Much of the furniture we purchase today comes from Asia. A large percentage of this furniture is constructed from hardwood that is grown in Asia. Major furniture producing countries include Indonesia, Viet Nam, Malaysia, Taiwan and China. One hardwood in particular is used in furniture production. The Hevea brasiliensis, or rubber tree is used extensively. The Hevea brasiliensis tree is grown on plantations specifically to harvest latex, the sap from the tree. A tree is ‘tapped’ to gather the latex sap, much the same way a maple tree is ‘tapped’ for the production of syrup. Harvesting the latex sap begins after a tree reaches 5 to 7 years of age. It is economically feasible to gather the sap from the tree until it reaches 25 to 30 years. Up to the last half of the last century, rubber trees no longer generating sufficient amounts of sap were cut and burned. Today, these trees are harvested for use in the manufacture of furniture, toys and games. The Hevea brasiliensis has some properties that make it an excellent choice for furniture manufacturing. The wood is easy to saw, turn and glue. The wood peels and slices away without difficulty so it’s good for use as veneer. The wood takes stain exceptionally well. Once dried, rubberwood is hard making an excellent medium for furniture. Economically, so much rubberwood is grown on plantations for latex, it is also relatively inexpensive as a wood choice for furniture. Since the wood has a secondary use after latex production, it is “green” and more environmentally friendly, relieving the pressure to use other woods, some endangered. Just for fun, join Frank Sinatra, accompanied by a chorus of school children, sing about the rubber tree plant!
Oops, There Goes Another Rubber Tree Plant!
I am the Merchandise Manager for Humble Abode. I am located in Santa Rosa, California. Santa Rosa is approximately 60 miles north of San Francisco in beautiful Sonoma County, part of California's wine country. Humble Abode is an online retailer of furniture and furnishings offering a wide selection of furniture for sale to suit every taste and budget.
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