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From the Sawmill: May Newsletter from Vastern Timber

Welcome to our May newsletter. We’ve got plenty of news and projects to share with you again this month.

If you’ve wondered why the cost of timber has been rising lately, our MD Tom has the answers for you. Take a look at his new article for the full lowdown.

You can also see two beautiful homes in our case studies, discover why British larch is having a moment, and uncover info on the natural lifespan of tree species.

Plus, you’re invited to take a sneak preview of our next Wood for the Trees film.

Let’s get started.

Five reasons why timber is so expensive right now

A range of factors from covid to trade bans and Brexit, as well as supply chain and environmental issues, have sent timber prices rocketing over recent months. Tom talks about why these factors are having such an impact on timber prices, and what might happen next.

Read the article

CASE STUDY: Camden terrace transformed with Brimstone Sycamore cladding

We love this house. It was given a new lease of life with a renovation and extension, creating a bright and luxurious family home.

Architect Luke Young said: “Sustainability was very important to my client. Choosing locally sourced timber cladding helped ensure lower embodied energy. With Brimstone we also knew exactly where the timber was coming from and its impact on the environment.”

Take a look

The background on Brimstone

Created with nothing but heat, Brimstone is a durable and stable modified wood, made exclusively from locally grown hardwoods.

Species like ash, poplar and sycamore grow relatively quickly (for trees) and can reach maturity in less than 50 years. The great news is, thermal modification can transform this fast-grown timber into an attractive, durable and rot resistant material.

By using British species we’re also increasing the demand for native broadleaf woodlands too. Win. Win.

Get to know Brimstone

British grown larch is flavour of the month

British grown larch is in vogue right now. And with the scarcity and cost of imported timber, you can see why.

Like Siberian larch, British larch is hard and durable. But local timber has no issues with trade bans or sanctions. And unlike imports from thousands of miles away,  locally sourced materials don’t have the carbon costs of transport.

There’s plenty of homegrown larch in stock here, and we’ve got more local larch logs lined up for later this year.

Larch please!

CASE STUDY: British larch lock house

On the subject of British larch, we spoke to the owner of this fabulous larch-clad home on the Kennet and Avon canal. The family have been renovating and extending this historic house over the last few years, as well as running the boat shed (also clad in larch).

Why did they opt for British grown larch? Well, it’s local, available and affordable. And we think it looks pretty good too.

Read the full story

BLOG: Natural Tree Ages

Our favourite silvologist, author Gabriel Hemery has created a compilation of information on natural tree ages.

In response to “an interesting query from a reader” he collated stats into a handy chart, showing the natural lifespan of British trees from the short lived hazel to the ancient oak.

He’s now looking for feedback and robust sources of information about tree ages. Find out more on his blog.

Tell me more

‘Wood for the Trees’ part 12 sneak peek

If you haven’t seen #WoodForTheTrees yet, now’s the time.

The series, created by our MD Tom Barnes and filmmaker Charly Le Marchant, is a collection of short films discussing the future of UK forests. Part 7, on Agroforestry, was shortlisted for The Climates film festival.

These films have had almost 50,000 views on YouTube and thousands more on Facebook and Twitter. Who’d have thought so many people would love conversations about trees!

Part 12 is coming soon (ish), and will feature some specially commissioned animations. The image above is a cheeky peek at the work in progress, and you can watch the whole series so far using the link below

Watch now

So there we have it. Thanks to those who got in touch expressing support for Ukraine and alternatives to Siberian timber. And do let us know your thoughts and feedback. We love hearing from you.

THAT’S ALL FOR NOW!

Contact sales@vastern.co.uk for help from our friendly team to find the right timber for (almost) any project. Call us on 01793 853 281 or email sales@vastern.co.uk

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Find out more at www.vastern.co.uk

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