What is ‘Treecycling’ and what does it mean for Charlotte and your kitchen?

 In House Design, What's New in Charlotte

Photo Courtesy of John D. Simmons/The Carolina Observer

Meet Damon Barron. He’s a 43-year old Charlotte entrepreneur with a revolutionary idea that’s literally changing the air we breathe. Barron founded Carolina Urban Lumber: a company changing not only the air but also decor in homes and businesses all through the Charlotte-metro region.

It all started when Barron (who previously sold wood and wood products for 20-years) realized how much usable wood was being disposed of each and every day. Four years ago, he began using wood from felled trees or stumps that would have otherwise been discarded and began turning them into usable items (like tables, bars, and mantles, among other items). Ergo, Carolina Urban Lumber was born.

The firm makes these one-of-a-kind furniture and decor items from wood that would have otherwise rotted. Thus far, Barron believes that he has diverted 2.6 million pounds of wood from dumps that would have eventually just turned into carbon emissions. Now, they’re functional, gorgeous items being put to good use.

From Business to Nonprofit

This idea of “good use” sparked yet another project for Barron: a venture called Treecycle America. This unique non-profit brings together architects, designers, mill owners and woodworkers and puts them in constant communication regarding specific trees. They’re alerted when a tree of a certain age, wood type, or location is removed so that it can be put to a greater use.

For example, just last year a 78-year old silver maple was taken down in Charlotte and turned into a conference table for the Charlotte City Center Partners. An ancient sycamore was felled in Davidson and transformed into a stunning bar at Old Mecklenburg Brewery. These trees would have otherwise ended up in so-called “Stump Dumps.” Instead, they have been turned into useful items that spark conversation, inspire creativity, and complete the circle of a tree’s life.

Charlotte has always been known for its flora and fauna and this is a unique way to utilize what we’re most proud of in a really interesting, new way.

To see more of Carolina Urban Lumber’s work, visit their website. There you can read more on their story. You can even shop for their smaller handcrafted items like raw edge cutting boards on their website. Or, when you’re out and about in our fair city, stop in Old Mecklenburg Brewery to check out their old/new bar for yourself! Ideas like the one seen through Carolina Urban Lumber is just one of the many, many reasons that Charlotte is an amazing place to live.

For the full story on Damon Barron, Carolina Urban Lumber, and Treecycle America, read their feature in The Carolina Observer.

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