Sustainably Gorgeous

Sustainably Gorgeous

Ahh...wood, beautiful wood. Here in Vermont, we have easy access to gorgeous, sustainably harvested cherry, maple, and walnut. With respect to wood or lumber sustainability, many people are familiar with the term “FSC-certified.” The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) mission is to promote environmentally sound, socially beneficial, and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests. The FSC has currently certified 35.2 million acres of forest in the U.S. in addition to forests in other countries.

However, even if wood isn’t “certified,” it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t responsibly managed. The U.S. has approximately 749 million acres of forests. More than half of that land is privately owned and managed, and most of these forests are on small tracts of land. Private forest lands provide more than 90% of our forest products. These are selectively harvested—less than 5% of the standing timber is removed and the rest is left alone for another 35-50 years. This aligns with FSC management guidelines. Because of the paperwork, cost, and regulations involved in certifying forests and lumber—coupled with limited demand for certified lumber—many private owners haven’t bothered with certification. Vermont-grown and harvested wood also requires minimal transportation, which adds to the environmental benefit. We choose sustainable sources for our wood varieties:


Natural cherry wood is one of the most prized furniture hardwoods in the U.S. It comes from the American Black Cherry fruit tree, which grows abundantly in the eastern U.S., with the best examples coming from the Allegheny Plateau.



You usually think of Vermont maple...syrup. But the same Sugar Maple trees provide beautiful, incredibly durable wood. Maple can also sport extraordinary birdseye, tiger, flame, curly, wavy, rippled or fiddleback figures.



Only a few walnut trees are native to North America. The Eastern (or American) Black Walnut is the one typically used for woodworking, and it’s the only dark wood native to North America. Black Walnut trees grow throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada, but the best trees grow in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.



Sapele is an African wood that we occasionally use for construction in our shop and greenhouse, as well as for accents in other wood products. It closely resembles mahogany in appearance, and is available from FSC-certified forests.



A creamy white, we use this variety for framing artwork. Lightweight and beautiful, Avodire has a unique, shimmering quality, like a cat’s-eye gemstone.


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