Monday, September 24, 2007

Ceder Fever

Here in Central TX, Ceder trees grow everywhere. Some consider them to be invasive, since they are not native to the area. They are known to horde water even. Yet, they continue to multiply. They are very beautiful trees and happen to make excellent wood for building. In setting up for the Texas Natural Building Colloquium, taking place in Kerrville TX, we spent a few days harvesting Cedar Trees from a neighbor's ranch. Harvesting Cedar Trees in Central TX is guilt free. Using mostly human power, we carefully and considerately plucked our trees from an overgrowth, leaving only small gaps where extra sun rays can peek through to help grow smaller trees whose size have been hindered by the shadows of their neighbors. This practice is much preferrable to clear cutting, the industrial standard of quickly capitalizing on lumber with no consideration of the long term effects. They maximize their profits and minimize expenses by taking ALL trees in an area while leaving the earth below to regress quickly into a desert scape that then loses its ability to hold water and plantlife.

When Cedar Trees are stripped of their bark, what is left is a very unique beautiful and smooth custard colored wood, which Erin the volunteer coordinator refers to as the wood used in Texas country porches. The bark can only easily be stripped within 24 hours of harvesting the tree. After that, as the water dries out of the tree, the bark sticks to the wood like glue.

Getting a few friends together and finding a rancher who wants an overgrowth of trees cleared can get you some of the highest quality wood available for free, with minimal impact to the land.

No comments: