January 27th, 2014 by Peggy Farabaugh
Who put this Vermont Big Tree Society 2004 calendar on my desk over the weekend? What a pleasant surprise to see while un-bundling (that’s winter outerwear not cable TV or software programs) on this icy cold Monday morning. Whoever the Big Tree Elf is, he or she left the calendar open to the August 2004 month where a beautiful photo of our Stonehurst champion Sassafras tree was featured in all it’s glory.
Well we happen to think it’s glorious, anyway. To others it might look a little nerdy and decrepit but it’s still a beloved old tree and the largest of it’s species in all of Vermont. I learned from the calendar that the Sassafras is an intolerant (of shade) tree which is common as a pioneer (a hardy species that’s the first to colonize previously disrupted or damaged ecosystems, beginning a chain of ecological succession that ultimately leads to a more biodiverse steady-state ecosystem, ref: wikipedia). It’s one of only a few tree species who’s leaves come in 3 different shapes. Plus it’s fragrant and the roots can be used to make sassafras tea!
Are you surprised to see how much Vermonters love their trees? As furniture makers, working with sustainably harvested wood we are especially interested in Vermont’s big trees and the issue of sustainable forestry throughout the Green Mountain State (and beyond). Vermont Woods Studios was founded on the principles of forest conservation. Last year we received a $100,000 grant from the states Working Lands Initiative to further our efforts in promoting sustainable forests and the eco-friendly Vermont made furniture produced from them.
Fellow treehuggers– stop by Stonehurst to see Vermont’s biggest sassafras tree. Then come in and enjoy a cup of tea or hot cider as you browse through the gallery of fine furniture that Vermonter’s are making out of sustainably harvested New England wood.
And whoever the Big Tree elf is, I am sending a million thanks out to you. Please reveal your identity on our Facebook!
This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, a 200 year old farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.