Using Sustainable Timber In Your Projects
For generations, old growth forests were razed for the high-quality timber they would yield. However, most old growth forests are protected today, with good reason – there are only so many 2000 year old trees on the plate, and they should not be destroyed. The great thing is, sustainable timber is now available at affordable prices, with no reduction in quality. Timber cladding made from sustainable timber is just as strong and beautiful as that made from rarer forests.
Manageable Sustainable Timber
It seems to be at cross-purposes to talk about sustainable timber, when you plan to cut it down. But, many timber suppliers work hard to use harvesting as a way to keep their stands of timber healthy. They provide a habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, and try not to disturb the wildlife when they harvest the timber. With careful ecology, the timber farmers can make a living off of their woods, and have a healthy forest as well.
Variety of Woods
There are a large variety of woods that can be classified as sustainable. Many people think the only fast-growing woods such as bamboo are truly sustainable. That is because the bamboo grows so quickly that it can be harvested every two or three years. Bamboo is a hard wood, and quite useful for flooring and timber cladding. However, there are many other ways to find sustainable timber.
Forestry experts say that nature is a sustainable forester. Boreal forests, for example, tend to become sun-starved because the canopies of the hardwood trees block out sunlight. Nature sends avalanches and forest fires to clear out the forests so that new seeds can receive much needed sunlight.
When people practice sustainable forestry, they go into these same forests and harvest select trees. While nature will level everything in its path, humans will harvest only trees of a certain age or condition, leaving beautiful specimen trees and young growth. This allows sunlight to reach the ground and sprout new growth, reducing the chance of forest fires. Loggers in these types of forests will go in and remove dead trees for use in the timber industry, and keep the forest floor less of a fire hazard.
Stands of sustainable timber are carefully planned out. When trees are marked to be harvested, new ones are planted in their place. It may take several years for those trees to reach maturity, but in the meantime, other trees are growing to maturity, and still others are being harvested.
This also gives the foresters a chance to vary the types of trees that are planted and harvested. While some trees come to maturity in just a few years, such as the pine tree, others such as the white oak take 150 years to reach maturity. Foresters usually try to get a balance of different types of wood in their forests to maintain the natural balance necessary for wildlife habitat and for leisure activities.