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WHY SO BLUE, BLUE PINE?

JOURNAL

June 30, 2017

Salvage Works loves to bring in Blue Pine, a true Pacific Northwest specialty, to create lovely shelves for many applications. The unusual cool gray and blue tones of the wood make it an ideal addition to contemporary build outs: open kitchens, light and airy offices and hip coffee shops. Because Blue Pine is harvested from snag (dead standing) trees, each piece is distinct and has varying degrees of blue and gray as well as beetle texture. We build our shelves with an average depth of 12”, keeping the live edge to enhance the organic look of the material.

Sustainably harvested by a local sawyer, Blue Pine is material we are proud to offer to our customers. Our sawyer lives and works near Goldendale, Washington.  He culls snag from his own property as well as from his neighbors’. He cuts the old fashioned way, with hand power tools rather than large machinery, reducing habitat disruption and erosion. Blue Pine cut by hand has no “chatter” marks on the wood, often made by larger machinery.

Blue Pine is the name given to Ponderosa and Lodgepole Pine that are killed by the mountain pine beetle. The beetle is a native the Northwest and usually lays its eggs in the bark of fallen trees. In the past, winter cold has keep the beetle population in check. With rising winter temperatures, the beetle population has been growing. With not enough fallen trees for them, they now lay their eggs in the bark of live trees.  

The beetle carries a fungus that infests the trees, blocking the flow of nutrients to the tree, eventually killing it. The end result is large swaths of standing dead trees increasing the chances of wildfires. Harvesting the trees helps in fire suppression and gives woodworkers a unique opportunity to turn something tragic into something beautiful. It’s the silver lining of a dark cloud, lemonade from lemons, and one small way we are able to do what we can in an ever changing climate.

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