What Is Sustainable Oak Forestry?
Sustainable oak forestry is one of the things that makes oak an environmentally friendly and ethical building material. It is sustainable forestry that allows the industry to endure without depleting resources. If we just used oak trees for construction without paying attention to where the next generation of trees will come from then we would be contributing to de-forestation – a massive problem around the world. A sustainable forest is one that we can keep going in perpetuity, making oak a renewable resource rather than a finite one.
A sustainable forest is one that is being carefully managed to that it can keep going, keeping the balance between ecology, humanity and economics. It takes into consideration the needs of people (the reasons for which we choose to harvest the wood and how we use it) as well as the necessities of making money from land in our current capitalist system. Most crucially of all, a sustainable forestry system takes into account the complex forest ecosystem and works out how it can be maximised for both ‘nature’ in the broadest sense and for the ongoing benefit of human beings. It is all about balance.
Sustainable forest management was defined by the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe as: “The stewardship and use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfil, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions, at local, national, and global levels, and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems.”
A monoculture of oak trees all the same age would not make an effective sustainable oak forest. Instead, trees of different ages and sizes, as well as other species to increase the biodiversity, are essential to sustainable forestry. In a sustainable forest, new seedlings are always being sown to replace trees that have been removed. Usually, there is approximately a thirty year life-cycle in sustainable oak forestry. Seedlings are grown and transplanted in their final growing positions at around 5 years old. Every five years or so the trees are selectively thinned to allow other trees to grow to size and to make sure other low-growing species have the space and light to thrive. After around 30 years, the oak trees are felled and seedlings will be transplanted into the spaces they have vacated.
Sustainable oak forestry is the only ethical and sensible choice. With timber taken from sustainable oak forestry you can feel good about your construction projects and rest assured that the forests and our way of life can survive and thrive for future generations.
We would be extremely happy to help you throughout the process of building your dream oak extension, oak garage, oak porch or other oak frame structure from initial idea to polished execution. No matter what sort of oak framed project you have in mind, call us on 02380082260 and take advantage of our FREE consultation service.