Lumber from sustainable sources


#1

There’ve been a few lumber threads but none of them have a lot of specific suggestions. So …

I’m in Taipei, and I’ve been playing with woodworking, and visiting a bunch of lumber yards. Most of them sell teak from Burma, and what they call 越南檜木, which I’m told is specifically Fokienia. Neither seem likely to come from sustainable sources, and I’m reluctant to use it.

I’ve had some luck reclaiming wood from second-hand furniture shops and such, but it sure would be nice to just buy big planks of square stock. Does anyone know of a supplier who cares about where it comes from?

On an easier note, I’m also looking for square stock of pine, for heaven’s sake. The construction lumber places mostly just have thin pressure-treated planks of it, and the “real” lumber yards don’t bother with it. I’ve seen piles of it around, though, so there must be places.

For hardwood, the best place I’ve found so far is 青松木業公司. Lots of beautiful wood, friendly attitude, awesome scrap pile and reasonable prices. But they have the same dubious sourcing.


#2

My work is forestry and our company exports wood. We don’t really do retail, but send me a message and we can chat.

I get all our plots locally, teak included, and with all private lands we manage the clearing and replanting, government land is hit or miss. River wood is also common, but more for expensive wood due to permits and assholes scavenging.

Taiwan has pine, but its different than the north American import.


#3

Oh neat, thanks. Will PM you. I’m mostly just trying to understand the landscape for now.

For anyone else who cares, this place has square stock pine and European SPF (fir, I think) at very reasonable prices, and the owner is friendly and helpful: 尚新木業


#4

Taiwan logging is all small scale and highly fragmented. So the sustainable aspects to.Taiwanese.lumber is that you never see large scale clarifying like.you do in Canada/USA. By those standards, the sizes here would be considered private homeowner sized plots, usually 1 to 20 hectares. Government requires replanting, which is good, but the depth at which they think about it is purely just what species and how many plugs per fen. Little if any thought about long term effects such as erosion.

The gov here cares a LOT about digging in any mountain area. Unfortunately local governments.care more about themselves, so there is still lots of illegal logging and rock extraction.

Biggest problems are in areas with steep mountains, erosion is a massive problem and the gov does relatively little to avoid it, despite the fact once the mountain falls, that area is 9 times out of 10 now unusable in any practical way.

So sustainable wood in Taiwan I personally view as more of species.selection and area selection. Lots of.plantation wood about even.in the flat lands, especially mahogany. So in that regard its pretty sustainable far more than.a.non tree type farm which tends to.degrade the land badly.

Some species grow.super fast here and are used in in rotating crops. Southern Taiwan for example now had a roughly 3% annual cut rate of a species that takes 30 to 40 years to grow to decent size, so its tight, but fairly well understood industry. Others like.mahogany realistically take 50 to.70 years here, teak similar. So those trees are often smaller here.

Probably the biggest cons of taiwan moumountai work is that they tend to cut all the trees, even if they don’t want them. Makes.work more.co lenient, so that’s o e small but very important thing we are bosses and by proxy, customers, can co trip. Second is road building, which is a huge cause of landslides here. In many countries it requires educated folk to actually go up and check and come back with a plan, there is not.patience or.money here for that.

If you are looking at the cedar/cypress group, I would suggest looking into Japanese imports and/or north American non-old growth wood. Its more sustainable better quality and easier to work (better management practices make straighter, clear boards).