Hardwood is a word that usually has negative connotations with respect to growth and felling practices of less scrupulous companies in South America.  For a long time, companies like ours were only able to purchase hardwood that was at best 70% FSC.  That basically means that only a portion of the timber was environmentally harvested and our clients had to accept that there wasn’t much we could do about it.

Very recently a company called Timbmet, one of the larger timber suppliers in the UK, have gained exclusivity on a particular species from Uruguay.  The species native name is  Eucalyptus Grandis but Timbmet have named it Red Grandis. It is responsibly grown and is a knot-free, uniform timber due to the extensive pruning process whilst the tree is growing.

Workers pruning eucalyptus trees on a plantation

Pruning trees on the plantation

This timber has been tested extensively by TRADA and is deemed to be grade 2- 3 durable to moderately durable which means it is more than durable enough for the application of doors and windows in the UK market.

What is also special about this timber is the way it is grown and managed.  As a fairly fast growing hardwood (the tree is usually harvested after 20 years)  the plantation is properly managed in a sustainable way.  It means this timber has been vetted by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC)  to be FSC pure.  That basically means that every shaving we sell is of the highest environmental standard.  This truly is a remarkable product.

Another benefit to our customers is the fact that all the sections that are generally used for timber windows and doors are supplied in laminate.  This is a process where thinner section timbers are glued together to make up a thicker section.  The benefit is added stability for the end user.  Typically timber had to be kilned down a bit further than solid timber in this process.  It is not uncommon for laminated softwood to reach a factory like ours at around 8% moisture content. This is to dry to make joinery from so has to be ‘quarantined’ until it reaches around 12-15 %.  However, Timbmet have come up with a new process that means the Eucalyptus or Red Grandis does not need to be so dry. Typical range for delivery is now 12-15%.  This means we can machine the timber as soon as it arrives,  reducing storage so saving clients time and money.

Stanbrook and Nicholson are very excited about this new range of timber.  Our view is that the FSC pure grading is a real plus in this day and age. Red Grandis costs approximately the same as a species such as Sapele but there is a lot less conversion before we start to mill out our products.

Eucalyptus also has a great deal of stain applications and one which has a very similar appearance to light oak.  Obviously there is a drastic cost difference and Red Grandis would save our clients a considerable amount of money than having windows manufactured in European oak.

Everyone has a responsibility to make sure the products they are buying are having as little environmental impact as possible, so please check with your timber window suppliers and find out their sources for timber supply.  I would imagine that if buying hardwood you will not be able to match our 100% pure FSC offering.

So if you want the very best – not only for your home, but also for environment – mention this article and ask how we can incorporate Red Grandis into your products.

Read more about Stanbrook & Nicholson’s Environmental Policy here.