Long leaf pine is the finest lumber ever grown. Early American settlers discovered a vast forest comprised of 95 million acres spanning from the Southern Atlantic shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico to Texas. This forest grew trees four feet in diameter and up to 150 feet tall. These slow-growth heartwood pine trees matured in 400 to 500 years.
Long leaf pine has been referred to as “Heartpine” because of its unique characteristic, a large center of heart with very little surrounding sapwood. This heart portion is dense, heavy, insect and rot-resistant, incredibly hard, and unmatched in beauty, strength, and durability.
American colonists used heartwood pine lumber for every type of building purpose. Its strength made it suitable for industrial buildings, bridges, wharves, and railroad ties, while its beauty inspired furniture builders and cabinet makers. The keel of the U.S.S. Constitution is made from a single heartwood pine timber.
This desirable lumber was almost timbered to extinction by 1900. The vast virgin forest had vanished leaving only small isolated stands. Civilization had moved in, and original conditions necessary for the trees to re-seed and flourish no longer existed. The magnificent forest was gone forever.
Fortunately, the unique wood still exists in the older structures in the south and the older factories and textile mills of the industrial Northeast. Antique Lumber Company has located and saved many of these old, obsolete homes and buildings slated for demolition in north central Texas. Careful and painstaking deconstruction reclaims the historic wood for a new life in today’s finest homes.
Over 100 years of slow air drying has perfected the heartwood pine qualities of stability, hardness, and beauty. Aging allows resin to crystallize which strengthens the wood and allows the wood to accept an oil finish in a unique way giving it a deep luster that cannot be duplicated.