From Trees – Honoring the Wood We Use

Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.  ― Franklin D. Roosevelt


A beautiful, healthy Tamarack still looks over the Desert Rain Compound.

Similar to understanding where our food comes from, understanding where the wood we use comes from is important to the entire Desert Rain process.  From the very beginning of this project, Barb and Tom have given a great deal of thought to the trees on the property, those recently harvested elsewhere (FSC only), and those harvested long ago who still offer immense value.  From the reclaimed lumber of previously existing houses on site and the memorial ponderosa, to the tamarack now being milled for Desert Lookout, Barb and Tom are mindful about the trees involved.

Memorial Ponderosa Plaque

The Memorial Ponderosa Plaque welcomes guests in the entry of Desert Rain.

When the large , 201 year old ponderosa on the property had to be taken down, Barb, Tom, friends, and volunteers planted 201 ponderosa saplings in Shevlin Park on the westside of Bend. They further memorialized the beautiful tree with a memorial plaque, created by Bill Sturm of Oregon Timberworks, and with a new tree planted inside the old ponderosa’s stump.

The nation behaves well if it treats its natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value. ― Theodore Roosevelt

Tamarack Stair Treads

Pieces of Tamarack ready to be made into stair treads for Desert Lookout.

And now, wood from another, smaller Tamarack is being milled for use on site.  The tree had to be taken down, but rather than having it chopped it up for firewood or having it hauled off like yard debris, the beautifully grained wood will continue to be a part of the Desert Rain compound.  The team from Versatile Carpentry has just finished installing the Tamarack stair treads in Desert Lookout. They will be an elegant connection to this place for many, many years to come.

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