Tree Farms

Sustainable Wood Production

tree_farmOur unconscious love affair with wood has taken it from a thing of utility to a thing of art and back again. I have no doubt that this cycle will continue ad infinitum. Wherever you cast your eyes you are likely to see something that is constructed from wood. We take it for granted.

Last week I noticed a damp spot in the front yard that for several days seemed to get worse. I called out a leak detection company. The inspection showed the beautiful willow tree in the front yard had wrapped its roots around a sewage pipe carrying waste from the house. It nearly broke my heart to hear that the tree would be irreparably damaged because of the sewer repair that was necessary to fix the leaking pipe. I had gazed at and admired that old tree for nearly two decades and the thought of losing it hit home in more ways than one.

Admittedly, I had enjoyed that big old willow, but many days took for granted the way it silently stood sentinel over the house. Unfortunately, when we take things for granted oftentimes we neglect to give care to its sustainability. I’m not sure I could have avoided the inevitable, but I know now that the next tree planted in that spot will not be a root thirsty pipe clinger. Have you ever given much thought to where the wood comes from that continues to grow, enhance and preserve our cities and housing developments?

Throughout the world, people have devoted acres of land to regrowth of trees for sale. While more people are finding different uses for building wood products, wood seems to be the go-to product for many manufacturers. In the US there are three watchdog organizations that keep farms certified and prevent the wood from being totally consumed: The American Tree Farm System, ATFS, Forest Stewardship Council, FSC, and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, SFI.

To get certified as a provider of wood and its natural products a farmer must:
• have a minimum of 40 acres of forested property.
• must produce wood products through good management skills. For example; Christmas trees, decorative boughs, post, poles timber for milling.
• a Colorado State Forest Service-approved management plan

Keeping a productive, disease- free operation can be lucrative, but there a lot of rules and regulations that need to be in place to maintain a good standing. It’s good to know that the care and feeding of what could be a limited resource is being watched over by knowledgeable and concerned establishments.

A huge benefit that is often not considered by the everyday consumer of wood products is the reduction of carbon dioxide in the air. CO2 is one of the leading greenhouse gases affecting our environment. Tree farms absorb carbon dioxide and thereby reduces the overall problem. Furthermore, as the forests are cleared and the wood is turned into products, those products go on to appropriate carbon. Cool, eh?

Wood iFacts is generally impressed with the gifts that keep on giving from a simple seed that grows into a living tree that reaches for the sky and returns life into the earth. If you have a comment about this article, please leave it at the bottom of the page. Your feedback is always welcome and appreciated.