THE REPLANTING PROJECT
"The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now."
As an "urban salvage" sawmill, we're looking for trees that most other folks would throw away- the dead and dying ones, the ones that blew down in the last storm, the hazardous ones that have to be cut down, or the unwanted ones that owners would rather not deal with. We specialize in trees that have reached the end of their life cycle.
There are a few reasons why we do this, but our main motivation is- and always has been- finding value in something someone may mulch, chop into firewood, or toss out completely. We're always seeking value in waste. We heat our warehouse with clippings from the sawmill, we have turned scraps from our shop into viable products, and we donate our sawdust to mushroom farmers - it has been our business model since Dr. Goby started this company in 1976.
This is not to say that all trees that reach the sawmill are dead, and must come down. The population is growing, new houses are being built, and agricultural areas are expanding to feed a growing population, so inevitably trees are a casualty of human growth and expansion. The good news is that trees can be replanted, and often times are. In fact, we have more trees in the United States now than we did 100 years ago.
Wood is a natural, renewable, and sustainable material for building. Wood has a much lighter carbon footprint than concrete, steel, and plastic. Maximizing wood use in both residential and commercial construction could remove an estimated 21 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere annually - this is equal to taking 4.4 million cars off of the road.
We also believe that strong markets for wood products encourage land owners to keep their lands as forests instead of turning to agriculture or development for profit. Forests have many benefits - they store carbon, and help cool the planet. They also make us feel good. They bring us to the present, and give us an opportunity to unplug and relax. Studies have shown that spending time in forests and being exposed to natural materials can have positive effects on our sense of well-being. In Japan there is a term that embodies this form of ecotherapy - shinrin-yoku - which means "forest bathing".
We believe whole-heartedly in the power of timber forests, and this is why we are excited to announce that we have teamed up with Able Farms to plant 1,500 Claro Walnut and Oregon White Oak seedlings this year. That's more than 5 trees for every tree that reached the sawmill. We are also offering seedlings for sale at our shop in Portland for $1 each.
We're continuing to plant trees in the spring of 2022 as well, where we'll experiment with hybrid and disease-resistant strains.
Our goal is to close the "sustainability loop" by replenishing trees that we get our lumber from, but we can't do this without your help. Please contact us if you're interested in obtaining seedlings, or would like more info about our replanting efforts.