Timber is one of the few building materials that is sustainable: it grows directly with energy from the sun through photosynthesis.
Soon there is the 350th anniversary of Sylva: a Discourse of Forest Trees and the Propogation of Timber in His Majesty’s Dominions by John Evelyn. It was the first publication of The Royal Society and reviewed the knowledge of forests and woodland ecology. Wood was an important building material and the commercial supply was running out.
The book alerted politicians and the public to how timber was obtained to build ships and buildings, often without much regard to how the trees were grown. Not before time, the book established Forestry as a science and a commercial enterprise.
Now, The New Sylva by G Hemery is to be published in April 2014. And it’s not battleships and cottages that are made from the reliable oak but other buildings, both small and large: