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- History of Heart Pine -


Southern Longleaf yellow pine, pitch pine or old growth pine are other names for the very popular Heart Pine. From flooring to furniture and cabinetry, many people across the country are rediscovering the natural beauty of Heart Pine.  Given the name because of the high content of heart wood, Heart Pine is different from other pines because of the tight  growth ring pattern and its unique red - amber color.

 

The history of heart pine begins  in the south where virgin forests of Longleaf Pine covered nearly 70 million acres of the southeastern coastal plain of the United States.  

 

Averaging 150 miles in width, these majestic forests ran from Virginia to central Florida, and westward along the gulf coast as far west as Texas. Many of these trees reached to heights of 175 feet and took from 150 - 400 years to mature.

 

Because of its unique beauty and strength, Heart Pine was used in public buildings, private homes and  plantations.  Most early homes in the South used Heart Pine for flooring, furniture and cabinetry.  Because of the tremendous structural strength of Heart Pine, it was used extensively in larger construction as well. 

From the large industrial buildings in Chicago to Boston and the textile mills through out the South, Heart Pine played a key role in building the Industrial Revolution.  By the turn of the century virtually all of this Heart Pine had been harvested and used in the building of factories and warehouses throughout America.  

 

Early logging of Longleaf Pine was done by horses.

 

Horses moved the logs to common areas where they were put on rail cars to be sent to the saw mills.

 

When available, logs were transported to the mills via rivers.

Due to the wood shortages in Europe, large quantities of fine Heart Pine timbers were also exported during the 19th century.  All this lead to the end of the vast forest lands of Longleaf pine and today only about five percent of the original Longleaf Pine forest remains.   The tree's slow growth cycle and limited availability make it very difficult to obtain "new" Heart Pine.   Even when available, the "new" Heart Pine products do not have the same beauty, color and history as the true Antique Heart Pine products do.

Heart Pine is a very limited resource and the best way to obtain this wood is through our recycling process.  Here at Appalachian Woods our source for Heart Pine is massive timbers that we buy from demolition companies.    We take these timbers and completely remove all hardware through our meticulous metal detecting system.  Then the timbers are re-sawn, on a thin kurf band mill to minimize sawdust waste, into dimensional lumber.  From here we select the best boards to be used for flooring or cabinetry lumber.  Through this  process we are able to bring the past back to life in the beauty of Heart Pine. 

We at Appalachian Woods are dedicated to providing architects, millwork shops, flooring contractors and home owners with a fine grade of recycled Antique Heart Pine materials.   This is an opportunity to own a piece of the past that will only increase in value as the Heart Pine becomes more rare. 

Discover what many of our satisfied customers all ready have:  the rare elegance and beauty of Antique Heart Pine flooring.


Home: Plank Flooring: Antique Heart Pine: History


All flooring is priced unfinished. For finishing options please contact our sales department.

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