It was October of 2021 when Kristy De Boer, Park Planner for the City of Waukegan, reached out to us to take a look at 44 trees that needed to be removed after dying over the summer due to unknown causes. All were in the range of 12”-35” DBH. Waukegan wanted to find a meaningful purpose for the wood that would come from these trees.
Hinkston Park and Bowen Park are heavily used and well-loved places for Waukegan residents and visitors to relax and enjoy the benefits of the beauty of trees and nature. It was sad to see so many beautiful oaks needing to be removed.
Through a series of discussions, it was decided that a good use for the lumber that could come from rot-resistant white oaks was barn siding. The Park District had recently purchased a barn on the northwest side of the city that was in need of repair.
Waukegan was also looking for reasons for the tree dying. Bruce Horigan, Horigan Tree Care, LLC, and Dr. Gary Watson (retired PhD from the Morton Arboretum) were hired to consult on this.
Erika Horigan and Quincy and Raphael of Waukegan Parks selected the logs to be used for the barn project. It was determined by the Waukegan Park District that they’d need about 5000 board feet of white oak.
Finished 8” x 8’ x 3/4″ shiplap siding would be used to complete the project. The logs were cut at 9’ and brought to our North Chicago yard. In February of 2022 the milling began.
We milled and dried the lumber over the next three months and had it ready to be made into shiplap.
It was delivered July of 2022.
In addition to the shiplap siding, Waukegan Park District also wanted to use some of the larger shorter logs for benches. We custom milled six slabs, each 18” wide by 6’ long, with two live edges plus additional 4” thick for leg stock.
Many white oak trees were dying in the Waukegan Parks
The team at Horigan continues to consult with Gary Watson about why the trees were dying.
It was determined that a good re-use of the wood that came from these dead trees was cladding for a public barn building. Horigan milled, dried and produced shiplap for the barn siding.