Grown in America,
Responsibly Harvested, Naturally Abundant
Hardwoods are the botanical group of trees that have broad leaves, produce a fruit or nut, and generally go dormant in the winter. Requiring a temperate climate, most hardwood forestland is in the eastern half of the U.S.
In American hardwood forestry, the predominant harvesting method is single-tree selection. By carefully removing individual trees, openings in the forest canopy are created so that more precipitation, sunlight and nutrients reach the forest floor. A trained forester individually selects trees for harvesting and a crew removes the trees with the least disruption to the forest floor. This responsible forest management takes into consideration long-term timber production, while also addressing water quality, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, forest aesthetics and recreational opportunities.
The trees reproduce naturally and prolifically. Nearly twice as much hardwood grows each year as is harvested and in the past 50 years, the volume of hardwood in American forests has nearly doubled. Foresters work with the timeline that nature dictates: sustained supply and ongoing replenishment are the result.
Healthy forests are net producers of oxygen, thanks to photosynthesis. Growing trees take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and separate the carbon and oxygen atoms. Trees use the carbon to grow roots, trunk, branches and leaves (a tree uses 1.47 pounds of carbon dioxide to grown a pound of wood) then return the oxygen to the air (giving off 1.07 pounds of oxygen). This process reduces greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
An acre of trees can remove about 13 tons of dust and gases from the atmosphere and we harvest them because in comparison to building products like steel, aluminum, glass, concrete, brick, wood requires a very small amount of energy to become lumber or other wood products. Advanced technology and responsible manufacturing assures the least wood waste and all wood processing by-products have a use:
- Tree bark becomes mulch and soil conditioners.
- Sawdust is sold for animal bedding or fuels the boilers that operate dry kilns.
- Trimmings are chipped and processed into paper and other products.
- Small wood pieces are processed or finger-jointed into wood components.
And because American hardwoods are just that, American, less energy is required for transport. Importing materials like bamboo, teak or mahogany, grown half-way around the world, requires a lot of energy.
Nature’s “Greenest” Choice
Don’t be afraid to choose hardwood flooring for your home, or to ask for solid hardwood furniture. American hardwoods are abundant and sustainable and for centuries have been providing beauty, warmth and functional value for floors, furniture, mouldings, millwork and cabinetry. And wood products are better than carbon neutral. They’re carbon negative. No other material can compare!