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They Found A Strong Market For Birch Bark
You can panel a wall, make a lampshade or turn plain wood columns into birch logs with birch bark sheets from Long View Forest. The company harvests birch bark from standing trees in New England and sells it by the sheet. They harvest about 10,000 sq. ft. of bark each year. However, only one in 10 trees meets their quality standards.
  “It’s used by rustic furniture makers, interior designers, and others to add a birch look,” says Logan Sears, Long View Forest.
  The company peels bark from standing trees, mostly in Vermont and New Hampshire, but will travel to Maine, New York and beyond for the right site. Harvest takes place mainly in June and July with harvesters climbing trees using spikes. The bark is scored, and sheets are peeled free and pressed between sheets of cardboard for storage.
  “Most trees die within a year or two of being peeled,” says Sears. “Sellers are planning to harvest the tree for firewood, or a company is planning to log out the trees. The birch bark is a byproduct.”
  Sheets of bark average 30 by 34 in. or about 7 sq. ft. in size. They are sold by the square foot with appropriate price breaks for quantities, though Sears warns that prices can vary by season. Shipping is extra. Orders for less than 100 sq. ft. currently sell for $10.70/sq. ft. Orders of 100 to 199 sq. ft. fall to $5.35/sq. ft., while quantities of 3,000 sq. ft. or more are priced at $4.80/sq. ft.
  Forest owners in the Northeast can contact Sears if they have birch trees for sale.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Logan Sears, Long View Forest, Inc., 48 Picz Rd., Westminster, Vt. 05158 (ph 802 428-4050; ext. 104; lsears@longviewforest.com; www.birchbarkvt.com).

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #4