Virginia Urban Wood Group
News & Updates
February 28, 2022 | Issue-11
Turning the Corner

Welcome to the eleventh edition of the Virginia Urban Wood Group's newsletter!

With the coming of a new year brings with it hope for a better future. As we begin moving through 2022 in full stride, we are hoping to be will be immersed in a more stable, predictable world in which prices stabilize, supply-chain issues fade away, and COVID reverts to endemic levels. We are all ready to "turn the corner".

Yet despite the challenges of the past two years, local service providers and makers have flourished! The reasons are many, but they can be summarized in three key points: Providing good service
Making quality products
Consumer appreciation for what you do

Of those three aforementioned points, always remember that your customers, and even people who may never buy anything from you truly appreciate you and your businesses. They admire you for your entrepreneurship, for adding value to the local economy, for making local products, for rescuing trees destined for the landfill or an outdoor furnace, and for supplying land management services that no other company would consider doing.

We hope that you find this newsletter useful and enjoyable, wishing all a healthy and prosperous 2022!

Joe Lehnen
VA Dept of Forestry
Urban Wood Program Coordinator
Creating Lumber
It's all About Boards

For this edition's feature articles we are going back to the basics of sawmilling and the local wood business - making boards. It is the bread and butter of most small wood businesses and how many of you first dipped your toes into the land of entrepreneurship.
It was the neighbor, friend or local farmer who asked you to saw some logs for them. Many of you have probably made more logs into lumber than you will ever remember, but those first few business transactions of "making lumber" were the building blocks of your now successful business. We hope that you enjoy the stories of our two featured lumber makers!
Rich Corpe enjoys meeting the
needs of all his customers!
Wade Cotten has found a great market for local wood products!
Rich Corpe
Red Truck Woodworks LLC
Purcellville, VA
I have been in the milling/lumber business as Red Truck Woodworks for about 4 years now but doing woodworking for 35 years or so. With the rising popularity of farmhouse tables, white oak and red oak have been in high demand. Black walnut is still highly sought after for its amazing color and character. 
Dimensionally I sell a lot of 8/4 for table tops but 5/4 and 4/4 for Charcuterie boards are quite popular as well. I have found that live edge slabs are still very popular, but large round slices through the cross section of the tree, also known as “cookies”, have really taken off for use as coffee tables and pub tables.

For more information about Rich's business or to contact him with questions, please visit the website:


Wade Cotten
Timber Made Company
Charlottesville, VA

Wade Cotten started the Timber Made Company about seven years ago because he noticed an unfulfilled need for local wood products. Over the past couple of years Wade noted that white oak and black walnut have been the most popular selling woods in the Charlottesville area.
“Most of the customers are asking for 8/4 or 6/4 wood, but lately I have had increasing interest in thicker wood and so I will be adding 9/4 pieces to the inventory. In regards to market trends, there is still a strong demand for mantel pieces but less interest in live-edge wood. Some of my customer base is trending towards the cleaner lines of interior design”.
Over the past year Wade also has been serving as a mentor and provider of sawmilling and kiln drying services for the University of Virginia’s Urban Wood Program.
Check out the Timber Made Co. website to learn more about Wade’s business >>



Many thanks to Trees Virginia (Virginia's Urban Forest Council) for hosting this newsletter and allowing access to their Constant Contact platform!
The Virginia Urban Wood Program is supported by the Virginia Department of Forestry and a grant from the U.S. Forest Service, Southern Region.

The Marketing Corner

Count Your Trees!

Have you ever considered the positive effect that your business is having on the environment in terms of upcycling wood and also the carbon stored in the products that you produce?

Many wood businesses have never considered highlighting their "green portfolio" but for many of their customers it would have meaning and value. Some of your most loyal customers have probably never realized that the trees you use for your products were probably destined for the tub grinder at a landfill or to become ashes in someone's wood stove! Your use of these trees ensures they are being utilized to their most valuable form as a wood product, you are honoring the life of the tree!

A truly innovative way to highlight the positive environmental benefits of your business is to include a "tree counter" on the opening page of your website. I saw this unique marketing tool for the first time on the website for Urban Tree Merchants located in Texas. If you visit their website - Urban Tree Merchants - scroll down towards the bottom of the opening page to view a current count of the species they use, number of trees they have utilized, the number of slabs and board feet of lumber they produce.