Leaving Old Growth Trees Standing
Some of Canada’s Western Red Cedar trees are over 2000 years. Like local kauri, these old growth trees need protection.
Akin to New Zealand’s protected native forests and the revered kauri tree, British Columbia in Canada is known for its beautiful old growth forests, alive with enormous trees like the Western Red Cedar. Some of these trees are over 2000 years old and provide biodiversity and habitats for Canada’s wildlife, as well as having deeper meaning and history for First Nations People.
However, large sections of these old growth forests are felled and shipped off to be used as cladding for buildings around the world. The First Nations People of British Columbia are attempting to halt these logging practices and conserve these forests for future generations and for the native animals and birds that live among them.
Cedar makes up about one third of sawn timber imports from Canada, with most of it coming from old growth trees. Sustainable alternatives such as Abodo’s timber products are a clear solution for preventing any further destruction of these important forests.
Instead of using ancient trees, Abodo makes use of renewable, FSC® certified plantation timbers, grown in the Central North Island and Hawke’s Bay regions. Treated using a thermal modification process, the timber is durable and strong and does not require chemical treatments to increase its longevity.
As the thermal modification process is carried out locally, this reduces the carbon footprint of the product, which is a further problem with the importation of old growth timbers.
Like the Canadian First Nations people, the Maori way is to respect the natural world. According to Maori customs, or tikanga, if you must chop a tree down or harvest from a plant, a prayer needs to be first offered up to the forest.
This quote from Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, expresses the need to return to the ways of First Nations people around the world and their great respect for the balance of nature:
“What governments and corporations need to do is to take a step back and view old growth forests not as commercialized products to be harvested and sold, but as the bedrock foundations of a healthy, biodiverse environment that First Nations have been stewards over since time immemorial. Old growth forests help sustain our livelihoods and possess incalculable cultural and spiritual value that is far from pecuniary.”
Choosing products made from fast-growing trees grown expressly for the purpose of creating timber products means these giants of the forest can stay standing.