Short history of timber use.
Historically timber used in landscape construction and the manufacture of outdoor furniture has come from the dwindling tropical rainforests of mainly third world countries. Forestry practices largely overseen by corrupt governments have resulted in widespread devastation of forests and associated wild life habitats. Unregulated and unsustainable logging to feed first world appetites for cheap decks and furniture has been taking place for decades.
What to do?
Loss of habitat and biodiversity through unsustainable forestry practices can be minimised or avoided by only using certified timbers and locally grown timbers. Sourcing of these can be complex however there are two accreditation schemes which independently audit timber from felling to end supplier in a regulated chain of custody or CoC.
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
The gold standard for these is the Forest Stewardship Council accreditation. FSC is an independent overseer of worldwide forestry operations with a rigorous set of criteria that imposes strict environmental conditions on the logging and usage of timber products. Participants at all stages in the chain of custody are regularly audited. FSC has been around for some decades now and is the best logo to look for when searching for timber products.
Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)
There is another accreditation scheme PEFC run by local non governmental bodies. It is another organisation which promotes sustainable harvesting and use of timber products. Its standards and independence are not as high or rigorous as the FSC and it attracts some criticism from green groups as only providing a feel good accreditation which in reality masks poor practices. However it is better than nothing.
Cypress Avenue Furniture.
Cypress Avenue furniture is locally made from Australian Native White Cypress Pine. The timber is sourced from managed forest in southern and central NSW under NSW government supervision. The botanical name is Callitris glauca. It is a native softwood possessing extreme durability and rot resistance. Cypress has a class 1 durability rating, the best; and the natural oils are a safe defence against insect and fungal attack.
Like all natural timbers Australian Native White Cypress Pine will silver off in the weather if left unsealed, it may even get small surface cracks over time. Neither of these is anything to worry about and will not affect its longevity. No treatment is necessary to extend durability. Oiling can be done to maintain the original grain and colour. The timber surface can be restored easily with sanding and oiling. If a preventive finish to stop silvering off is to be applied it is best to first lightly sand the surface to allow the oil to penetrate. This should be done ASAP after purchase before the onset of natural weathering.
See our range of Cypress Avenue Furniture