On Solid Ground

By Garrett Andrews
Oregon Business
June 6, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Ben Deumling

RICKREALL, Oregon — For years settlers in Oregon considered Oregon white oak a “trash tree” and used it as firewood or fencing material. But Oregon oak is hard, waterproof and resistant to abrasion. … And, fortunately for Ben Deumling, it’s plentiful in the Zena Forest. …The forest has a unique ecosystem. Not part of the Coast Range, it’s situated in a series of dry, rocky hills in the middle of Willamette River Valley. “Today it’s sort of an island of forest surrounded by farmland,” Deumling says. Of particular interest to Deumling are young specimens of the tree around 5 to 7 feet in diameter. He reached out to ZGF Architects, lead designers of the airport terminal project, with an idea to produce an edge-grain panel using small pieces of young Oregon oak. Zena’s hardwood flooring panels will be featured front and center in high-traffic areas of the terminal.

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