The allure of wood is universal. It appeals to almost all the senses. It’s versatile, vibrant, functional and aesthetic.
Wood is special – indigenous wood even more so
The woods of the Knysna Forest are extraordinary, enduring and exclusive. Growing where hundreds of species coexist to form one of the most unique and diverse eco-systems in the world, woods from here carry with them a unique beauty, patterns and textures that translate into exceptional pieces of furniture, interior design and art.
But in a world where sustainability and environmental awareness have become increasingly important, designers and furniture makers have become hesitant to use wood – fearing that their products will ultimately devastate the life-giving trees and forests that have been irresponsibly pillaged for hundreds of years.
There is a way to respectfully use what nature gives us without causing harm. Because, in reality, in any vibrant life cycle the aging individuals of the forest have to make way for the young. And, when a 600-year-old yellowwood naturally in whichever direction it was leaning, it kills or damages many of the young in its way. By responsibly harvesting old trees at the right time, minimum impact is left on the forest while the trees themselves are optimally used.
Using indigenous woods does not deplete our natural forests, it revitalises them.
Geo Parkes & Sons trees grow in privately owned indigenous forests which have been lovingly nurtured by the same family for more than 130 years. Working closely with their legal custodians, South African National Parks (SANParks), trees are individually identified, scientifically confirmed and permitted to be eligible for felling. Strict tree-harvest selection criteria – such as crown dieback, loss of main shoot and rot – apply, while only low-impact felling and log extraction techniques may be used. Felled trees that are not suitable for sale, as well as the cut-off branches of harvested trees, are left in the forest to continue as part of the intricate eco-system.
Harvesting dying trees this way leaves the forest rejuvenated with the necessary space and food for young individuals which can grow to their full potential, providing life and cover to creatures for generations to come. Using local woods also significantly reduces the carbon footprint and supports hundreds of local families, most of whom have lived and worked in the forests their whole lives.
As design focus returns to things natural and uncomplicated, wood has once again emerged as an essential part of functional and comfortable living.
Combining functionality with unique grains, natural warmth and sturdy steadfastness, wood furniture and interior applications appeal beyond the aesthetic.
Lending itself to wide-ranging creative interpretation, wood has the ability to turn even the simplest piece of furniture into a timeless piece of art. And long after plastic, steel and cement have lost their charm, even a discarded wooden chair or table will find its way into yet another home.
While ouma’s old ball-and-claw and two-tone furniture has its own charm, the vibrant characteristics of Knysna indigenous woods offers a world of contemporary and elegant possibilities.
From the dramatic colours of yellowwood and stinkwood to the wavy patterns of hard pear, from the solid features of ironwood to the pale lines of white pear, indigenous woods give designers the opportunity to explore beyond the ordinary yet offer clients all the attributes required of reliable, quality furniture.
Geo Parkes & Sons are the passionate custodians of Knysna indigenous forests since 1892.
Not only do they have intricate knowledge of the characteristics of every type of wood on offer, but they have also personally stood where the trees lived, have lovingly managed their growth and harvested them with dignity and respect. Able to expertly advise designers how different types of wood behave and their responses to different finishes and applications, we provide already cut planks and pillars in a variety of lengths and thicknesses. Cut to maximize a particular tree’s best features and unique grains, timber can be selected with design in mind.
The variety of indigenous hardwoods includes Stinkwood, Yellowwood, White Pear, Hard Pear, Candlewood, Ironwood, Witels and Cape Holly. Blackwood – an exotic species planted in the natural forests years ago to supplement the supply of indigenous hardwoods that were being heavily harvested at the time – is also available. From time to time, other more rare species are also on offer.
Our timber is available in plank or log form. Contact us should you require something out of the ordinary (subject to availability).
Pricing is calculated on a per job/order basis. Give us a call to discuss your exact needs.