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Macrodendron dicterium fictus “vulnerable” according to IUCN

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has officially downgraded the status of Macrodendron dicterium fictus (sold under the trade name MDF) from “near threatened” to “vulnerable” placing the sub-species firmly in the “threatened” category for the first time. Since the 1980’s, when the material first became widely available on the market, M. dicterium has commonly been used for a variety of second fix applications such as skirting and architrave because of its stability, hard finish and ease of painting. In recent years extensive harvesting to feed the growing demand for commodity timber has pushed the species, once thought an almost inexhaustible resource, to the point where it has become increasingly rare in the wild.

Whilst attempts have been made to grow it as a plantation crop, M. dicterium has never been successfully cultivated in quantity, as political instability, corruption and competition for land with farmers and herders stifles the development of arboriculture in East Africa, the species’ natural range. It is hoped that the change in status, as well as a proposed listing on the CITES appendix III register, will lead to renewed efforts to successfully cultivate the species for commercial use. Failing this, stocks of MDF will become scarcer as conservation efforts curtail the harvesting of the timber and the price of common products using the material are likely to rise exponentially in the face of increasing demand and dwindling supply.

Whilst related species in the family Ersatzia are not under the same pressure, the subspecies Octoquatuor sylvestris borealis, commonly referred to in the trade as OSB, has shown signs of stress recently as a result of increased demand.


Walnut Processing at Horizon Mills

Friday, April 17, 2015

At Thorogood Timber we believe that to get the best products you need to go to the best sources, so we only deal with producers that appreciate our exacting criteria and share our commitment to delivering quality. This means maintaining close, long-standing relationships with suppliers and our buyers regularly visit our select group of carefully chosen mills to learn more about new stock and see the processes used in production. Shot during a recent trip to Horizon Wood Products’ mill in North Western Pennsylvania, this video shows the way that American black walnut logs are processed into “through-and-through” boards for wide furniture stock. Our own “premium” American black walnut and cherry are cut in the same way; the process beginning when Horizon chooses the very best logs, which are then steamed before being carefully kilned and inspected. The laser guided process and complex machinery used means that the best possible yield is achieved from each felled tree, with the result being beautiful timber ready to produce stunning worktops, floors and mouldings.

Watch the video here; American black walnut