PCL 11-17
PCL 11-17
PCL 11-17
PCL 11-17

Urban Forested Lumber

PCL 11-17

Pacific Coast Lumber (PCL) is much more than the largest eco-friendly urban forested lumber mill in California – we also build unique home and lifestyle products and provide specialty services that can only be found here at PCL.

We take pride in our stewardship of the environment. We focus on using local resources to their best and highest use while reducing the carbon footprint at the same time. The urban forested lumber we mill comes from trees primarily in San Luis Obispo County. These trees either fell on their own (like storm downed trees) or needed to come down due to an arborist’s determination (for a variety of reasons) and are at the end of their lifecycles. We then mill these trees into useful raw material such as large slabs, beams or any board dimension you need.

There are numerous tree species that grow in San Luis Obispo County, such as Ponderosa Pine, Walnut, Blue Gum, Hickory, Elm, Sugar Pine, Maple, Red Gum, Cypress, Redwood, Radiata Pine, Sycamore, Acacia, Ash, Oak and Monterey pine. At PCL, we strive to preserve the beauty and vitality of these trees by re-purposing them into beautiful, long-lasting, well-designed products.

Please look through our products and services below and call 805.543.5533 or stop by the shop at 445 Prado Road in San Luis Obispo for more information.

Custom Lumber

PCL 11-17

Commodity lumber business material has been getting thinner and thinner over the years. For example, a typical 1×6 inch redwood fence board “used to be” 1 inch thick, then 3/4 inch thick and now is at 9/16 inch thick. Here at PCL, we can mill virtually any dimension of lumber you specify, you are the boss! With the large variety of local lumber species we offer, you can select the best material for your purpose, from hard and soft woods to bug and rot resistant varieties. From a specialty custom perspective, we can also mill our materials to leave the ‘live edge’ bark end on the boards for an artistic and raw finish. You can see many of our live edge siding on buildings throughout the county.

 

Log Slabs

PCL 11-17

We are the premier source for slabs on the central coast and all around the state. When we acquire larger sound logs we can create beautiful large slabs great for dining tables, bar tops or conference room tables. We also like to leave Mother Nature’s live edge around the circumference which shows the character and uniqueness of the material. Our slabs run from 4 feet wide and 20 feet long down to 1 foot wide and 2 feet long. Come by and see our selection.

Specialty Services

 

Milling Lumber, Yours or Ours – Including Shiplap

PCL 11-17

PCL provides a number of custom services for all aspects of your wood milling needs. We can mill your logs or re-saw your existing lumber to your desired specifications. We can also perform shiplap milling of boards to match some existing siding templates.

Kiln Drying

PCL 11-17

Typically when wood is freshly milled, it is considered “green” (high moisture content). We have a 22 feet deep and 6 feet wide Nyle dry kiln that is used for all types of wood drying needs. This kiln also sterilizes bugs and mold from wood by running above 140 degrees for several days. This is important, especially with local wood where bugs such as termites, square headed wood boards, and powder post beetles can be prominent. Also, this process “sets the pitch” for all woods, such as pine, that contain sap that can ooze. When setting the pitch, the sap liquefies and oozes from the wood and when it cools it crystallizes. By drying the wood at 140 degrees for few days, you can be assured the wood is bug free, fully dried and the sap will not liquefy and create a mess in the future.

 
 

Custom Planing

PCL 11-17

We have two commercial planers and can plane surfaces up to 5 feet wide and 20 feet long. We have lots of wood resources to plane the PCL inventory if you are looking for custom materials or we can plane any material customers bring into the shop.

 

Finish Sanding

PCL 11-17

We also have sanders that are used to prepare wood products for staining or sealants. No project is too big or small.

 
 

Home and Lifestyle Products–Natural and Finished

One of the many joys at PCL is crafting artistic furniture and lifestyle products using the natural beauty of wood we mill from local trees. Whether you prefer a natural wood or finished surface, we have the products and services to meet your needs.
 

Natural/Unfinished Products

PCL 11-17

From picnic tables, benches and mantles with a natural live edge, to Adirondack chairs and shoji screens, we truly have a passion for creating natural finish home and lifestyle products. We can design and build nearly anything you can imagine from local urban forested material including tongue and groove flooring, specialty doors, wainscoting, dining tables and so much more. All of these products can be built from the logs we have in our inventory or from logs you provide; such as that special tree in your yard that had to be removed. We can make something beautiful and lasting so your special tree can remain in the family!

Finished Products

PCL 11-17

PCL has the tools and expertise to hand craft stunning finished products that you will enjoy for years to come. We can provide a finished surface that is stained and/or sealed for any of our natural/unfinished products.

 
 

Outdoor Structures

PCL 11-17

One of our hallmarks at PCL is designing and building unique cabins, retreats, he sheds and she sheds of all sizes. We utilize our urban forested lumber and unique design skills to adorn your structure to suit your style. We work closely with our clients to understand their vision and style, whether it’s low key and earthy, or vibrant and colorful, we offer our comprehensive knowledge, innovative design talent and building expertise to ensure each client is happy. We don’t just say that, we are extremely proud of our work and strive for perfection.

About Us

Sean
Sean & Dana O’Brien
Sean
Sean & Dana O’Brien
Don Seawater
Don Seawater

Pacific Coast Lumber (PCL) was founded in 1996 in San Luis Obispo by Don Seawater. Don had been in the lumber industry for nearly 25 years and realized that there was a vast underutilized resource in local urban forest trees. Once they were removed, there were only a few options for the wood: cut for firewood, have them chipped, haul them to the landfill or let them decay where they lay. Don knew there was a higher purpose and use for this local commodity and decided to acquire this material and start a commercial mill. Since then, PCL has become an award-winning leader in this industry.

Don sold PCL to Sean and Dana O’Brien in December 2015 and he remains as a close and trusted advisor.Sean O’Brien graduated from Cal Poly in Computer Science in 1991. He was a software engineer and manager for 25 years. Dana O’Brien graduated from Cal Poly in Business Finance in 1990 and had worked in county government for 23 years. She then left to start her own business, A Place to Grow, which builds outdoor lifestyle structures and sheds primarily out of reclaimed materials, and happens to be located 100 yards from PCL. Don frequently supplied materials to Dana, and when he wanted to retire, knowing the synergy between the two companies was strong, he approached the O’Briens to see if they were interested in buying the mill. The rest is history. Sean retired from software engineering and became a lumberjack overnight.

PCL is committed to upholding the same principles that founded this company: to make the best and highest use of local urban forested trees. This keeps thousands of tons of material out of the landfill and reduces the huge carbon footprint transporting lumber creates. By making durable products out of local urban forested trees instead of allowing them to decompose at a landfill or be burned as firewood, the carbon from the wood becomes sequestered, keeping it from growing greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere, a major contributor to global climate change.

Don Seawater
Don Seawater

In the News

Videos

Featured Video!

Articles

Featured Article: Second chances
  • Pacific Coast Lumber gives dead Central Coast trees new life. Here’s how it’s done.
  • Dead Trees Beget New Life
  • Fifty percent of Sierra Nevada’s trees dead or dying–Are our forests doomed? 
  • The Urban Timber Crusade–Pacific Coast Lumber is just one example of sawmill owners cashing in on waste wood
  • The Giving Trees–Give a Little … Get a Library
  • Utilizing Municipal Trees

Get Our Newsletter

Follow Us

Like Us

Follow Us

Log Sources

At PCL, we are passionate about using local contacts to find natural resources that have otherwise fulfilled their useful purpose and give them a second life as something functional and beautiful. PCL acquires raw log material from a variety of sources including SLO City and other local municipalities, Cal Fire, PG&E, local tree removal companies and home and ranch owners. This is usually due to the removal of dead, dying or hazardous trees, storm downed trees or land clearing. These trees have typically lived their useful lives and are ready to find a new purpose. This style of logging and milling is what produces urban forested lumber. The benefits of repurposing these trees are tremendous. Local resources stay local thereby reducing their carbon footprint. Another advantage is carbon sequestration, which occurs when local natural resources are crafted into durable and lasting products. Doing so prevents the release of their carbon content into the atmosphere when they burn or decompose.

 
PCL 11-17

At PCL, we are passionate about using local contacts to find natural resources that have otherwise fulfilled their useful purpose and give them a second life as something functional and beautiful. PCL acquires raw log material from a variety of sources including SLO City and other local municipalities, Cal Fire, PG&E, local tree removal companies and home and ranch owners. This is usually due to the removal of dead, dying or hazardous trees, storm downed trees or land clearing. These trees have typically lived their useful lives and are ready to find a new purpose. This style of logging and milling is what produces urban forested lumber. The benefits of repurposing these trees are tremendous. Local resources stay local thereby reducing their carbon footprint. Another advantage is carbon sequestration, which occurs when local natural resources are crafted into durable and lasting products. Doing so prevents the release of their carbon content into the atmosphere when they burn or decompose.

 

Urban Forestry

Urban Forestry is the act of maintaining and caring for trees in our local urban areas, such as downtown city areas, parks and open spaces, as well as those in our neighborhoods and ranches. Many municipalities, such as the City of San Luis Obispo, have public ordinances to guide how best to help manage this valuable resource.

Urban Forested Lumbering is the act of utilizing these trees after they have been removed. By keeping these materials local, it reduces the carbon footprint of transportation and allows the public to partake in the bounty of the variety of local wood milled. San Luis Obispo has a master list of trees that grow and are maintained by the city tree staff.

Urban Forestry Lifecycle Information:
  • trees are planted
  • they grow under the proper conditions with water and sunlight
  • trees are pruned and maintained as they mature
  • trees are removed for a number of reasons:
    • they die of old age
    • they die due to environmental reasons: disease, bugs, lack of water or soil conditions
    • they need to be removed due to lot clearing or nuisance reasons
    • storm downed, damaged or dangerous trees

Affiliates

Contact Us

We’d love to hear from you. Please contact us with questions, comments and feedback, or for a quote on any of our custom products and specialty services.

  • Monday-Friday, 8-4:00, Saturday by appointment

  • 445 Prado Road T#3, San Luis Obispo, CA

  • 805.543.5533

PCL 11-17
PCL 11-17