Madison, Wisc. – Madison-based mass timber building products fabricator WholeTrees Structures is joining forces with Port Blakely, a Pacific Northwest, family-owned renewable forest products company, to provide sustainable structural mass timber products with verifiable traceability to Port Blakely’s certified carbon forest. Together, their vision is to provide the design and construction industry with innovative wood building products that also contribute significantly to climate change mitigation.
WholeTrees Structures and Port Blakely will market Structural Round Timber (SRT) and Sawn Heavy Timber sourced from Port Blakely’s certified carbon forest and other sustainably managed forest lands for use in commercial, residential, and recreational structures nationwide.
Port Blakely’s 10,000-acre Winston Creek Carbon Forest is the Pacific Northwest’s largest privately-owned carbon forest project to participate in the voluntary carbon market. Certified by the American Carbon Registry, Port Blakely manages Winston Creek on a 60 year or more rotation, up to 25 years longer than the industry norm. This generates additional carbon sequestration, resulting in carbon credits that Port Blakely offers on the voluntary carbon market. Additionally, the longer rotation yields trees that are much larger and of higher quality than is typical and it provides ecosystem benefits including greater biodiversity, improved habitat for fish and wildlife, and cleaner water.
“Stewardship is at our company’s core and we’re excited to expand the impact of our Winston Creek Carbon Forest by partnering with WholeTrees to introduce new premium timber products to a growing market,” said Mike Warjone, president of Port Blakely US Forestry. “While all wood products have intrinsic carbon benefit, our long-term view and forest management practices result in more beautiful, higher quality structural timber products, and the added benefit is that the forest sequesters significantly more carbon, making it a perfect natural carbon solution.”
WholeTrees Structures is a sustainability-driven Certified B Corporation with expertise in using origin stories to build markets for niche wood products, such as Structural Round Timber. The driving force behind WholeTrees has always been its founders’ desire to build prosperity between communities and forests by scaling the innate structure of the tree into high value construction markets.
“The Port Blakely origin story is a perfect fit for WholeTrees and really resonates with me personally,” explained WholeTrees co-founder and CEO Amelia Baxter. “We work with architects and builders who are looking for products that are not only high functioning, but also have a strong sustainability story to tell in and of themselves.”
According to Baxter, mass timber’s influence on the built environment continues to grow in North America, largely because its advocates in the AEC community pair mass timber’s persuasive carbon sequestration story with the positive impacts of these new markets on the forest ecosystems and economies that produce the products. In the case of Port Blakely, those impacts stem from the additive net carbon sequestration that results from longer rotations and the long-term carbon storage solution offered by modern buildings. As the AEC community gains a deeper understanding of how its procurement decisions can influence forest management practices, it has begun seeking products with “origin stories” that align well with their own priorities around issues such as sustainability and climate change.
“The trend toward increased supply chain traceability gives us confidence that there is an untapped market for structural wood products that can be produced at scale while also being traceable to a certified carbon forest,” Baxter stated. “We expect this joint initiative will demonstrate this market exists, that it’s growing and that companies like Port Blakely can realize added value for the products that result from their exceptional forest management practices.”
“Our goal,” echoed Warjone, “is to produce a beautiful, sustainable product and to create a blueprint other landowners can follow, showing them that improved forest management, enhanced carbon sequestration, and profitability are not mutually exclusive.”
Stacey Krum, Port Blakely - firstname.lastname@example.org, 206-621-3269
Timm Locke, WholeTrees Structures - email@example.com, 503-806-4831
About the partnership
The Whole Trees/Port Blakely initiative is focused on developing markets for Structural Round Timber and Sawn Heavy Timber products derived primarily from Douglas fir sourced from the Winston Creek Carbon Forest. WholeTrees and Port Blakely will work together to help project teams understand the products and their capabilities, how they contribute to the effort to mitigate climate change, and the role project teams can have in encouraging exceptional forest management by specifying those products.
About the products
Structural Round Timber (SRT) and Sawn Heavy Timber are the original mass timber products. For thousands of years humans used them to build the world’s biggest and tallest structures. In its natural form, SRT is 50% stronger than sawn lumber of similar size. Unlike glulam and CLT, both Sawn Heavy Timber and SRT require minimal processing and do not require adhesives, resulting in a better carbon footprint due to lower embodied energy and reduced waste during processing. Their shortened supply chains make it much easier for these products to carry verifiable traceability directly back to the forestland where the trees to make them were grown. SRT and Sawn Heavy Timber compete well with engineered products such as glulam on both price and structural capability. Both can be fabricated to order in specific sizes and delivered directly to the job site.
About Port Blakely
Port Blakely grows and markets renewable forest products around the globe, owning and managing sustainable working forests in Washington, Oregon, and New Zealand. A 150+-year-old family-owned company whose forestry roots run five generations deep in the Pacific Northwest, they work to advance the ideals and best practices of good stewardship – for their business, their communities, and the environment – to help cultivate a healthy world.
About WholeTrees Structures
WholeTrees is a rapidly growing, innovative building products service provider and fabricator with 15 years of experience selling SRT into North American construction markets. WholeTrees is adept at both product development and market development and is widely recognized as the SRT industry leader in North America. WholeTrees’ success to date derives from its ability to identify markets and the likely early adopters within market classes, and to create and distribute the tools— both technical and narrative – needed for those markets to embrace its products. At the core of WholeTrees business culture is a strong ethos toward sustainability and a desire to support forest restoration and other forms of sustainable forest management.