Possible old growth redwood lumber in the SF Bay Area

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Forum topic by Chris89 posted 06-21-2018 11:20 PM 489 views 0 times favorited 0 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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06-21-2018 11:20 PM

I mentioned this here:

A lot of the lumber our contractor used for the new fence had very tight grain, including some wide-spaced heartwood rings butted up against extremely tight sapwood (so either relatively young regrowth trees in dense forest or wood from the crown of an older tree). There was also a rough-cut 4×4 post included, seasoned rather than green like the rest of the redwood lumber, which definely looked like old growth or rather old regrowth. (I counted close to 80 rings there, but they got far too tiny and tight to count accurately) The sapwood pieces also had a significant amount of bark left on them, so definitely on the very edge of the trunk. (it really seems like crown wood, particualrly as some had lots of tight rings, but also the wide-spaced heart down to the pith, and I don’t think younger, small diameter trees would tend to have tight sapwood like that)

He got the stuff at The Decking Superstore in San Jose, so they might be getting in a lot of lumber from distressed and dead trees after the recent drought and wildfires. Last I heard, there was far more deadwood timber than CA’s current mill capacity, and loggers taking advantage of the opportunity are exceeding the current market value of the wood (though I’m not sure they’re taking advantage of any premiums on old/natural growth timber, if that’s even legal in CA) and I believe there’s a mix of state and national funding for said logging tied to the forestry service to cope with the fire hazard that dead wood creates.

I didn’t notice any signs of burning on the sapwood or bark, so if they were select-felled from atypical logging areas (public land, protected land, national forest, etc) I assume they were dead or dying trees. (one of the green 2×4s also appeared to have a streak of deadwood through the heart portion of it, so it very well may have been from a distressed tree, perhaps one with internal damage as well)

I haven’t checked the play out myself, but anyone in the area might want to take a peek for some interesting timber mixed in there.

I’m reminded of this case of a home depot that had random old or second growth timber mixed in with typical farmed or managed lumber:

Some of the sapwood also has a beautiful figure, nice contrast in the grain and some birdseye figure in it. (honestly seems too nice to use for fencing or decking) I’m not up to doing any woodworking myself currently, but it seems like a good opportunity to take for anyone in the region. (similar lumber might be cropping up at various construction or home and garden centers, so maybe keep an eye out there too, especially while the drought-stricken trees are being logged)

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