News Developments – July 2021

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Glenn Rieder LLC Acquires Palm City Millwork

Milwaukee, WI-based Glenn Rieder LLC has acquired Palm City Millwork of Palm City, FL. Founded in 1987, Palm City Millwork is a leading manufacturer of custom millwork products including doors, windows, mouldings, trims and shutters for the high-end residential market. Palm City primarily sells its millwork products to residential builders of custom homes on the Atlantic Coast of South Florida. Palm City maintains 76,000 square feet of manufacturing, office and showroom space in Palm City, FL.

Glenn Rieder LLC is a custom architectural millwork manufacturer and commercial interior contractor serving all major markets across the United States. Glenn Rieder utilizes solid U.S. Hardwoods, including Poplar, Cherry, White Oak and Walnut.

Since 1946, Glenn Rieder has produced and installed millwork for the hospitality, gaming, corporate, institutional, restaurant, winery, sports, retail and high-end residential markets. Through its subsidiaries, which include Quality Cabinet & Fixture Co., Shamrock Metals LLC and Shamrock Installations LLC, the company operates manufacturing facilities in Milwaukee, WI, Tijuana, Mexico and Las Vegas, NV. Glenn Rieder also maintains offices in Fort Lauderdale, FL, New England and San Diego, CA.

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Most Trees are Not Significantly Harmed by Brood X Cicadas

Seemingly straight out of a sci-fi movie, the Mid-Atlantic region is experiencing a unique natural phenomenon: Billions of periodical cicadas are starting to emerge across 15 states, including the Baltimore-Washington metro area. So-called Brood X, the largest of 12 periodical cicada broods, is creating quite a buzz in a region home to more than 9 million people.

“People really shouldn’t worry. Cicadas are not defoliating insects and have nothing to do with locusts,” said Sandy Liebhold, research entomologist with the USDA Forest Service’s Northern Research Station in Morgantown, WV. “They won’t eat your plants, vegetables, or even the leaves of trees. They are emerging only to mate and lay eggs.”

As for their effect on trees and forests, USDA scientists today are investigating cicada behavior both above and below ground. “Before they emerge, juvenile cicadas feed by sucking water and nutrients from tree roots,” said Liebhold. “Once they emerge, they tend to aggregate on trees grown in open spaces. The females lay their eggs by cutting slits in the green shoots of tree limbs. Neither of these behaviors is known to significantly harm trees. With one notable exception: very young trees can be overwhelmed by too many females cutting slits to lay eggs.”

One way to protect your recently planted saplings is to secure a fine mesh netting around the canopy for a few weeks.

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USDA Awards $15 Million to Expand Use of Wood Products

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently awarded more than $15 million to fund grant proposals to develop and expand the use of wood products, strengthen emerging wood energy markets and protect community forests. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the announcement in Colorado recently while visiting prescribed fire and wildfire recovery areas adjacent to the Roosevelt National Forest Northern Colorado Front Range landscape. 

The grant funding, delivered through USDA Forest Service programs, will support 60 projects that cover a diverse range of activities from the development of affordable housing to expanding markets for mass timber, biochar, wood energy and other emerging wood products. The grants also include funds to help tribes, local governments and qualified non-profit organizations permanently conserve working forests that benefit communities. 

 Forest Service awards will leverage an additional $30 million in matching and partner funds bringing the totals well above $45 million.

 “To manage wildfire and address climate, we need to manage our forests. Today’s investments underpin USDA’s commitment to address the climate crisis with a market-based approach that begins to move us toward a clean energy economy, led by production of renewable fuel and energy and biobased products grown and manufactured here in the U.S.,” said Vilsack. “The American Jobs Plan and USDA’s budget request for 2022 make sure the Forest Service can prioritize forest management and restoration.”

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U.S. Homebuilding Fell in April, According to Latest Data

U.S. homebuilding fell more than expected in April, the latest data available, collected by Reuters, likely pulled down by soaring prices for lumber and other materials, but construction remains supported by an acute shortage of previously owned homes on the market.

The plunge in homebuilding reported by the Commerce Department was concentrated in the single-family housing market segment. The number of houses authorized for construction but not yet started increased to the highest level since 1999, suggesting hesitancy on the part of builders.

Housing starts tumbled 9.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.569 million units last month. Data for March was revised lower to a rate of 1.733 million units, still the highest level since June 2006, from the previously reported 1.739 million units. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast starts would fall to a rate of 1.710 million units in April.

Starts surged 67.3 percent on a year-on-year basis in April. Groundbreaking activity dropped in the Midwest and the densely populated South, but rose in the Northeast and West.

The inventory of previously owned homes is near record lows. Tariffs on steel imports are also adding to building costs. Lumber prices surged 89.7 percent on a year-on-year basis in April, according to the latest producer price data.

A survey from the National Association of Home Builders recently showed confidence among single-family homebuilders holding steady as recently as May. The NAHB noted that “some builders are slowing sales to manage their own supply chains.”

Single-family homebuilding, the largest share of the housing market, dropped 13.4 percent to a rate of 1.087 million units in April. It retreated further below the more than 14-year high scaled in December, a sign that builders could be holding back because of the more expensive materials and lack of labor.

NWFA Provides Flooring for Custom Home for Wounded Veteran

The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), located in St. Louis, MO, has provided flooring for its 55th home in support of the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment).  The R.I.S.E. program builds custom, specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders.  The home dedication for United States Army Staff Sergeant Jay Fondren took place recently in Houston, TX.  Flooring for the project was donated by NWFA member American OEM.

Staff Sergeant Fondren joined the Army in January 2002.  He was injured by a roadside bomb in 2004 while deployed to Iraq.  The explosion resulted in the loss of both legs above the knee.

“When Staff Sergeant Fondren was first injured, his initial concerns were for his fellow service members,” says NWFA President and CEO, Michael Martin, “but it was soon evident that his own injuries were the most severe.  After the attack, he was in a coma, and flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  Today, he works with Camp Hope in Houston, a faith-based residential treatment center for veterans, which demonstrates his continued focus on service to others.  We’re honored to partner with American OEM to provide flooring for his new home.”

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By Miller Wood Trade Publications

The premier online information source for the forest products industry since 1927.

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