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Timber is one of the most sustainable building materials available. When it is growing, huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere are converted into wood; this carbon dioxide remains ‘locked up’ in the timber until it is burnt or returns to the natural cycle. This makes it one of the few materials which actively reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Our timber is grown in the UK or mainland Europe (primarily France) and does not take as long as one might think to grow. Typically oak will be useful as a framing timber even after 70 years and will reach its prime at about 120 years. The use of timber stimulates the forestry trade which responds by planting more trees.
We undertake to ensure that for every tree we use we plant ten. These oak saplings are offered to our clients as a gift or planted out on suitable land elsewhere.
Most of our Oak comes form the forests of Normandy, through a small supplier who we have known and worked with for many years and whose quality and consistency is very high. He personally visits the forests to inspect the trees, and buys standing trees designated by the French Forestry authorities for felling. The trees are winter felled, traditionally during a new moon; both of these conditions mean the timber will contain the least amount of sap possible. This is important for two reasons: the timber is drier and also contains less sugar, therefore is less likely to be attacked by beetles.
The logs are stored at the mill for between 9- 12 months before being sawn to section. The cutting to section of the logs by the sawyer is a highly skilled profession as he is responsible for getting the best sections out of the log and matching the results to a cutting list. Watch our video for more of an insight into this stage of the life of your timber frame...