For some wood species, such as Ebony, it will take 10 fallen trees to find one that will make the A (top quality) grade. So, what will happen to the remaining 9 trees? Well, they are left rotting away in the forest because they were found to not make the grade after being cut down. Stop for a moment to digest that number: 9 out of 10 trees found to be below A grade will be left lying in the woods, rotting away as a wasted harvest.
While Ebony is certainly not the only lumber to fall victim to B-Grade rotting, it is clear that times change as do harvesting practices. Years ago, Cherry would not be sold with sapwood visible in it; however, today it is certainly acceptable and the norm. Before, Walnut had to be free of defects while being both wide and long in size. However, today, those defects are often desirable for those making unique furniture pieces which are centered on these distinguishable characteristics. Because nature can create natural masterpieces in a piece of lumber with beautiful variations, such B-Grade lumber may certainly not be perfect, but it is now highly desirable.
The simple fact is that customers have to buy B-grade exotic lumber, and in fact, it can be highly desirable. Just because a piece of Sapele wood isn’t as long or wide and has a B-grade doesn’t mean that it isn’t just as high quality to use and cost effective to customers. Yet, with this B-Grade rating, customers tend to shy away, paying more and missing out on the unique characteristics of a B-grade exotic wood.
Many lumber companies, particularly those in North America, continue to only buy A-grade lumber and push only A-grade lumber on their customers; in effect, these lumber companies are supporting the rotting of 9 out of 10 fallen trees in a forest somewhere. However, countries such as Europe and Asia now recognize the importance of B and C grade lumber in regards to sustainability practices.
The first step in sustainability practices is to recognize lumber mills that are harvesting B-Grade lumber and to continually support those mills by providing B-Grade lumber to customers. J. Gibson McIlvain Company recognizes the importance of B-Grade lumber and will continually encourage customers to consider it. This first step will help others recognize that the rotting of 9 out of 10 trees is both unethical and unsustainable, while helping others also realize that B-Grade lumber is just as beautiful and worthwhile.
An ethically and economically motivated lumber supplier knows that such wasteful and unethical logging practices do still take place. However, the US Lacey Act demands suppliers to purchase only ethically harvested lumber, and furthermore, it is the right thing to do in order to keep forests sustainable for years to come. J. Gibson McIlvain Company chooses to source only viable and legally harvested lumber, in turn, doing its part in ensuring an adequate supply of lumber for generations to come.
Because Ebony cannot, at this time, be ethically harvested, J.Gibson McIlvain instead offers its customers a wide range of alternatives that were harvested ethically and with sustainable efforts in mind. If you desire Ebony for your project, contact the J. Gibson McIlvain Company to learn about Ebony alternatives which are both harvested ethically and sustainable while being appropriately suited for your particular project.
J. Gibson McIlvain Company
Since 1798, when Hugh McIlvain established a lumber business near Philadelphia, the McIlvain family has been immersed in the premium import and domestic lumber industry. With its headquarters located just outside of Baltimore, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company (www.mcilvain.com) is one of the largest U.S. importers of exotic woods.
As an active supporter of sustainable lumber practices, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company has provided fine lumber for notable projects throughout the world, including the White House, Capitol building, Supreme Court, and the Smithsonian museums. Contact a representative at J. Gibson McIlvain today by calling (800) 638-9100.