Houses Grow on Trees…

By Jan Jackson

SALEM, ORE. – Money doesn’t grow on trees but houses do. If you take a few minutes to look around your apartment, house, garage or barn, you’ll see wood products everywhere. From frame to finishing, these buildings owe their very existence to house-farmers.

House-farmers are the timber growers and loggers who sustainably support the housing industry with wood products, largely made from Oregon’s abundant Douglas fir. Their practice is to replant more than they harvest and while they’re at it, they also protect streams and wildlife in accordance to the Oregon Forest Protection Act of 1971.

Some house-farms have been in the families for years and others have been newly developed from wasteland. House-farmers harvest some trees suitable for lumber, some for paper and some are left for wildlife. The vegetation that grows beneath thick stands of trees offer shelter. Vegetation that grows up in thinned stands and clear cuts provides food. Both methods of harvest benefit animals and birds. The trees that grow in and amongst the Douglas fir are often used in making furniture and other items you might find in and around your house or office.

A typical 2,400-square foot, single-family home requires about 16,000 board feet of framing lumber. * A board foot is measured as a piece of lumber one-inch thick, one-foot wide and one-foot long. In addition to the framing, it takes over 14,000 square feet of other wood products including plywood, oriented stand board, glulam beams, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, hardboard, particleboard and medium-density fiberboard.

Now, to figure out how many Douglas fir trees it takes to build a house is hard because you have to measure the trees. What isn’t hard, however, is to look at the next load of logs you see rolling down the highway and understand it takes two or three of those loads to build one house.

Now, to figure out how many Douglas fir trees it takes to build a house is hard because you have to measure the trees. What isn’t hard however is to look at the next load of logs you see rolling down the highway and understand it takes two or three of those loads to build one.

So, the next time you have the urge to hug something, consider hugging the house-farmer that knows how to grow the trees or the logger that knows how to harvest them. We at Country Traveler Online are proud that Oregon is sustainably green.

*http://www.idahoforests.org/woodhous.htm

Photo by Morris R. Pike

 

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