How the Amazon Wildfires Impact the Exotic Wood Supply
14th Sep 2019
When the woodland environment is impacted by severe weather or other natural disasters, such as forest fires, it has a ripple effect around the globe. Wood supplies are reduced, and costs go up for traditional lumber. Exotic woods are not exempt from this reality, particularly when one of the homes for these beautiful exotic woods is threatened. The Amazon rainforest is rich in biodiversity and includes a variety of exotic woods.
The recent fires in the Amazon rainforest have raised a variety of concerns about the environmental impact of the loss of these acres of forest. However, exotic woods that grow and are harvested from the Amazon are also being impacted.
What is the Rainforest?
The Amazon rainforest is a dense, evergreen jungle that produces consistently high amounts of rainfall throughout the year. Essentially, in the Amazon, even when it is not the rainy season, the rainforest continues to deal with rain, rain, and more rain. The truth is that the weather in the Amazon can impact countries throughout South America.
The numbers of trees found within the Amazon rainforest also take in vast amounts of carbon dioxide, thus being referred to as the lungs of the earth. They cycle carbon out of the atmosphere and use it to make biomass, allowing the Amazon to suck up to a quarter of the planet’s atmospheric carbon dioxide. The rainforest also provides a home for a variety of unique exotic woods that can only be found within this small area of the world.
The loss of trees and other biodiversity due to the fires are a source of concern to scientists and environmentalists, because they see it as negatively impacting the ability of the rainforest to suck in carbon from the atmosphere. One exotic wood, known as the Amazon Rosewood, is found in Brazil. A majority of the wildfires being reported are concentrated within Brazil, so this is one wood whose supplies could potentially be negative impacted.
Impact on Exotic Wood Supplies
Clearly, when any type of wildfire occurs, it can impact the lumber industry. Supplies of specific woods can end up being reduced, thus driving up prices for domestic lumber. However, exotic woods are often limited to specific locations. If natural disasters, such as drought or fire occur in these specific locations, then exotic wood supplies for that particular location may be significantly reduced.
If you are looking to create a project with a specific type of exotic wood that is in an area being impacted by these wildfires, the cost of that exotic wood may be increased. Simply put, there is a supply and demand issue that comes into play, driving the costs of the exotic woods up, because there is less of that wood available.
The Amazon is just the latest example of how wood supplies can be impacted by fires or drought. In California, for instance, drought and wildfires have reduced the size of the forests, decreasing the domestic wood supply, as well as the exotic wood supply grown in that state.
Those who work with exotic wood suppliers may also soon be dealing with legal requirements that limit how much of specific woods can be harvested. If fires have reduced the number of trees, then limited on how much can be harvested will mean a reduced domestic and exotic wood supplies.
Certain countries have already seen the impact of wildfires and insects on their lumber supplies, meaning that prices have risen as a result. Demand for specific domestic woods may have decreased as a result of the price hike. Increasing exotic wood prices may also drive down demand, but this doesn’t mean that the amount of exotic wood supplies is going to increase.
Choosing Exotic Woods for Woodworking Projects
If you are looking for create a specific woodworking project using exotic woods, then you need to carefully consider how much wood you need. Could you use exotic wood as an accent and tap into the cheaper domestic wood supply for the rest of the project? Doing so will help you to be sure that you have enough of the exotic wood for the details that are really going to stand out on your woodworking project. Smaller pieces might be done with all exotic wood, but just remember that exotic wood supplies may be limited and that could be reflected in the costs.
Also, consider looking at alternative exotic woods that come from a different location than the one being impacted by the wildfires or drought. For instance, you might want to consider not using Amazon Rosewood, replacing it with an exotic wood from Africa or Asia, such as the Asian Rosewood or Flamewood .
By switching to an alternative exotic wood, you can still have the beauty of specific patterns, colors, and grains without worrying about a decreased exotic wood supply from a specific geographical area. Working with our experienced and knowledgeable staff, then you can find the right exotic wood for your project that also fits within your budget. Contact us today to find out what exotic woods might have been impacted in terms of the amount of supplies and costs.
Global Wood Source is a family owned and operated lumber yard and mill specializing in exotic woods from around the world and rare domestics. We personally acquire and inspect each piece of log and timber obtained from forests and jungles worldwide.