Hardwood Blog

Perspectives and insights on the hardwood lumber industry.                     

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Finding White Ash

  • Thursday, 12 July 2018 12:53
Ash has been one of the most commonly requested hardwood lumber species recently. Even though we have seen increased demand, Ash logs have been getting harder and harder to come by due to the emerald ash borer. Because of this, loggers have been aggressive in harvesting Ash trees to minimize the potential losses of landowners. While both loggers and landowners have tried to stay in front of this, sawmills have been forced to adjust accordingly…
Successful business leaders ask questions to grow and improve their leadership skills, but what types of questions do they ask? Naturally, we reflected on this thought and began to consider what questions leaders in the hardwood lumber industry ask to improve operational processes, create clearer strategies, and enhance working conditions for their organizations. Here are a few key questions we have found valuable. Can we simplify? It is easy to over-complicate a project. Businesses, like…
1 Common, 2 Common, FAS, Prime, Select & Better, are just a few hardwood grade requests that we hear from customers. It seems as if we are always talking about grade lumber in the hardwood industry. However, it is important to keep in mind that 30 to 40% of a typical hardwood log results in low-grade lumber. Low-grade lumber, commonly referred to as industrial hardwoods, can be found in a variety of forms. Cants, pallet…
Communication is an essential aspect of being a successful leader, the ability to really listen to colleagues should be a tool in every business leaders toolbox. At American Lumber, we make conscious efforts to stress the importance of the flow of communication back and forth between leadership and employees, and vice versa. This is true whether it is our customers, lumber traders, sawmill managers or yard personnel. It is our belief that when individuals listen…

Keeping Pace with Technology

  • Wednesday, 09 May 2018 18:29
Technology advances at an exponential rate. Every day we are notified of a new update, computer system, app, or program that is better than the one that you are currently using. Given the pace of technology it can be very hard to keep up with all of the latest advancements. Determining the technology that is right for your business and incorporating it the right way can give your business a competitive advantage in the marketplace.…
Inventory management issues, shipment lead times, and currency fluctuations are just some of the common issues United States tropical hardwood importers who bring in millions of board feet each year -like American Lumber- are challenged with.   When it comes to tropical lumber, not all species are sold in 8’ and longer bundles. One of the challenges to this is that it results in the regular accumulation of lumber less than 8’ long. This is…
Being a good manager doesn’t necessarily translate into being a good leader. Often, employees who get promoted to management positions have steadily increased their responsibility levels within the organization or possess excellent technical skills. However, while these employees often possess these “hard skills” they are sometimes lacking the “soft skills” that allow them to be effective leaders for their teams. Promoting employees from within is a very common practice in the hardwood lumber industry. At…

Soft Maple: Could it work for you?

  • Tuesday, 20 March 2018 14:37
Soft Maple is regarded by many experts in the hardwood lumber industry as one of the most versatile species in the industry. With its ability to sand nicely, machine easily, stain well, hold firm edges in joinery, and its reputation for having a straight grain, Soft Maple is a very popular choice for furniture and cabinetry. However, Soft Maple is not only used in these type of applications. It is also used in a variety…

Does your company promote work-life balance

  • Wednesday, 07 March 2018 21:48
Many business leaders understand the importance of encouraging employees to find the right “work-life” balance. However, that is not always as easy as it sounds. Many times it starts with helping employees develop personal habits at work that allow them to be successful so they can create more time to do things they want to do away from work. At American Lumber, we have been focusing on a few best practices that we have found…

Have you considered using Sycamore?

  • Wednesday, 28 February 2018 21:04
It is not often in the hardwood lumber industry that you hear about a manufacturer using Sycamore in their production. However, that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked. Sycamore is an excellent species choice when used in the right situation. American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), can go by a variety of names, such as Buttonwood, American Plane, Water  Beech, Ghost Tree, and sometimes Virginia Maple. Sycamore is usually found throughout the eastern portion of the United…