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Growing Success: The Journey from Reforestation to Fine Teak Furniture

How young can the teak be?   How soon do you get wood out of reforestation projects?

Before my four children were born I was very proud of our trees.  Now the kids (not so small any more) are what make me the most proud.

Kids and trees are very similar—if you treat them right, provide them direction and support (we call this pruning and thinning in silvics=silviculture or the care and maintenance of trees) then they grow straight and true.

No more about the kids—they are doing fine on their own.

At year six or seven we get some decent sized thinnings around 8 inches in diameter that make really good posts.nBut the higher quality teak should be at least 25 years to use in fine furniture, yachts, and other exterior applications such as decking.

Of course we have a lot of trees that are older than 25 years as we started our business more than 30 years ago in 1992.   And there were a lot of teak plantations (I don’t like that word as it has a lot of negative connotations—best to refer to these projects as reforestation projects as we plant old cattle farms with trees) already established on these farms.   Some were large plots of trees larger than 10 hectares = 25 acres.  Others were old fence lines (be careful of the barbed wire and horseshoe nails!).

kevin yardley climbing a diamond teak tree
Climbing a young teak tree

Teak is an industrial application wood that helps prevent rusting in hardware in contact with the wood.  The teak has natural oil and silica.   Like many things, there are a lot of rumors and misinformation about teak.  True teak has the scientific or latin name TECTONA GRANDIS.  African teak/afromosia and cumaru/Brazilian teak are NOT real teak.   If somebody tells you they have a car that is as valuable, reliable, fast, etc. as a Mercedes but then they show up with a XYZ emblem on the hood, pay for that brand NOT the Mercedes.

With 25 year old teak there is a switch that goes off, almost like a light, where  you know by the properties that it is ready for making our fine furniture (we like to tell people that if you are not impressed by  then don’t call us back).

We work with the best companies and designers and make lots of custom pieces.  We have helped thousands of people fix their boats.  We did the Cutty Sark teak decking for the London Olympics as well as Lord Nelson’s flagship the Victory.  When the gentleman installing the teak in the Cutty Sark asked Simon, the fellow from C. Leary/Timbmet why they were in Costa Rica to source this 40 foot long teak decking, the reply was:   “Diamond Teak will get it right the first time!).  The installer was also building the Shard (tallest building in Europe at this time) while the other fellow who came to check out our quality was the builder of Wembley Stadium/Trustee of the Cutty Sark. We like to tell people, you will buy from us now.  Or you will buy from us later. You will buy from us as no one else has the same high quality, SUSTAINABLE, FSC certified woods with chain of custody.  These are legal to import/export every in the world.  More about that later in a CITES blog. 

Have a great day and a better night! -Kevin

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