Updated: Dec 3, 2018
Old Wood LLC began on a 2400-acre high mountain ranch in the Old Family since the early 1930’s. With many millions of feet of large timber, it was natural that we moved into the wood business. The Viveash Fire of 2000 claimed over 17 million feet of timber, forcing us to assess and evaluate our model. We moved heavily into flooring made from exactly what we had on hand; fire burned and subsequently, fire prevention/thinning, reclaimed wood.
The Pine and to a lesser extent Douglas fir forests have been impacted across the entire Western US and Canada by the Bark beetle which has ‘come for the fires and stayed for the after-party’. The beetle is attacted to the malted sugars/sap of the burned trees via pheromonal action and huge clouds of beetles have been tracked by air traffic radar. The entire north central core of Colorado including the ski towns of Vail and upwards towards Steamboat Springs, south into the central mountains of New Mexico and, yes, our ranch north of Santa Fe have been impacted by the beetles. The Entire Mogollon Rim area of Arizona, impacted by fires like Rodeo/Chedisky and even larger fires have created the exact same scenario and Old Wood works with mills in Eager and the White Mountain Apache on long term solutions which help manage forests, create jobs and produce beautiful products.
Your use of this product is of course vital to our efforts. As with the Fair Trade Coffee model, you must believe and join with us in this effort to re-create truth, perception and use of Blue Stain and other fire reclaimed products which have the ability to do good on many levels. You are the anchor and root of our story. Without clients for this sort of product, the forests, environments and communities of our region ultimately suffer. We have recently received our third $360,000 US Forest Service, CFRP (Colaborative Forest Restoration Program) grant under the title: “Capacity Building in Flooring from Small Diameter Timber”. The use of Blue Stained material from fire reclamation and prevention efforts on public lands is amply covered in our application and as great as the money is, we are PROUD to be recognized as meriting this support by a panel composed of Governmental (USFS, State, BIA, BLM Water and others), Environmental (Wild Earth Guardians), Industry, Academia and many NGO’s deeply involved with the subjects of climate change, forest management and other related disciplines.
The Blue Stain is purported to be caused by an enzyme in the bark beetles saliva or most recently it is postulated that it is caused by an a poorly understood powder under their wings which enters the trees fluid uptake system as they burrow into the tree to ‘do their thing’.
Once Blue Stain was considered a defect in the West, it is now considered endemic and is not damaging to the wood so it is no longer considered a defect.
A story to tell: Wood flooring from Blue Stained Pine.
The Blue Stain has come to be recognized as a beautiful part of the wood and the forests life cycle. It is a ‘badge of courage’ showing the owner’s willingness to appreciate beauty where it is found. The blue is easy to work with but no matter the treatment from white pickled to handsome ebony treatments, the Blue is a testament to the truly GREEN nature of the product and we at Old Wood are proud to say it is featured in restaurants, homes, large Student Centers, factories in the USA and several in Canada.
Triple Bottom Line:
Our commitment to regenerative, managing forestry with a triple bottom line is evidenced by the use of this wood from Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, sourced via private, Navajo and NGO crews and industry, and of course from our own fire burned ranch. Virtually all our product for the past decade has been sourced from post fire reclamation efforts, under strict NEPA (National Environmental Protection Agency) standards of the US Forest Service, eligible now for all LEED certification programs via the Green Globes program and tracked via our in house chain of custody models. FSC has denied us participation due their distaste for US environmental standards as used by our Federal Government, the very body that extends the tax credits via the LEED program. That is a subject for future lawsuits!
Design and Use:
Blue Stain, once properly dried is not hazardous and has no known human health considerations we are aware of. It can be limited by the application of bleaching agents or, better yet, simply admired and ‘worked with’.
Oil, stains and urethane top coating can be used to color, treat and preserve the wood. One of the most popular models is to simply ‘Snap’ the clean, white and arctic-blue color by sanding the floor, filling it with a water based light colored filler and then ‘capturing’ or ‘snapping’ the color by topcoating with a good grade of water based urethane (NOT oil based which will yellow the wood). A two part catalysing urethane such as Advantage Coatings, Bona, Glitza or similar are all good choices.
If a uniform dark colored floor is desired, the application of any stain in the range of special walnut or darker reverses the colors rendering the blue virtually indistinguishable.
The Santa Fe Community College was the first large scale eductional facility to use our blocks. We have shipped literally hundreds of thousands of feet to industrial users around North America. Some fine homes display these very blocks proudly, one of which, the Emerald Home, meets the nations highest standards of green building and they specifically chose these pine blocks as having a story that belonged in their meticulously planned and executed green, off the grid, home.
Any questions at all? Please, I’d love to talk with you and work to find the exact design and build answer you need.
David J. Old President, Old Wood LLC 888-545-9663, Cell: 505-470-3616.
Excerpted from Wikipedia.com:
The mountain pine beetle (MPB) Dendroctonus ponderosae, is a species of bark beetle native to the forests of western North America from Mexico to central British Columbia. It has a hard black exoskeleton, and measures approximately 5 mm, about the size of a grain of rice.
In western North America, the current outbreak of the mountain pine beetle and its microbial associates has destroyed wide areas of lodgepole pine forest, including more than 16 million hectares in British Columbia. The current outbreak in the Rocky Mountain National Park began in 1996 and has caused the destruction of millions of acres of ponderosa and lodgepole pine trees. According to an annual assessment by the state’s forest service, 264,000 acres of trees in Colorado were infested by the mountain pine beetle at the beginning of 2013. This was much smaller than the 1.15 million acres that were affected in 2008 because the beetle has already killed off most of the vulnerable trees (Ward).
Mountain pine beetles inhabit ponderosa, whitebark, lodgepole, Scotch, Jack Pine, and limber pine trees. Normally, these insects play an important role in the life of a forest, attacking old or weakened trees, and speeding development of a younger forest. However, unusual hot, dry summers and mild winters throughout the region during the last few years, along with forests filled with mature lodgepole pine, have led to an unprecedented epidemic.
It may be the largest forest insect blight ever seen in North America. Climate change has contributed to the size and severity of the outbreak, and the outbreak itself may, with similar infestations, have significant effects on the capability of northern forests to remove greenhouse gas (CO2) from the atmosphere.