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Art
Snorkeling
Better Health

Copyright 1998

Plantation Teak
Exotic Hardwood
Environmental &
Rain Forest Friendly

Home

Lumber Prices

Monthly Specials

Our Goals

Your Source for Plantation Teak, Mahogany and Tropical Lumber

Art
Snorkeling
Better Health

Copyright 1998

Friendly Forest Products

Visiting a Cedar Plantation

Hans is very proud of the Plantation Cedar he planted. Here he is giving us instruction as to how the bark of a mature Spanish Cedar (cedrela odorata) tree should look

Many of our clients as we do would like to protect the rain forests and leave a legacy of both beauty and bounty for children. We are continually searching for sources of sustain yield lumber. I was fortunate to have visited a Cedar Plantation on my last trip abroad. What a pleasant surprise.

On these forays I never know what to expect. This one began with a short private plane ride into Guatemala. We were going to see some trees (not usually a good sign) and a saw mill. We landed in a small town to clear customs before venturing deep into the interior of the country. These days one never knows what to expect in these marginally stable countries. Although I have many found memories of Guatemala I am always wary. The little military airport became another entertaining experience. The soldiers, customs and drug enforcement all greeted us pleasantly and cordially as we did them. We were waiting for the immigration lady when by phone we learned that if we did not care about a stamp in our passports we could just go rather than be delayed longer. I personally do not collect stamps in my passport. Off we went.

Further into the mountains now we were circling another small town and what looked like a football (soccer) field. OOPS! That's the landing strip. Good thing Jorge is an accomplished pilot. Once again another group of soldiers greeted us and so did our 4X4. The day now was waning so we sought a hotel. In many Latin countries the exterior of a building often hides unexpected treasures. As did this hotel, it was a water park resort complete with slide and an extreme bicycle course. Wow! as the night wore on we got to know each other over a bottle of Johnny Walker Black and had an enjoyable story filled evening.

When traveling I am typically a very early riser and this morning was no exception. I slipped out of our dormitory style room in search of what else, coffee. After all we were in the heart of the Guatemalan coffee growing region and it was my duty to test several cups of cafe con leche. It was excellent! As dawn turned to morning slowly the my companions appeared in the restaurant. A few eggs later we learned Hans was coming to meet us and give us a personal tour of the plantation. My hosts Jorge and Peter joked with each other about this turn of events. You see Hans carved this plantation out of the most inaccessible reaches of these mountains over 50 years ago. Now at 87 he still likes to talk up a storm, but he inter mixes his Spanish, English and German into the same conversation. Good thing I told him I did not speak French.

At 87 years old Hans is still climbing these steep slopes. It is hard to imagine now the hardships and tremendous effort he must have expended 50 some years ago to change the face of this once wild land. Han's, the descendant of Swiss and German parents grew up in Guatemala.
I admire Hans, still climbing the slopes of his 22,000 acre domain smoking a cigarette and chopping bush as he gave us a tour.

One of the many steams we crossed as we traversed the farm to see the Plantation Spanish Cedar. This particular stream we crossed 3 times within 100 feet.
Up and down the the slopes and back and forth across the many streams we went. And just when I thought they had tired we traversed a few more streams. This always happens when people want to show me trees, muddy wet feet.

The Spanish Cedar here (cedrela odorata) for the most part seemed to grow tallest the deeper in the ravens it was planted. The spacing of the trees also affected how tall the tree was before the first branch. As you can see from this view Spanish Cedar does a good job providing shade for the coffee.The cedar was planted some 37 years ago to shade his coffee. The trees varied greatly in diameter and height. The diameter ranged from one foot to three plus feet and the height. from 15 feet to 50 feet to the first branch. I learned something very interesting about cedar from Hans. The bark of the tree actually goes through a transformation from smooth to rough as the tree matures. I could see what examples of what he was describing as we traversed a small part of the farm. The size of the tree did not seem to be the determining factor either. Some one foot diameter trees had a course bark and some two foot diameter trees had a rough bark. I we could only cut some up we could truly verify Hans' theory.
Pepe is trying to give us a perspective as to the immense size of this and many of the Plantation Spanish Cedar trees. He was actually a poor choice to show off the girth of the Cedar. You see Pepe himself is quite big, border on six feet in both height and girth

As a lumber buyer I really like to get to the nitty gritty, logs and saw mills. Peter played a little joke on me as he showed me this saw mill on the the finca. And believe me I have been taken to mills like this as a serious display of ability and commitment to get the job done.

Peter, this broken down saw mill could never cut the large Plantation Spanish Cedar trees you have It was fantastic and encouraging to visit this plantation. We need more long term commitment like this to reduce the pressure on our natural forests and keep us and our businesses supplied with material that will also ensure our survival.

We have Plantation Spanish Cedar (cedrela spp.) for sale!!!!!