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When global warming becomes a cause for rock stars and politicians, you know that conservation has moved from obscurity to the front page. Most of our customers are what one might call "green" in their outlook, and many have asked about the sustainability of the hardwood we use in our furniture. They are concerned that we might be using up all the wood and there will be nothing left for our grandchildren.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, black cherry, along with most other Appalachian hardwoods, is growing faster than it is being harvested. Less than 60 percent of net new growth is harvested annually. While this is true in terms of biomass, it says nothing about the size of trees. Large older trees, those being 75 to 125 years old, are being replaced by younger trees, which, although they sequester more carbon per acre than mature trees, make it increasingly problematic to find wide, clear-grained boards.
We expend considerable effort in selecting and buying premium lumber and are confident that sustainable harvesting practices are used in their processing. Many of our forest operators are certified by either the Forest Stewardship Council or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative; lumber from others is cut on federal lands and, as such, is sustainably harvested. We avoid exotic hardwoods because we have no way of knowing how those tropical forests are being exploited.
Beyond the wood, our finishing technology, what some have called pre-industrial, is benign. Each piece is polished before two coats of hot, boiled linseed oil are applied. This oil is extracted from flax, the fiber of which is used in making linen. Once dry, each piece is given two coats of wax made from carnauba beans and beeswax. Except in areas requiring coloring or increased water resistance, where a membrane finish is preferable, the ancient process of oil and wax leaves the environment very much intact and our consciences clear.
We take pride in giving wood a second life where it can serve the needs of many. Our delivery process is just as calculated as the harvesting and building, as each piece is hand wrapped in a reusable packing blanket, thus eliminating the need for copious amounts of packing materials. Our whole process is very green indeed.
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