We sometimes recommend genuine solid hardwood flooring over engineered flooring because of the beauty and naturalness of the wood. Authentic, solid hardwood comes directly from the tree, which provides a chemical free option for your home or business. However, since it comes directly from the tree, using solid hardwood results in the harvesting of more trees. We know that trees are vital to healthy living for everyone and everything, so sustainable harvesting is important to us.
Sustainable harvesting simply means that when a tree is harvested, more are planted in its place. This assures the future of that tree species and prevents the depletion of that natural resource. Of course, there is more involved than just planting trees to replace any that have been cut down. There are organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council who are concerned with the soil and water quality of what is referred to as tree plantations. They also monitor animal life to make sure these forests are sustainable and support life. If you want to read more about these tree plantations, take a look at our blog Environmentally Friendly Hardwood Flooring.
We commend organizations that take steps to make sure forests are taken care of and renewed when resources are harvested. One of these organizations that we recently came across is the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative. One of their main goals is to restore land that has been destroyed by coal mining.
In an article by Burt Bollinger in the Hardwood Floors Magazine, Michael French, Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, says, “ARRI promotes reforestation practices that lead to forest development for future timber crops, water quality, air quality, and all of the benefits that forests provide to modern society.”
What many people do not know is that when a coal mine is built, the land is often cleared and blasted so they can get to the coal buried deep underground. Once they are finished mining, in an effort to help restore the surrounding land, they will put back the rock and soil that was removed. This is a step in the right direction, for sure. However, it often leaves the land barren with little to no foliage. This can result in landslides and erosion, especially after hard rains.
What the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative does is go to these areas and plant trees that can be sustainably harvested in the future. Often they are indigenous species like oak and hickory. These are two of the most popular species used in hardwood flooring in the United States. If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of each of these species, check out our blog posts on White Oak and Hickory.
While the planting of these particular trees interests us the most because it assures the future of the hardwood flooring industry, it is also important to point out that the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative also plants other fruit-bearing shrubs to attract animals. This helps to support the local ecosystem as well as encourages faster growth of the new forest. Interested in learning more? Check out the article from the September 2020 edition of the Hardwood Floors Magazine.