Reporting Rachel Slavik
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Drive around Minneapolis and the remnants from that June storm are mostly cleaned up.
That severe weather toppled 3,000 trees throughout the city.
While most were taken to a compost site, there’s a Minneapolis company that’s found new use for those toppled trees.
Where most people just see storm debris, Rick Siewart sees opportunity.
“These are prime for slabs, beautiful 12-foot slabs,” said Siewart as he pointed to a pile of logs.
He visualizes unique wood pieces and then works to shape the products in his workshops.
Siewart’s business, Wood from the Hood is based on the simple idea to reclaim the diseased or damaged wood from urban areas.
“It’s going to live on. It’s not going to contribute to the carbon footprint if we actually make something out of it,” said Siewart.
Rick shapes old logs into all types of products including furniture and cribbage boards. Everything is a one of a kind piece.
“The crazier the natural beauty, the better they sell,” Siewart said.
Every piece is hand crafted from start to finish, a process that can take up to a year. Drying out the wood can take months.
“You always see the rewards of what you’ve done,” Siewart said. “It’s very satisfying.”
For Rick, the most satisfying part of the job is the story that goes with the final product, be it a cutting board, bottle opener, even an ornament.
“Either their grandpa planted it, grandma planted it, or dad climbed in the tree. There’s all kinds of different reasons, but there’s always a story behind the tree,” he said.
It’s here customers often find the real value: old trees with new purpose inside the home.
“[For] a lot of people, that’s the main reason we do work with individuals, they love that tree,” Siewart said.
All the retail products range in price from $15-$65 and are sold in many stores around the Twin Cities. They also build custom furniture.
Visit woodfromthehood.com to find out where to buy the products.