Green Scene: A Table Grows in Ballard

Salvaged urban trees turned hand-crafted furniture.

Category: Green Living


Donald Smith believes that urban trees make the best furnishings, as they usually grow larger than most trees reared for lumber. For the past two years, the craftsman behind Ballard's City Trees Furniture (1152 NW 46th St., Seattle; 206.783.1405;; open Wed., 9 a.m.–5 p.m., or by appointment) has been salvaging Seattle's trees and turning them into custom coffee tables (starting at $1,000), dining tables (starting at $2,500) and countertops that sensuously showcase the trees' natural live edges and unique grains. Smith goes to great lengths to salvage only the best (no scrawny maples for him) and, although he often has to contend with nails, insulators, railroad spikes and even bullets when milling his masterpieces, the effort is well worth it.