Antique Heart Pine: The Story
When the North American continent saw its first foreign settlers, it was covered in rich, dense forests that had been growing for hundreds of years. The southern United States were no different: before the 1700's, the south was home to somewhere between 60-90 million acres of long leaf pine forest. Growing for centuries, these trees had stood the test of time: producing 1 inch of growth every 30 years. Standing at up to 150 feet tall, these trees only reached maturity after 400-500 years! Because the forests were so dense, each tree had to vie for water and sun, forming incredibly tight growth rings at the center of the tree. These ideal conditions created a rich landscape of what would soon become the American builder's favorite wood: first growth heart pine.
Immediately admired for its strength, density and beauty, first growth Heart Pine was used for ship building, log cabins, framing and flooring. Heart Pine was logged heavily in the early 18th and 19th century, becoming the bones for Victorian homes, hotels, palaces, ships, factories, bridges, warehouses, rail road depots and wharves. By the turn of the 20th century, the vast virgin forests of America's favorite wood had been nearly depleted: due to extensive logging and lack of replanting, only about 10,000 acres remain of the first growth longleaf Pine forests. Luckily, those remaining pockets of forest are protected from logging; capping the supply of true heart pine.
What's left of the great first growth heart pine forests is history itself: the structural bones of early textile mills, warehouses, factories and barns. Woodstock aims to save these historical remnants from demolition and reclaim their materials, letting America's favorite wood see another several centuries of use.
At Woodstock Vintage Lumber, we specialize in reclaimed antique lumber from the TN region. While we have access to rare species including sycamore, sweet gum, ash, chestnut, beech, river birch, cherry and walnut, we specialize in 3 of the best: antique heart pine, poplar, and oak.