So, where does the tech come in?
From the forest floor to the hardwood floor.
When asked to think of wood or lumber we might envision a beautiful blue-green forest spanning miles and miles of pristine terrain. We may jump to an image of a classic Adirondack chair pointed toward the ocean while perched atop a sweeping veranda overlooking the Atlantic in the Hamptons. Both of those images began from a single seed that took to the ground, rooted itself, and grew into a full-grown tree. And to ensure that we have enough trees to create all the wonderful things we use every day we need to steward and manage the forests. And we need advanced technology to accomplish it all. Even beyond that, we have the opportunity to maximize the full potential of all the constituents of the wood industry to create a truly regenerative future.
Let’s start with seed and soil. The US Forest Service addresses five different methods to regenerate the forests through “a cutting procedure by which a new age class is created.” The major methods are clearcutting, seed-tree, shelterwood, selection, and coppice. Regeneration methods are grouped into four categories: coppice, even-aged, two-aged, and uneven-aged.
When we have a plan to cut a tree, we also need a plan to replace it. Without replacing it we would be devastating our own business. And since many of us are multi-generational businesses, we have communities, family properties, and legacies to safeguard as well. That’s why we embrace regenerative technologies that help us plant better, harvest more effectively, utilize all the parts of the tree for value-added products, and maintain a focus on being regenerative (restoring, renewing, and growing) over generations.
Technology starts with seeds and goes all the way into virtually every process. Utilizing sophisticated mapping technology allows us to manage the forests better. Highly tuned machinery requires skilled engineering to design breakthrough techniques. Using waste to create biomass for energy takes sophistication in both engineering and production. With technology, we can do more with less. And with technologists, we can do even more good