Wood for casks
While talking about cask wood, let´s say wood to produce oak vessels and barrels we talk in general about oak of premium quality, grown straight, if possible strong in diameter and without any knots.
The tree giants
Here they are lying, tree giants, on premium tree yards in the middle of the forest of Palatinate. Trees cutted into logs which have been selected in advance and have been harvested after the fall.
Transported on the yard, cataloged very accurate and placed in rows, all that looks a bit spooky, anyway a place which demands humbleness. At least these trees have been planted or generated in the decades of Napoleon, almost 200 years in the past. True witnesses of an eventful history in Europe and Germany.
These logs cause always a huge reference to me.
My colleagues from French sawing mills and homeland veneer industry are my strongest competitors while bidding for the oak.
Yes, everybody who ´s interested in one or several of these oak logs has to announce this at the authorities of Landesforsten while getting a catalog listing all available oak logs which are part of the auction. Inbetween four weeks you have to rate the logs your are interested in and send back the list.
To me that means many days which I spend in the forest, a nice and silent period in the year without any connection to your smartphone and daily working stress. But in the same time also tensioned as you want to buy the best logs not knowing what your competitors offer.
I ´m looking for fine grain logs with tight annual rings which means a long time growing and as we produce staves of around three meters length, also without knots.
Not easy as the logs are in their bark and despite a long training and experience you cannot see always what´s going on under this grey to red coloured coat.
So very often you bid blind in price and quantity (I always prefer a bit more as a bit less), as without any success in the bidding my sawing mill is without any wood in the following months and the cooperage after the longterm aging processs of staves without raw material in a couple of years.
From time to time I cannot resist in bidding on some very special tree logs like an American oak tree in the forest of Palatinate, or a special grown beech tree – we called it truffle beech or a mountain maple.
I ´ve bidden and got these trees, happy to produce after drying them in a couple of years some very nice furniture or desks in my carpenter shop.
It´s always fantastic to see how mother nature is spoiling us, while producing fancy spirit barrels, among others from mulberry -, cherry-, plum-, ashtrees and other species all grown in homeland forests, harvested and offered on these market places.
Finally it´s very important for me to point out that we only buy logs and trees from certified and sustainable forest management organizations. I understand this as a matter of course and dream about sustainable trees in 200 years away survived the change of climate and economic hunger of mankind.