Date

05/06/2016

Author

Janna Hafer

Category

Urban Frontier House

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04/19/16 - You might recall that all the wood in our house needs to either come from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) forests or be reclaimed. For cabinets, we chose to have them built by Country Pine out of beetle-killed wood.

And now here is a little biology lesson: The mountain pine beetle is native to the forests of western North America; however, it appears that the current warmer temperatures have allowed the mountain pine beetle to survive longer and thrive. The beetle bores through the bark into the phloem layer on which it feeds and lays its eggs. Along with the mountain pine beetle is the blue-stain fungus which serves as food for the beetle and its larvae and travels from tree to tree via the mouth of the beetle. In addition, the fungus improves the environment for the beetle eggs and larvae by stopping the tree from producing its natural defense resin. Within two weeks of a beetle attack, the tree starves to death. This double whammy is devastating to the forests!

The dead trees are selectively harvested in hopes of promoting the reforestation of the affected areas. The commercial integrity of the beetle-killed trees is compromised since the moisture in the trees seeks to escape thus causing cracking. In addition, the beetle-killed wood has blue/gray streaks that give it a distinctive coloring. Nevertheless, the wood’s strength appears to remain intact. Our logs were delivered to Country Pine where they were cut and dried. Randy came up with a design for all the kitchen cabinets, the dining room buffet cabinet, the master bathroom cabinet, and the upstairs guest bathroom cabinet. On April 19, the final two cabinets were delivered and Randy (with a little help from me) installed the cabinets. As sad and unfortunate as the mountainsides of red-needled dead pine trees are, at least the trees can be put to use and we are VERY pleased with our unique cabinets!
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