Wood and Our Environment

Wood is renewable

Wood is renewable, recyclable, biodegradable and using it is good for the environment. Indiana is currently growing over three times more wood than it is harvesting. Wood is the greenest building option because it has the lowest environmental impact compared to steel or concrete.

Dry wood is one-half carbon

The actual rate of carbon sequestration will vary with species, climate and site, but in general, younger and faster growing forests have higher annual sequestration rates. The use of wood for products sequesters this carbon, helping to negate global warming.

Wood fuel vs. fossil fuels

Wood is created by photosynthesis and is an efficient way of storing solar energy. Recovering the energy from wood products at the end of their life, as a substitute for fossil fuels, increases wood's positive carbon effect.

Urban tree utilization

Urban tree utilization is beneficial for the local economy and is environmentally friendly. Many consider it a "green" process because the dry wood will be used as lumber, instead of being burned or left to decompose. As a result, less carbon is released into the atmosphere.


Trees around a city or town can help clean the air and add beauty. But when a tree has to be removed, the homeowner or a business has to make a choice - whether it's going to go to the landfill, be used as firewood, or processed into a useful product for current and future generations to enjoy.

The process of turning the wood into lumber and making it into a permanent product is called urban tree utilization. Many people use the lumber to build furniture, like chairs or tables. It's for the homeowner that wants to convert that tree into a useable product. Some of that might be for sentimental reasons.

It's good for the environment because it gets people more involved, and you end up using your hands and producing something that you can show to your friends. It is more common to see urban wood in big cities, like Chicago, because of the large populations. It's a process that is not too common in Indiana, but is continuing to grow around the state.

Cassens Lumber is dedicated to converting trees into useable wood products. We purchase large diameter Walnut logs and turn them into lumber or live-edge slabs. The cut logs from the large Walnut tree in the photo were purchased at nearly $2,000. We do not purchase or cut trees.


Diameter is measured inside the bark on the small end of the log (DIB). The minimum DIB of logs we purchase is 20 inches and the maximum DIB is 36 inches. The minimum log length is 10'4" and the maximum length is 12'4". Tops of large trees will be purchased at a lower price per board foot.


For premium price, there can be no obvious metal inclusions, insulators, or other inclusions or felling splits in the butt of the log. Inclusion of crotches is preferred, if the log is cut just after the tree begins to fork.


Cassens Lumber purchases primarily Walnut logs. Good Hard Maple, Cherry, and White Oak logs are purchased when needed. Walnut logs are a higher value than other species. Prices paid are dependent on the current market size, quality, and price by species.