All About Eco-Friendly & Sustainable Hardwood: Flooring, Lumber & More

Sustainable hardwood sourced from an Appalachian forest.

Did you know that hardwood products are actually extremely eco-friendly? Learn more about how sustainable hardwood products can benefit your home — and the world!

Example of proper forest management.

Forest Management

It’s an easy misconception to think that taking forest products out of the forest to put them in your home is bad, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Creating sustainable wood products doesn’t add to the deforestation problem; in fact, it’s a crucial aspect of proper forest management!

Mature trees create a vast canopy as they age, blocking the sun from reaching the ground and making it harder for plants (and other trees) to grow. Proper forest management removes the oldest and tallest trees to create sustainable products, allowing the sunlight to reach the forest floor and improve the overall health of the ecosystem.

The Forest Stewardship Council is the leader in sustainable forestry, and they champion FSC certifications for manufacturers, retailers, architects, U.S. forest managers and more. FSC certified wood must be obtained in a sustainable way that promotes the natural ecosystem.

Renovation Hunters’ Hal Shaffer and Steve Stack recording American Hardwood Advisor.

Sustainable Forests for the Outdoor Enthusiast

Properly maintained, sustainable forests are for more than just woodworking. Outdoor enthusiasts like Hal Shaffer, host of Outdoor Channel’s Renovation Hunters and Drop Zone, rely on sustainable forest management and healthy ecosystems.

In a recent episode of our American Hardwood Advisor (AHA) podcast, Hal Shaffer stopped by Studio 3B to talk about wildlife and forest management as well as Baird Brothers’ partnership with Renovation Hunters.

Watch Here:

The Environmental Impact of Timber Harvesting

Proper forest management makes a huge difference in forest health, and in order for forests to regenerate properly, trees must be selected at the right time to ensure a healthy ecosystem and future biodiversity. There are three timber harvesting methods employed throughout North America: clearcutting, selective cutting and shelterwood.


Clearcutting is the most visually drastic method of harvesting, designed to mimic natural disasters. After timber removal, the open space created allows tree species that require a lot of sunlight to regenerate rapidly.

Selective Cutting

Also known as selection harvesting, this technique is often used in forest areas that are too dense. Timber is cut at uneven ages, leaving parts of the canopy open so that younger trees can grow.


Shelterwood harvesting is becoming more popular, because mature trees are left until a desired amount of regeneration occurs. This type of harvesting happens over a longer timeframe and includes multiple cuts.

Although natural wood products are always in style, U.S. hardwood trends vary from year to year. This fluctuation in product preference can limit the amount of wood types available for homeowners if proper forestry management and natural timber life cycles aren’t taken into account.

That’s why it’s important to be a steward of our natural resources. At Baird Brothers, we know that even though timber is one of our most renewable resources, it still needs to be treated with respect and care for future generations. It’s about finding a balance, and for us, that means purchasing from timber companies who employ responsible harvesting methods while also finding ways to minimize our environmental footprint.

A while back, we sat down with Amy Shields from Allegheny Hardwoods Utilization Group to discuss proper forest management in detail. Learn more about carbon storage, early mistakes made by foresters and how Pennsylvania transformed their vast forests from predominantly softwood lumber to some of the highest-quality hardwoods in the United States!

Watch Here:

Reduced Carbon Emissions

Did you know that your wood flooring actually helps combat climate change? Yes, it’s true!

When trees die naturally, they release their stored carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, meaning that when older trees are left to decompose in the forest, they release carbon emissions.

However, by cutting trees at an optimal age to make hardwood products, the carbon remains trapped and prevents emissions. So, whether you’re using natural wood for your building materials, decking, DIY projects or wood flooring, you’re actually helping to combat climate change.

Sustainable hardwood floors from Baird Brothers.

Benefits of Raw Materials

Most homeowners choose hardwood floors over laminate for the design aesthetic, but natural hardwood flooring offers so much more than just beauty! Sanding and restaining can give your home a whole new feel, meaning that your flooring can last for decades without looking dated. You can even trick people into thinking your red oak is actually white oak by simply incorporating a different stain!

But, beyond looks, wood flooring and other wood products have numerous health benefits.

Studies show that being around wood is proven to reduce stress, meaning that the feeling you get from walking around in the park (and being around trees) can be brought indoors. Plus, wood flooring doesn’t trap dust, pollen or dander nearly as much as carpet, improving the air quality inside your home.

Find Sustainable Hardwood at Baird Brothers

No matter what type of products you’re adding to your home, whether it be shiplap or high-quality hardwood flooring, Baird Brothers works to prioritize forest management in order to deliver the most sustainable hardwoods.

From the beginning, we’ve made it our mission to create beautiful products that incorporate green manufacturing practices. From repurposing cut-offs into finger-jointed mouldings to using sawdust as a power source for our dry kilns and buildings, we don’t just talk sustainability – we live it! With Baird Brothers, you can rest assured that no part of this important natural resource goes to waste.

To learn more about our products or to shop a variety of species, visit bairdbrothers.com for all your interior hardwood needs. Not sure what you’re looking for? Simply contact us and chat with our experienced sales staff. Baird Brothers is proud to be America’s source for fine hardwood products, and we look forward to leading the way for generations to come.