Vastern Timber Press Releases

From the Sawmill: April Newsletter from Vastern Timber

This month we’ve news of the Tree of the Year, and how the situation in Ukraine impacts timber stocks in the UK. We have an update on our remaining stock of Siberian Larch, and some homegrown alternatives. We look at how engineered flooring could be affected, and showcase a beautiful oak flooring project in a Cotswolds cottage. We have grants available to help people who are helping our woodlands. And last, but not least, we explore the science that tells us why ‘forests are cool’.

Polish oak wins ‘European Tree of the Year,’ symbolising support for the Ukraine

It’s official! The European Tree of the Year 2022 is a 400-year-old oak in the Bialowieza Forest in Poland. It’s a beauty. Organisers say this winner “symbolises Poland’s resistance to aggression and its warm welcome to Ukrainian refugees.”

Siberian Larch cladding – stock update

Our stock of Siberian timber is starting to run low, and in line with the Timber Trade Federation’s advice to avoid conflict timber, we’re not planning on restocking. Last year, less than 4% of the timber we sold was Siberian larch, and we’ve got plenty of excellent homegrown alternatives on offer.

British-grown larch is a great replacement. Yes, it’s a different species but it’s hard, durable and graded to the same qualities as the Siberian version. Even better, it has no issues with trade bans or sanctions!

Find out more about British grown larch

Engineered oak flooring rises in price

Another sign of how events can affect our globalised supply chain is the rapidly increasing price of engineered oak flooring.

The best quality flooring is made using birch ply with an oak top layer. Most of the world’s supply of high quality birch plywood is made in Russia and Belarus, while a significant
volume of oak originates from Ukraine.

This means we can expect engineered oak flooring to become more scarce – and more expensive over the coming months.

Are you considering oak flooring for your home? If so, it’s worth considering solid oak as an
option. It’s now cheaper and more easily available.

CASE STUDY: Oak flooring in a cosy Cotswold Cottage

Installing quality wooden flooring is a substantial investment, but it offers spectacular results.
This cosy farmhouse was refurbished to an exceptional standard with oak floors and fittings, creating an elegant and robust family home. We supplied both solid English oak flooring and prefinished engineered oak flooring, as well as moulded timbers for the finishing touches. Take a look at oak flooring in a cosy cottage

We produce solid hardwood flooring from locally sourced timbers at our Wootton Bassett sawmill. Of course, oak is always a popular choice, but if you’re looking for a locally-grown alternative, ash and elm also fit the bill.

Our lead times for flooring are usually around four weeks, and we have experts on hand to help you choose the right timber for your home. Find out more.

Helping those helping our woodlands

Last month we announced our pledge to put 1% of our turnover towards helping our local woodlands. If you’re an organisation that’s using innovative approaches to improve woodland, you could access one of our grants between £5,000 and £10,000.

Find out more about applying for a grant.

Forests ARE cool – according to the latest research

We always knew trees were vital for our planet, but recent research shows that the world’s forests play a far greater role in tackling the climate crisis than we first thought. A study published in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change shows that forests are critical for mitigation and adaptation. They cool the air and protect us from droughts, extreme heat and floods caused by the climate breakdown.

The science behind forest cooling is complex, but it comes down to biophysical effects such as the aspect of the trees’ wood, leaves and density.

With all these important traits, taking care of our forests is vital. Michael Coe, the tropics program director at the Woodwell Climate Research Center and a study co-author, said: “Without the forest cover we have now, the planet would be hotter and the weather more extreme. Forests provide defence against the worst-case global warming scenarios.” Find out more about the carbon cooling effect.


Contact [email protected] for help from our friendly team to find the right timber for (almost) any project. Call us on 01793 853 281 or email [email protected]


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