Sam Gaston was equally as helpful during the entire process.
Speaking of the MBBLD; chairman Sim Johnson, council liaison Virginia Smith, and all members of the MBBLD were instrumental from start to finish. Everyone in the Mountain Brook Public Works division worked hard to ensure the project was well budgeted and well managed from the very beginning.