Already making inroads into India

Already making inroads into India

A saw mill in British Colombia with water-proof packing of timber (right) ready for export.

British Columbia (B.C.), in Canada, is world renowned for its sustainable forest management practices and has 52 million hectares certified to one of three internationally recognized certification standards: PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).

While the three programmes used in B.C. have differences, they all promote principles, criteria and objectives that are viewed as the basis of sustainable forest management around the world. All three have balanced governance, with boards representing environmental, social and economic interests, and all three revise their standards regularly through an open public process.

Long before a tree is cut, forest professionals identify the eco-system that keeps the forest as natural as possible. A silvicultural system covers all activities such as early planning, logging and planting new trees.

Resource managers in B.C. maintain forest diversity by planting native tree species in combination with natural regeneration. After harvesting on public land, forest companies in B.C. remain responsible for regenerating the forest site until the trees have grown into a new, healthy forest.

On average, over 200 million tree seedlings are planted annually on public forest land in B.C. and only a fraction of 1% of B.C.’s forests are harvested annually. By law these lands are reforested promptly. Only 3% of its land has been permanently converted to other uses such as farming, ranching and urban development.

 Natural choice

•   Douglas-Fir has a long-standing reputation for its distinctive natural attributes, including strength and beauty. It is commonly used for building and construction purposes due to its extraordinary strength-to-weight ratio and availability in large dimensions.

    In India it has found a market in solid doors and door frames, furniture and general millwork and is highly recommended in post and beam construction.

    It has a good surface quality; excellent strength and workability; good machining qualities; excellent screw holding and resistance to splitting; bonds well with a range of adhesives under a range of bonding conditions; and has excellent sanding, staining and painting properties.

•   Western Hemlock is an outstanding wood for mouldings and interior woodworking. It is a perfect option for joinery and millwork such as doors, windows, and other appearance products because of its durability, light colour, and freedom from pitch and resin.

    Hemlock has found a solid market in India for furniture and is recommended for solid doors and door frames. Interior panelling in Hemlock gives a plush look to any space.

    It has good strength-to-weight ratio; excellent machining properties; good sanding, staining and painting properties; glues satisfactorily; has moderate nail and screw holding ability; and it polishes beautifully.

•   Western Red Cedar is a popular Canadian species for outdoor furniture and projects, including playground equipment. It exhibits outstanding decay and termite resistance along with dimensional stability.

    The appealing colour palette, light weight and soft texture makes it popular for various interior applications as well. Its flexibility and versatility enables its usage in roof shingles, exterior siding and cladding, green-houses and saunas.

    It is ideal for outdoor furniture, pergolas, gazebos, decking, cladding, soffit, screens, indoor panelling, shutters and blinds.

    It is lightweight, can be sanded to a smooth satin finish, planes and shapes well, glues easily, has moderate screw and nail holding properties, and is appropriate for outdoor usage.

•   Spruce-Pine-Fir (SPF) refers to White Spruce, Engelmann Spruce, Lodgepole Pine and sub-alpine Fir, all having common characteristics and properties. SPF’s strength, light weight, ease of handling and woodworking properties have made it a popular wood for all types of framing applications in construction.

    SPF has great dimensional stability and strength, making it a popular choice for pre-fabricated eco-homes. In India SPF is recognised as a superior wood for solid door, door-frame, furniture carcase making and modular housing. It is ideal for structural pre-fabricated cottages, furniture framing and flush door frames.

    It has good planing and shaping quality; excellent nail and screw holding properties with very good resistance to splitting; good staining properties; and great strength and dimensional stability.

•   Yellow-Cedar is one of the world’s most durable woods with exceptional longevity. It’s even and fine texture makes it a top choice for wood carving and turning. In India it has proven popular for door frames, solid wood doors and windows and manufacturing. It is also an excellent wood species for furniture, both indoors and outdoors.

    It has exceptional working properties, turns, planes and shapes well; good gluing properties; good nail and screw holding ability; and takes good finishes.

Lumber processing

Canada’s lumber and wood industries convert logs into various products, from lumber to wood chips. Softwood, derived from coniferous trees, supplies most of the manufacturers in these industries and is cut primarily in B.C.

Mechanical or hydraulic debarking is the first step in converting a saw log into lumber. In conventional sawmills, large logs are placed on a moving log carriage and passed repeatedly through a band or circular saw, each pass producing boards that normally require further processing on edgers, resaws and trim saws.

In sawmills that process small-diameter logs, the primary unit may be a chipper canter with integrated sawing units, or a system of multiple-band or circular saws, designed to operate at speeds up to 100 metres per minute.

About three-quarters of the lumber produced in Canada is further processed in planer mills that smooth the rough surfaces and dimension the pieces. Over half the lumber is dried, either in kilns or outside, to remove excess moisture and/or kill pathogens that may be present in the wood.

Imported wood from B.C. is gaining a lot of popularity among builders, architects, contractors and consumers alike. The wood comes in standard grades and sizes, guaranteeing consistent quality every single time. It is also beautiful, durable, high quality and environment-friendly.

Though the distance between India and B.C. is significant, its transportation does not have a negative impact on the environment. For every container of lumber sent to India from B.C., 17,498 kg of carbon gets taken out of the environment for the life of the products.

Due to its astounding capacity to offset carbon emissions and natural properties, wood is the most promising material of the future. The important factor that one needs to bear in mind is that wood used should be responsibly sourced and certified.

In India

The five most popular Canadian Wood species are now easily available in India. You may find them at SLV Saw Mill & Wood Industries in Bengaluru (, Ajeet Impex ( and Agarwalla Timbers ( in Gandhidham; Jagat Decor ( in Indore; Chalet International ( and Surinder Timber Store ( in Ludhiana; Sahibzada Timber & Ply ( in Mohali; B.F. Wadia & Sons ( and Ambica Traders ( in Mumbai; Pyramid Ply & Wood Products ( in New Delhi; Singla Timbers ( in Patiala; Bhavani Saw Mill ( in Trichy; Saras Ply ( in Valsad; and Balaji Timbers & Plywood ( in Zirakpur.

FII India, funded by the government of B.C., represents Canadian wood in India for all its five species. FII works closely with architects, manufacturers, importers and real estate developers to provide technical and procurement assistance for their requirements free of cost. (



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