Sapele can be Sustainably Harvested and Verified
One of the main attractions for people who consider choosing Sapele for their construction projects is the issue of sustainability. When a species of wood becomes the hot, new trend (see Part 1), it can have a tendency to get over harvested. Often, in the interest of making money, this type of practice used to lead to the devastation of forests. Species that were once popular became rare or were even completely wiped out. Thanks to modern efforts at sustainability in forestry, as well as governmental enforcement, this doesn’t tend to be as big of a problem as it used to be years ago.
Rather than harvesting wild Sapele in forests, nations like Cote d-Ivoire and Sierra Leone now grow the trees on plantations that are replanted as they are harvested. In areas where native Sapele trees are still being harvested, such as in war-ridden Congo, logging companies are highly regulated. They must use verification systems such as the Timber Legality and Traceability Verification (TLTV) or the Verification of Legal Origin (VLO). These programs seek to clearly document the legal processes through which wood is obtained.
It’s wise to only obtain your wood from a reputable lumber dealer who follows one of these types of Lacey Act-compliant verification plans. Also, since African Mahoganies can tend to arrive at a lumber yard bundled together with a variety of species in one shipment, customers may not be completely sure what type of wood they’re getting. TLTV or VLO verification can help you to ensure that you are, in fact, getting a complete order of nothing but genuine Sapele.
Sapele is Aesthetically Pleasing
Sapele belongs to the African Mahogany family. Since this group is so broad, people who aren’t familiar with Sapele may not readily appreciate it unless they’re informed about its unique charm and beauty as well as its high level of durability and performance. Like true Mahogany, Sapele is of exceptionally high quality in the looks department, with a reddish-brown heartwood hue. It’s popular for use in doors and windows. As far as standing up to the elements, this material does an excellent job withstanding all sorts of adverse weather conditions without rotting. It has a very eye-catching interlocking pattern along the grain that gives the appearance of even striping. It’s an even more striking sight to behold when it’s quartersawn.
Of all the varieties of African Mahogany, Sapele is second to none in its attractiveness, stability, and ability to perform well in the long run. Those in the lumber industry who are familiar with Sapele aren’t a bit surprised to see it continue to grow in notoriety. If you do choose to go with this wonderful choice for your next construction project, always go with a dealer who works with responsible and professional mills who understand how to properly dry, prepare, and ship the materials. The more attention you pay to the quality of materials you order, the greater the likelihood that dependable suppliers will stay in business and unscrupulous dealers and mills will be forced to shut down their shoddy operations. Also, make sure to verify both the species and the sustainability of your order. Ensuring responsible forestry practices will help make sure that future generations will also be able to enjoy the beauty and durability of Sapele for years to come.
J. Gibson McIlvain Company
As an active supporter of sustainable lumber practices, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company (www.mcilvain.com) has provided fine lumber for notable projects throughout the world, including the Supreme Court, the White House, Capitol building, celebrity homes, luxury boats, and the Smithsonian museums. For more information on J. Gibson McIlvain’s lumber products and services, call toll free (800) 638-9100 Monday through Friday to speak with one of their representatives.