Friday, 31 May 2019 12:58

Waste? Not in the Hardwood Lumber Industry

If you have paid any attention to advertisements, social media pages, blogs, or videos lately, perhaps even just talking with friends and family, a common theme appears. Responsibility. In what we do, what does responsibility encompass exactly? Is it responsible forestry practices? Responsible use of resources? Reducing waste?

 While the theme of responsibility has certainly picked up steam recently throughout a variety of industries, it has been something that the hardwood lumber industry has embraced for almost 100 years!  DSC5464

It starts naturally in the North American hardwood forests.  Foresters head out into the woods to assess the state of that particular forest or track of land. When they are there they utilize a portfolio of responsible forestry practices which ensure only mature, overcrowded, diseased and dying trees are removed. The timber that is harvested will be transported and eventually sawn in sawmills across the country. By using these selection practices throughout the entire planning, harvesting and restoration phase,  the hardwood forests are left in a more productive state. The result is a higher quality timber stands and healthier forests.  And this has been proven based on recent industry studies that indicate our hardwood forests are healthier now then they were 50 years ago. 

In the sawmill the process of turning logs into lumber begins. While this process may seem pretty straight forward, sawing logs into lumber creates a variety of forest products that are useful in a variety of ways. The important thing to remember is that from start to finish, every part of that tree has a use.  

First, logs are debarked, then sawn. In addition to the green lumber created, products such as bark, sawdust, shavings, wood chips, etc. are created and each have their own useful purposes. Bark is cut up and used as mulches that you’d find in gardens, sawdust is used for animal bedding, wood chips are used to heat the hardwood kilns or sent to pellet mills to be turned into wood pellets. Even in the process of making hardwood lumber, as the log is sawn the center of the log that remains which is referred to as a “cant” has found uses in pallet lumber, rail road ties, crane mats, etc. 

At Baillie, we believe that respect for all that the forests provide is one of the most important facets of this industry. By using everything that we receive from the forests and practicing responsibly forestry practices we are ensuring that the forests will be where wildlife, recreation, beauty, and economic purposes thrive for many generations to come.

Brett Del Prince
Baillie Lumber
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