18 Aug Going out on a limb!
by Don Bingham
Urban Timbers of Conway is the 501 area’s newest specialty wood shop. It’s really as much a “Natural State” wood display as it is a shop of wood planks for purchase.
“Specialty” might be an understatement. The business is owned and operated by Jeremy Newton, often referred to as “the tree man.” Jeremy has been running the family business (which started with dad, Ronnie Newton, in 1974) for several years. Jeremy’s philosophy is “I believe every tree and every piece of wood has a story, and it is my privilege to bring each one of those individual and unique stories to the audience that will most appreciate it.”
The latest addition to the “Newton Tree Service” is the unique wood supply store located at 1812 Merriman Street in Downtown Conway (just behind Sav-On Drug).
The shop offers a variety of more than 35 woods — all indigenous to the state of Arkansas and all within Faulkner County. The planks, most being 8 feet in length, are all neatly stacked upright for you to easily make your selection. The planks are “harvested” from logs of the trees, then milled locally on the family business property, air dried, cured for 9-18 months (time for curing is determined according to their thickness) and some planks are dried in a kiln for best results.
The plnaks are available to see and purchase at Urban Timbers. When you visit the shop and stroll around the small but elaborate display of wood choices, it’s almost like going to a museum of native Arkansas natural history.
“We have access to many of the historic trees to harvest these amazing woods,” Jeremy said. “Most of the larger, older trees have already been cut down, and we are able to salvage the native Arkansas trees that have survived the times. The salvaged trees often come from the trees where we work on the various property sites.”
Customers will use the wooden pieces to make bowls and trays, and the most popular demand is for larger dining tables made from the treated and rediscovered woods of the client’s choosing. The tables require a wide slab of wood — at least 3 feet in width — to make the desired tabletop. Some of the products of hand-cut, milled and finished woods are seen locally at Art on the Green gallery, and Soaring Wings will be featuring a table and stool set in their upcoming fundraising event. Urban Timbers is open on the second and fourth Saturday of each month, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. More information can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook under Urban Timbers or by calling 501.733.6931.
Recognized throughout the state as an accomplished chef, Don Bingham has authored cookbooks, presented television programs and previously served as the executive chef at the Governor’s Mansion. He is now the director of special events at the University of Central Arkansas.