From Seed to the Mighty Oak & Beyond
Seeds from trees are carried and dropped to the ground by birds, chipmunks, squirrels, and the wind. The seed settles in the foliage, germinates, and begins to grow. If not stunted by the shade of taller trees or eaten by animals, the tree will grow and thrive. Some Oaks have been known to live up to 300 or more years old. Once the tree is cut down, the rings can be counted from the inside of the bark to the center of the tree to determine how old the tree is. The growth rings can also predict each particular year of growth. A narrow ring indicates that the tree did not have enough water that year, and a wide ring indicates that the tree had a wet year. The wider the ring, the better the growing season for the tree.
Once the tree is cut down, the process begins of getting the tree out of the woods or yard and hauling it to the mill where it is sawed into lumber or slabs depending on the log. The wood is then stickered for the process of air drying. Once it has air-dried for two to three months, it can then be placed in the kiln for an additional two to three months for additional drying. Finally, the wood is removed from the kiln, planed, and sanded. The process is now complete, and the wood can be made into a finished product. The wood slabs or lumber can now be used for such things as tables, countertops, crafts, benches, flooring, and paneling.