Posted on: 8th January 2019

Timber is one of the most sustainable building materials available.  Trees convert a vast amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into the wood.  The carbon dioxide is locked within 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.

Certified timber

Our timber is grown in the UK in PEFC certified forests or mainland Europe (primarily France and Germany).  ‘PEFC’ is an internationally recognised standard of forest management (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification).

Timber does not take as long as one might think to grow. Typically oak will be useful as a framing timber after 70 years, reaching its prime at about 120 years. The use of timber stimulates the forestry trade which responds by planting more trees.

Careful sourcing

Most of our finest grade, Quercus Robur oak comes from 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 felled in the winter, 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.

Graded for quality

All of our oak is graded using the European QPA visual grade system and is also graded by our carpenters.  Successful timber frame carpentry is dependent upon the assessment, grading and orientation of each individual timber for its aesthetics and structural properties.

Watch our video for more of an insight into this stage of the life of your timber frame…