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(P) 1.800.667.2275 (W) www.westwindhardwood.com, www.flooringgallery.ca (E) info@westwindhardwood.com
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april 2009


Forest Facts:
For more than 30 years, the Province of Nova Scotia has donated a giant evergreen each year to the people of Boston in gratitude for their relief assistance following the 1917 Halifax Explosion.

The explosion occurred following a collision in the Halifax Harbour, and part of the city was levelled killing and injuring thousands. The tree is transported to Boston by the Province of Nova Scotia and delivered to the Boston Common where it is erected and decorated with thousands of lights. It is the focal point of the city's annual tree lighting ceremony.
Quote of the Month:

"I have been looking on, this evening, at a merry company of children assembled round that pretty German toy, a Christmas tree. The tree was planted in the middle of a great round table, and towered high above their heads. It was brilliantly lighted by a multitude of little tapers; and everywhere sparkled and glittered with bright objects."

By Charles Dickens -
A Christmas Tree

West Wind Hardwood Newsletter images
West Wind Hardwood Newsletter images
West Wind Hardwood Newsletter images
West Wind Hardwood Newsletter images



We are fortunate to include you in our family and hope that you, your families and your friends are hale and hearty, and enjoy the holiday season.  We thank you for your support in 2009, and look forward to renewing our relationship in the up-coming Olympic Year 0f 2010.

Over the year, we support many organizations including our local colleges and schools, our local Auxiliary Coast Guard Fleet and Boating Clubs.  In support of our global community, this Christmas we are assisting Lenore Clarke’s Grade 7 Class Drive to assist a Sierra Leone.  Further information can be found at their Webpage.

new arrivals
  • 4/4 E. Maple  S+B 5”-5½” wide   $3.25 /bf
  • 4/4 Cherry S+B  $4.50 /bf 
  • 4/4 Cherry Shorts  $3.95 /bf
  • 4/4 Cherry #2 Common   $2.25 /bf
  • 4/4 Red Oak Shorts  $2.50 /bf
  • 4/4 Black Walnut #2 Common  $2.50 /bf
  • 4/4 Birch C-2 VC Domestic   $50.00 /sheet
  • 12mm Baltic Birch   $29.00 /sheet

    Visit our specials Page for more specials


of interest
nic Welcome Nik Olson. Nik is another Parkland Grad of 2009.  He was born on the Peninsula and has lived here his entire life.  If there is a water sport, Nik has tried it.  His interests are skiing, kayaking and scuba diving; he just wishes he had more time to pursue these activities. He is new to the world of wood but we converted Sarah, maybe we'll turn Nik into a passionate woodworker too.


American Black Walnut and Teak Table -
Designed and Built by our very own, Ethan Tarr.

Black walnut is Ethan's current fav wood, however, being environmentally sensitive, he recycled the legs from some
gently used chairs.

teak table detail
teak tableteak tableteak table top

Red Cedar Kayak- Bill Shortreed

In November 2006, I bought 60 x 20' Western Red Cedar strips from you; all cut from the same piece of wood.  In May 2009, I finally finished building a 17' sea kayak from the strips.  It turned out quite nicely, largely due to the high quality of the wood. I have posted photographs my picasa website of the building process. Contact Bill by email.

feature story
The Credentials of Cork
The cork oak is an evergreen species of the oak genus (Quercus). The cork oak (Quercus suber) is native to the Mediterranean region, where most of the world's commercial supply of cork is obtained. It is cultivated elsewhere as an ornamental and has been introduced into warmer regions of the United States because of its economic value. Natural stands of cork oak support diverse ecosystems.  For example, in parts of northwestern Africa, they are home to the endangered primate Barbary Macaque.  This species is commonly referred to as the “Barbary Ape’, although it is a true monkey. cork tree

It was in the second half of the seventeenth century, a French monk named Perignon discovered the special qualities of cork for wine sealing and a new era began for Quercus suber. Cork stoppers meant that wines could be efficiently stored for long periods of time and transported over great distances. This led to the development of the wine industry in a way that otherwise might never have been possible.

In the wild, the cork oak is but one component of the Mediterranean shrub land, sharing space with a multitude of tree species.  For many centuries, these species were used by rural populations primarily as a source of fuel, wood for agricultural tools, and tannins. Large areas of these shrubby forests were cleared for crop and pasture land, and to distance wildlife from human settlements. Fire was the primary means used for carrying out this clearing.  In fact, the thick insulating bark may have evolved as a protection against forest fires.

cork trees

 The tree forms a thick, rugged bark containing high levels of suberin; a fatty substance that is highly impermeable to gases and water (which is why cork is used to stop wine bottles). Over time the cork cambium layer of bark develops considerable thickness and can be harvested every 9 to 12 years. There is a cork layer in all trees but it is not as extensive or valuable as in the cork oak. The harvesting of cork does not harm the tree and a new layer of cork regenerates, making it a renewable resource. The tree is widely cultivated in Spain, Portugal, Algeria, Morocco, France, Italy and Tunisia. Cork Oak forests cover approximately 25,000 square kilometres in those countries. Portugal accounts for 50% of the world cork harvest. Cork Oaks cannot legally be cut down in Portugal, except for forest management felling of old, unproductive trees. 

Cork Oaks live about 150 to 250 years. Male or Virgin cork is the first cork cut from trees that are generally 25 year old. Another 9 to 12 years is required for the second harvest.  Subsequent harvests produce a much smoother and more uniform layer of bark that produces the higher quality cork for wine stoppers.  A tree can be harvested twelve times in its lifetime and is harvested entirely without machinery. As posted on the blog site of Jelinek Cork Group on Thursday, February 19, 2009.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers LCA study commissioned by the Amorim Group shows the carbon dioxide emissions associated with cork closures are significantly lower than the emissions due to aluminum screwcaps and plastic stoppers.

The year-long study found that CO2 emissions — a key factor in global warming — resulting from the life cycle of a screw cap are 24 times higher than those from a natural cork stopper, while a plastic stopper is responsible for 10 times more CO2 than a natural cork.

Along with this study, it is also known that cork forests store carbon thereby reducing green house gases in the atmosphere. Cork trees store carbon to regenerate their bark therefore a harvested tree absorbs more (up to 5 times more) carbon than one that isn't harvested.

The title of World's Largest Cork Tree is given to a tree that lives in Aguas de Moura, the Alentejo region of Portugal. It is known as the Whistler tree for the birds that perch in it. It is more than 45 feet tall, and its trunk has a circumference of nearly 15 feet.  This tree was planted in 1783 (it was 16 years old by the time Abraham Lincoln was born) and was harvested for the first time in 1820. Since then, it’s been harvested every nine years - that's 21 times! In 1991, the harvest yielded about 2,600 pounds of bark.  Its most recent harvest was in 2000 and was scheduled for harvest again this year. The Amorim Group first takes the cork for cork stopper production.  Afterward, the pre-consumer waste is used in manufacturing floor and other products. Cork Oaks are sometimes planted as individual trees, providing a minor income to their owners. Additionally, it has other commercial characteristics, such as insulation against sound and temperature changes, motor gaskets, clothing, insoles of shoes and flooring. Cork flooring is a natural product, hypoallergenic, mildew, moisture, dust and pollen resistant.  It is anti-static and recommended in areas of high computer and electronic use.  It has a low flame spread and is considered safe in hypersensitive areas such daycares and retirement homes.

Interestingly, orchids thrive on cork and cork bark is ideal for mounting orchids and other plants that require epiphytic conditions (moisture and nutrients obtained from the air and rain).  Cork bark is used to emulate the natural surroundings of lizards, snakes, tarantulas and other such creatures as it is completely natural and non-toxic; a popular choice for a terrarium habitat. And since cork floats, the bark works well the artificial watery world of frogs, turtles, newts and other partial swimmers who need an occasional break from swimming.

cork tree There is no doubt that this species plays a key role in Mediterranean economies.  Direct economic benefits from cork management, combined with activities carried out under the auspices of cork production (cropping, grazing, hunting) and the ecological and social roles of the species, put the cork oak in a unique position.
On February 7, 2006 the City of Lodi planted the first of 100 Cork Oak trees in commemorationof its incorporation on December 6, 1906.  This project named “Growing the Next 100 Years” is part of the City’s Centennial celebration. The Cork Oak was chosen due to its association with the wine industry for which Lodi is well known. Cork Oaks have a long life span and those planted in 2006 should still be thriving when Lodi celebrates its bicentennial in 2106.


(P) 1.800.667.2275 (W) www.westwindhardwood.com, www.flooringgallery.ca (E) info@westwindhardwood.com
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