Ever since Whippletree was established as a business, environmental issues have been at the top of the agenda in the development of our business. This interest stemmed from the personal fascination with nature and of the English countryside by Hugh Smart the founding owner.
It’s an interesting fact that good forestry practices encourage general biodiversity and in doing so, make good use of one of our most valuable natural resources. If a tree is left to become over mature, it starts to die back, the stem becomes ‘stained’ rotting from the middle outwards. Although some species benefit and live on decomposing timber, it is in the general interest of the woodland, that the tree is felled and utilised at the correct time.
In time, the fresh woodland vegetation can thrive to support more biodiversity. It is essential that we are responsible and make good use of this beautiful natural resource which will then guarantee centuries of progression as we can witness in the heritage of our historic buildings.
Whippletree insist on purchasing trees at stump from a guaranteed origin which have an official Forestry Commission felling licence. The conditions of the licence ensure that re-planting, establishment and maintenance conditions are all met. Each tree is tagged with a unique reference number in the forest, which stays with each section that is subsequently cut from the log until it is delivered as a final product. This means the product can be supplied with a traceability certificate and sometimes even photos of the woodland from whence it came. This information and identification remains with the timber at every point in the production cycle from stump to finish product.
Each log is graded and sawn depending on it’s characteristics and then traditionally seasoned to 18-20% moisture content over a period of 5-7 years to greatly reduce any need for the kiln drying. The process takes place in our stock yards for a minimum of one year per inch of thickness of the timber. Once fully seasoned the graded boards can be kiln dried in our heat vent kilns fired by biomass utilising the Oak sawdust and chipping waste, to bring your project to the perfect moisture content. Further shaping and machining will produce your exact needs of beams, planks, boards, weatherboarding and of course in many cases, go on to become our well respected range of either solid or engineered English Oak flooring.
Whippletree care for the environment and we care for our customers with good old fashioned pride in our history, our product and our service.
Started by Hugh Smart in 1987 who came from a background of working with timber and forestry, the business moved to the current site in 1994 which has since grown from the original half acre site, to a carefully developed facility now covering over six acres. Whilst many others were taking out their sawmills and trading in European Oak, Whippletree took the decision to continue in the home grown market offering full traceability from stump to project.
This is our history and our heritage, one based in Oak and in particular, English Oak. We are proud of our heritage and traditions and in these days where commercialism rules most industries, Whippletree stand as testimony to the ability to work responsibly and honourably with nature and to protect and respect the future for the generations that will follow us.