In 1700 a vast, virgin forest of Southern longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Pinaceae) stretched from Virginia to Texas, and the supply of this prized timber seemed limitless. Two hundred years and an Industrial Revolution later, virtually none remains.
Highly sought after since colonial days for its natural strength and beauty, straight form, and inherent resistance to decay, these trees were felled for construction of barns, mills, and warehouses in the emerging South of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In colonial times, "the choicest stands of longleaf pine were set aside by the English Crown for the exclusive use of the British Navy." (Harrar, E. S., and J. G. Harrar. Guide to Southern Trees. Dover Press, New York, New York. 1962.)
In today's technological age, these buildings have outlived their usefulness. Their impending demolition to make room for the growth of the new South affords today's homebuilder a unique opportunity to recover this prized wood.
A longleaf pine must attain an extreme age before it begins to produce the characteristics of heart pine within its wood. Upon germination, a longleaf pine may remain virtually dormant above ground, the so-called "grass stage," for up to seven years before beginning its vertical growth. Over the next several hundred years, the longleaf pine will reach a height of approximately 100 feet and create the heartwood for which it is so famous. The time required to reach this level of maturity assures that true heart pine will never again be commercially grown. It is, therefore, a non-renewable resource of extreme value.
At Legacy Wood Products, we are committed to offering you this historic heart pine custom-cut to your specifications. Our mill operates state-of-the-art equipment that matches the production tolerances of anyone in the industry. Beams and decking from dismantled buildings are re-milled to satisfy your dreams for custom flooring and all other applications - from stair treads, to mantels, to architectural beams, and moldings.
Please note that all of Legacy Wood Products' raw materials are reclaimed from buildings. Some heart pine mills utilize pine logs reclaimed from lakes and rivers. Manufacturing heart pine products from water-reclaimed logs presents special challenges, and there are a number of firms capable of meeting those challenges. At Legacy Wood Products, however, we have decided that our best opportunity for satisfying your expectations for your dream home lies in the beams, posts, and decking to be found in the naturally dry environment of the mills and warehouses of the old South.
True, vintage heart pine is hundreds of years old. It has stood witness to all of our nation's history. It will, quite literally, be the first antique you place in your new home. Heart pine flooring can be three to four times the cost of conventional hardwood flooring, so if you are among those fortunate enough to afford the very best, we invite you to take a walk through history on heart pine flooring by Legacy Wood Products.