A different kind of orchard salvage.
When someone says “orchard salvage” in the context of reclaimed wood, your mind is likely to go to something like Walnut trees, too old for nut production and cleared away to make way for younger, more productive trees. And while our parent company, TerraMai, has definitely salvaged some beautiful Walnut in the past in just that scenario, the orchard salvage at TerraMai PDX comes mainly from a very different kind of orchard.
The Acacia wood that creates our furniture has been salvaged from a tree farm in Northern Thailand that raises Acacia for its many uses including the harvesting of bark for medicinal applications and the production of shellac.
Shellac, a naturally derived glossy finish used on wood products and food, is made up of the secretions of the Lac bug — Kerria lacca — which happens to make itself at home in the branches of the Acacia trees. The lac bug burrows in tubes, sucks the sap from the trees, and secretes “sticklac” the basis for shellac.
In harvesting the secretion, the branches are cut from the tree, eventually leaving behind the trunk, which is cleared to make way for the planting of new trees that grow quickly in the humid Thai climate. Those trunks are reclaimed by one of our partners in the region, becoming beautifully crafted furniture with the unique attributes of Acacia — from contrasting hues to live edges.
Stop by after the New Year Holiday when we’ll have a new shipment of furniture in from Thailand and you can see what the onetime home of the Lac bug becomes.