White Oak Lumber Salvaged from Gypsy Moth Kills

Fresh sawn white oak lumber.

Fresh sawn white oak lumber.

Dead Wood Lumber of Wallaceton, PA is an innovative sawmill and lumber yard specializing in oak salvaged from the massive gypsy moth infestation some decades back. In Pennsylvania, over 4 million acres were defoliated in 1990, the peak year for gypsy moth activity, an area bigger than the state of Connecticut. Anybody who has been in the woods during a gypsy moth infestation will remember the experience. The leaf canopy missing, the sun streaming in and what sounds like rain coming out of a clear blue sky, the dripping of gypsy moth excrement. It is a disaster site, and for no species more so than the white oak, perhaps the most beautiful tree in the woods and, here in western Massachusetts, comparatively rare compared to its red, black, pin or whatever cousins. The gypsy moths appreciate the white oak’s beauty, as well, as it is by far their favorite food of all other forest species. The rarity of the white oak here in Massachusetts may be a function of the fact that the infestation began here, in 1869, and has returned every couple of decades or so since then for a hundred and fifty years. White oak is the Queen of the Woods for beauty, and it outclasses its oak cousins as lumber, too. The USS Constitution (“Old Ironsides”) is made of white oak, and has been in the salt water for over 200 years. Red oak can’t do that because it is full of open water channels. You can suck water through a dry stick of red oak, just like it was a straw. And it shatters under stress, which white oak does not. Good in case of cannonballs. Dead Wood Lumber is situated at the epicenter of the Pennsylvania event and so produces a significant quantity of this precious and exemplary lumber.

Custom Sawmills and Lumber Yards 

Impressive salvaged oak logs, though not white oak?

Impressive salvaged oak logs, though not white oak?

Grading white oak boards.

Grading white oak boards.

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