For a long time, American hardwoods were considered less desirable than imported hardwoods. Imported hardwoods, also known as exotic woods, were considered to be the pinnacle of hardwood construction. While there are some types of imported hardwood that offer benefits not common to American hardwoods, for the most part, American woods are perfect for every installation. The prestige of imported wood is often simply the price and the rarity. There are benefits to domestic hardwoods.
One of the reasons domestic hardwoods are on the rise again is because consumers and producers both have become more concerned with sustainability. Sustainability is the idea that wood is a renewable resource but it does not replenish naturally as quickly as consumers consume it. Therefore, the company that feels the trees or the one that buys the felled trees must do everything they can to replace the trees as quickly as possible. There are ways to do that.
One such way is for a company to take care not to cut down more trees than they need. In the past, companies would speculate on how much they might need and end up removing far too many trees. Now, they are more conservative with their logging. Also, cutting down certain trees has less of an impact. For example, new trees are often starved of sunlight by the canopies of larger trees. Cutting down one larger tree might allow multiple smaller trees to grow.
Lastly, companies can simply plant new trees to replace the trees they cut down. That is a gesture of goodwill, but it’s also simply a way for them to have a crop in the future.
Another advantage of domestic hardwoods is that they are often less expensive than imported hardwoods. They’re less expensive for several reasons. For one, the United States is simply larger than most other countries and therefore has more forest than most other countries. Also, the shipping is not as onerous to move something through the United States. There are no import or export tariffs or borders to cross. That will reduce the price and the shipping time.
There are certain options, such as black wood, that are not quite as common for domestic woods. However, that does not mean they’re unavailable. The United States has every kind of climate, which means it has a diversity of trees that are unmatched by any imported hardwood from anywhere in the world.