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  • Claudia Johnson

Unseen Benefits of The Sawmill Process

If you’ve read our post of the applications for the hardwood produced by GF Hardwoods, you’ll realize that we have a lot of byproducts resulting from the milling process. Some people think we might be wasteful, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth. Virtually every part of the tree is used in some form or fashion.

Let’s start off in the log woods. When a tree is cut down it opens up an area in the canopy so new growth can thrive. This undergrowth is vital for many species of wildlife to feed, nest, and take cover in. Deer use this new growth as browse in the winter months because it is more palatable and easier to access. The tree tops left behind make great nesting habitats for birds, reptiles, and many mammals. They also provide great cover for wildlife to block some of the winter winds off of them. The new growth will also make the entire forest more diverse which is better for the whole ecology.

When the logs arrive at the sawmill another non wasteful process begins. First the logs are debarked. The bark that is removed is sent over to one of our sister companies Barky Beaver. They turn the removed bark into mulch and potting soil mixes. When the log is sawed the left over slabs are run through a chipper. This machine turns the slabs into wood chips. The chips are also used by Barky Beaver to make playground surfacing (Beaver Chips) and bedding for livestock. The chips are also sold to paper mills, which turn them into paper that we use every day.

Another byproduct that we utilize here on our work campus is the dust that collects when the logs are sawed. We have dust chains under the saws and edgers to collect the dust. We use the dust at GF Hardwoods and Honest Abe Log Homes to burn in the dry kilns for fuel. This process saves us money and also saves other resources from being used in the process. This is a much cleaner burning fuel than say oil for example, that would pollute the atmosphere and the environment. If we have any extra dust throughout the year some farmers us it as bedding for their animals also.

The bread and butter of our operation at Moss Sawmill and GF Hardwoods is of coarse the lumber and cants, but the other products like the bark are crucial to Barky Beaver. And without the dust GF Hardwoods and Honest Abe would have to rely on an alternative fuel source. There is a lot of unseen products and benefits that come with the logging and sawmill operations that most people don’t realize. If you ever wondered where mulch or paper comes from, I hope now you know.

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