December 2021 Issue
Walnut, oak, maple, mahogany, cherry, bamboo, birch, pine, rosewood, chestnut, ebony, ash, zebrano, sycamore, teak, ipe, holly, hickory. Rift cut, quarter sewn, plain, live edge. Veneer and solid. Tongue and groove, biscuit joint, butt joints, dovetail, mortise and tendon, pocket joint. Green harvesting and deforestation. The world of trees and wood for construction and furniture is overwhelming. Certain species are better for certain applications so best to work with a professional with wood expertise. Let’s explore further.
All Bark and No Blight
To start us off, how about 51 interesting facts about trees and wood?
1. Wood is made up of a combination of living, dying, and dead cells.
2. The world’s shortest tree is the dwarf willow, which lives in northerly and Arctic Tundra regions and rarely grows more than a couple of inches high.
3. The tallest trees can grow as high as 100 metres, more than 320 feet. They include the Coast Redwood, Giant Sequoia, Sitka Spruce and Australian Mountain Ash.
As Luck Wood Have It
Two Trees Walk into a Forest and One Says…
Do trees communicate with one another? German forester and author, Peter Wholleben says definitely. Edward Farmer at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland has been studying the electrical pulses that trees send one another. (Shout out to Lausanne where our own Jason Claire used to live). Check out this Smithsonian article summarizing these theories. For more, Canadian ecologist Suzanne Simard has given a TED Talk about the social lives of trees.
Wood I Lie to You?
Chestnut is rather common in the USA, but did you know that wormy chestnut is a rare wood caused by the chestnut blight of the early 1900s? This blight left insect holes and discoloration that made it eventually very desirable. At Interior Matter, we are using wormy chestnut veneer on custom millwork in our #ImLivingOnTheEdgemoor project dining room.
It’s unique and gorgeous.
On the Boards (Get It?)
Before our #ImLivingOnTheEdgemoor project could begin, an old sycamore tree had to be removed from the lot. Instead of hauling the tree away to be used for firewood, our clients had the idea of using as much as possible in custom made furniture for their new home. The tree was cut and planked, and the planks were kiln dried for months. Now we’re in the process of designing the breakfast room table and a few other special pieces to be scattered about the home. We’re creating new memories from something old. Pieces that may be passed on to generations to come. Stay tuned for final photos.