Slabs of wood fill up shelves and are leaned against every wall and propped up on sawhorses. She stands at a 9-foot wedge of Indian Rosewood, often used to make guitars and considered the Cadillac of locally grown wood.
“We look at these trees like treasure chests,” Bocik said as she ran her hand along the wood.
And for good reason. An Indian Rosewood tree can be worth thousands of dollars. They grow well in Florida, but when removed from a local yard or park, the trunks are most often mulched or buried in a landfill — often at a cost of hundreds of dollars for homeowners or tree removal businesses.
Meanwhile, furniture makers pay as much as $30 per foot to import of the same wood that is being thrown away.
Across the country, small-scale woodworkers like Bocik and her husband, Robert, have carved out hardscrabble second careers finding a second life for these trees.
“We can use these trees to make something beautiful,” Zoe said.