Urban Wood Economy logo


San Diego Urban Wood

biomass facility with trucks and workers
CalFire Tree San Diego Deadwood Revival West Coast Arborists, Inc. Cambium Carbon Taylor Guitars Agriservice, Inc.

San Diego rose from arid and treeless Southern California to be a destination for those seeking a stable and idyllic climate. To solidify its place as a preferred residential destination, trees were planted to provide shade and beauty. Today with the introduction of a huge range of domestic and exotic trees, San Diego is home to 600 tree species and a substantial number of palms. This is unique among the geographies where UWE is at work, and requires a unique approach to implementing an urban and community wood utilization plan.

The Problem

The extraordinary number of tree species in San Diego County means there is not a deep supply of consistent wood available on a regular basis AND many have limited application in the most common end uses of wood. Added to this is the challenge of utilizing of palm (the largest source of wood waste), all of which present many hurdles in developing a viable biomass campus.

Our Solution

Every biomass campus produces lumber, but some will produce more of a single species and can provide a volume and predictability of source which satisfies local and perhaps regional markets. To satisfy larger markets and consume all the wood waste coming to the campus, two things must happen: 1) Wood species needs to be aggregated from multiple lumber producers to create a critical mass of wood volume; and 2) Alternative carbon capturing products must play a bigger role in the processing of the entire tree (specifically biochar and compost). The capacity to produce three products and therefore three revenue streams allow the biomass campus maximum flexibility in the way wood and woody debris is utilized. This approach is true of every biomass campus, but it is especially critical for the project in San Diego.

In 2021-2022 UWE worked with several partners to evaluate the feasibility of a pilot biomass campus in San Diego County (Oceanside), CA and facilitated the key stakeholders to create the partnerships to move the projects from the assessment to the planning stage. The current CA partners are pursuing funding to put the human and equipment capital in place to build a zero waste operation.

Check back soon to learn more!

"Partnering with Urban Wood Economy gave us access to the expertise and the support we needed to forge partnerships and bring the right players together to lay the groundwork for a first-of-a-kind urban wood pilot of this magnitude in southern California and potentially the entire state."
Elektra Fike-Data | Executive Director, Tree San Diego