Archive for October, 2009

Ipe Wood comes from the tree Tabebuia

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

The wonderful disease and insect resistant wood from the Tabebuia genus trees is used for decks, outdoor furniture and other exterior structures because of the durability and weather-resistance. Called ipe in some locales, the tabebuia is found from Northern Mexico to Northern Argentina and all places in between, including the Caribbean Islands. The 100 species of this genus grow as shrubs and trees of up to medium size. They are planted along boulevards as ornamentals because of their flowering beauty. The flowers often appear on leafless limbs before the foliage grows again after the dry season hiatus.

The demand for the ipe wood in the USA has caused environmental concerns and efforts are being made to control the harvesting of the tabebuia, particularly in the Amazon, where much of the marketable timber grows. The famed Coney Island boardwalk in Brooklyn, New York is of ipe wood. The life-cycle of the ten-mile long boardwalk is about 25 years and is then replaced with more ipe wood. The Wildwood, New Jersey boardwalk was partially replaced in 2008-9 with ipe wood. In the Amazon the density of ipe wood trees is only one or two trees per acre so the Coney Island boardwalk required the searching for and harvesting of the trees from more than 83,000 acres. Fortunately, the tree adapts well to farming and much of the ipe wood now used comes from cultured plantings.

Spurred on by environmental organizations, the illegal harvesting and exporting of ipe wood has been greatly curtailed. Buyers may ask for and receive certification of the origins of the lumber they purchase, assuring compliance with the new international regulations. Almost all of the ipe coming into the USA is legally harvested, much of it coming from the aforementioned tree farms.

In addition to the fine hardwood and ornamental values, the bark of some species of tabebuia trees has medicinal properties. Shredded and brewed in a tea that is used during flu season and for easing “smokers cough,” the bitter brew contains curative flavonoids that reportedly are very helpful. The bark from some species is used in topical applications as an insect repellent or antibiotic.

Ipe Wood for your next bridge design

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Ipe wood is a relatively new type of wood that has been used for decking, furniture, and other uses. It comes from the hardwood tree of genus Tabebuia, found in places ranging from Mexico to the more southern Venezuela and Argentina, as well as in the Caribbean islands and Cuba. Hardwood from these trees is more durable, dense, and harder to warp. Ipe wooding has been known to withstand even hurricane force winds! It is also resistant to insects, mold, UV light, and thus is widely being used in place of other types of hardwoods. Ipe wood even has a Class A fire rating, which makes this wood as fireproof as other materials that have a Class A fire rating, like concrete and steel! Not only is it the practical choice for outdoor use, but it is also a beautiful wood, with a vibrant, rich color and fine grain quality.
Though Ipe wood costs more than other kinds of hardwood, you will certainly not regret making the decision to use it. Repair, upkeep, and replacement costs for other hardwoods will add up to more than the difference in original price, plus the hassle of making these repairs and replacements will cause homeowners much worry. Ipe wood, with its 25 years plus durability rating, will not give you these problems. Pine or fir hardwoods easily warp and require constant upkeep and repainting. Cedar, redwood, and cyprus, while insect and rot resistant, fade easily and thus also require constant upkeep. Ipe wood, on the other hand, is approximately twice as dense and five times harder than these woods, not to mention the fact that Ipe wood does not fade as easily and does not need to be re-stained. Though some of these types of hardwood are cheaper than Ipe wood, they are more susceptible to damage and fading than Ipe wood is. Cedar and redwood are priced about the same as Ipe wood, yet they are clearly inferior products.
Ipe wood is even environmentally responsible! Everlasting Hardwoods encourages sustainable and renewable forestry practices. With Ipe wood, toxic chemicals for weather and insect resistance and fading are not necessary.
For your next bridge design, consider using Ipe wood! It is not only beautiful but also strong and damage resistant, making it the ideal hardwood for small bridges of any kind.

What wood should I use for my deck?

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

What’s greater than a beautiful deck to enhance the appearance of your home, increase your home’s value and make your entire yard more functional? Barbecues with friends, quiet evenings watching the sunset, waking up to an early morning sunrise with a hot cup of something good – these are all reasons that compel homeowners to build wood decks.

Now, before you actually build your deck or buy one stick of wood, take a few minutes to drive around your neighborhood. Observe visible decks and ask yourself whether they enhance the appearance of the home, or detract from it. We’re not suggesting that you poke around people’s yards here. But, really, do your best to identify the types of wood these decks are made of. It won’t take long for you to realize what kind of wood is most popular, easiest to maintain, inexpensive and of poor quality, etc.

It’s a big job to build a deck. This is a project that requires the use of high-quality materials that are durable, reasonably priced, resistant to rot and pests, and easy to maintain. If you take time to build a beautiful deck with poor quality materials, the deck could end up being an eyesore in a very short time.
Some wood types most commonly used to build decks are:
•Western Red Cedar

Now these wood varieties have been used for building decks for years. They all have their benefits and drawbacks. Some have to be repeatedly maintained with oils and stains while others are less resistant to the elements. It’s becoming more and more common for people to use synthetic materials to build decks, but synthetics come with a whole new set of problems.

We’ve used them all for various projects. Suffice it to say that our winning pick is … not on the list. See, we like Ipe. Ipe is a simply amazing South American hardwood with an extremely fine grain and deep, rich color. We like it because it is:
•Bug resistant
•Rot resistant
•Very hard
•Extremely fire resistant
•UV degradation resistant
•Mold resistant
•Warp resistant
•Absolutely beautiful

Ipe is admittedly more costly than many other wood types, but it’s worth the investment. Ipe is a hardwood. It comes from a tree of the genus Tabebuia. When purchasing this product, which originates in rain forests, it’s important to be sure your product is harvested with environmental responsibility. Don’t be afraid to ask your Ipe vendor for information about how the wood is obtained. You can even ask for an environmental statement.

The benefits of using Ipe

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Ipe Decking is made from wood of the highest quality and durability and is commonly used on large commercial projects such as piers and boardwalks. Recently, Ipe has begun to be used on residential projects as well. Ipe Decking has many benefits far exceeding woods traditionally used for residential decking projects. Although it is more expensive than traditionally used woods, it lasts so long that it is well worth the start up cost. It is remarkable for its beauty, durability and resistance to almost all forms of weathering and destruction, including fire.

Ipe Decking is noteworthy for its beauty, with warm colors ranging from reddish-brown to russet. The grain of the wood is highly varied and intricate, making it a visual pleasure. While many types of decking have visible wear after only 5 years, Ipe’s beauty lasts 25 years and longer.

Ipe Decking is unique for its durablility, which is due largely to its density. Ipe weighs up to 69 pounds per cubic foot, nearly twice the density of woods commonly used for decking. Its excessive density gives the decking the ability to resist wear. Rot, damaging UV rays, termites, fire, chemicals and other forces that commonly wear out and destroy decking are naturally resisted by Ipe. Its density also means its possesses strength and hardness far exceeding traditional domestic woods. Warping, bending, splintering and movement while in use are all kept to a minimum.

Even on large commercial applications, Ipe Decking has a 25-year durability rating. Ipe’s ability to resist the tremendous wear that boardwalks and piers receive ensures the potential for an even longer life on residential applications. Not only is Ipe able to beautifully last for a long time, it requires little maintenance to do so. Labor required to apply preservatives and treatments can be eliminated, even when the decking is in contact with the ground.

If beauty and durability are important characteristics for you when choosing a decking, look no further than Ipe. Despite higher costs than other types of decking, Ipe possesses a much higher value and quality for the money. Your new Ipe Decking will be extremely durable, and maintain its remarkable beauty not for 5 or 10 years, but for 25 years or more.