Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Reader Writes

Posted By on Wed, May 21, 2008 at 1:40 PM

Last week we received the following letter from a reader -- or Googler, more likely -- in Waipawa, New Zealand.

I have about 20 redwoods about 70 yr old and have just felled one to use the timber, but I am a bit ignorant of its qualities and how it should be milled, stored or dried. I see that some consider that it needs to be 90 years before it develops its decay resistant properties. I would like to use the timber for garage door and garden furniture (outside exposure) and possibly for a renovated kitchen! Would appreciate any hints by e-mail.

New Zealand, if you didn't know, is positively bristling with imported redwoods. What the eucalyptus is to California, the redwood is to New Zealand.

Waipawa, we see, is about a four-hour drive from the famous Rotorua Redwoods , which were planted in 1901. Back in 2005, our Jim Hight wrote about a plan to grow the tree commercially in the country . The firm involved is now called The New Zealand Redwood Company , a subsidiary of California's Soper-Wheeler Co., and they've now got over 1,700 hectares of redwoods planted and awaiting harvest. Which could be pretty impressive, depending on how big a hectare is. I have no idea.

But while those trees are growing, do you have any advice for our Kiwi friend? They gave us Flight of the Conchords, so we owe them something. Something more than our trees, I mean. Like, what the hell to do with them once they've been felled.

Picture: Redwood Forest, Rotorua by David Wall .

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