Restoration Forestry - Manual
Your Forever Redwood furniture purchase funds the restoration work entirely. Thank you for your support. We hope to restore nearby forests in the coming years. There is no lack of overly harvested forestland anywhere in the world.
We are often asked: How can you save forestlands if you cut trees to make furniture? For a complete answer, please download our Forest Restoration Manual (20.5 MB). The 96-page PDF file details OGA's pioneering Restoration Forestry practices.
A shorter answer is below:
OGA works with the forest to restore the severe changes caused by industrial logging. For example, the softwood timber volume of our Annapolis, CA forestlands (Redwood, Douglas-fir and Sugar Pine) was reduced from an average of 50,000 board feet per acre (bf/ac) in the 1950's to below 3,000 bf/ac by 1972. At the same time, many of the competing hardwoods were left standing (Tan Oak, Madrone, Live Oak, Bay Laurel, Manzanita and others). This resulted in reducing the standing softwood timber volume of the forest to below 10% of its standing capacity while the hardwood volume jumped from approximately 15% of total volume to over 50%. The forest became an overcrowded fire hazard of suppressed and poor quality trees that was nothing like the old forest it replaced.
OGA begins by thinning the hardwoods at the same rate they are growing (about 35% each decade) so they will not increase in actual volume over time. Many of the thinned trees are of poor quality or are suppressed trees that will not survive and contribute to the already high fire hazard. Each thinning is a labor intensive effort (no chemicals are ever used) that lowers the fire hazard while improving overall tree quality and spacing. Practicing these steps consistently over time allow the large softwood trees to slowly regain dominance of the forest again. OGA also thins the softwoods (Redwood, Douglas-fir and Sugar Pine) at 10% per decade while the forest is growing approximately 35% per decade at this point in its maturation. From this very conservative harvesting, we make our "Mature Redwood" and "Redwood" grades of lumber furniture. Careful soil building and tree planting practices are an integral part of restoration. We plant several thousand 3 to 4 ft tall seedlings with hearty well-established 5 gallon root balls each winter. The trees are grown in our nursery and planted in-between trees in thinned areas where the canopy is mostly closed.