Humboldt Sawmill Is Reintroducing America To A Storied Wood Species

Jan/Feb Issue

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Redwood and Douglas Fir logs are manufactured at company-owned sawmills in Scotia and Ukiah, CA.
Redwood and Douglas Fir logs are manufactured at company-owned sawmills in Scotia and Ukiah, CA.

Scotia, CA— Humboldt Sawmill Company is headquartered in this small northern California town, which was maintained as a true company town for more than a century. The town features excellent weather, beautiful scenery, attractive architecture, historic charm, and structures built to stand the test of time. 

The Redwood manufactured at Humboldt Sawmill also “stands the test of time,” as it is naturally durable, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wood Handbook. And Humboldt Sawmill is committed to expanding the market for this wood, which, according to the USDA, is native to central and northern California.

Humboldt Sawmill is committed to expanding the geographic footprint of both sustainably grown and harvested Redwood and Douglas Fir as premium-quality alternatives to Cedar lumber and timbers. The company is the largest producer of Redwood lumber in the world, according to Humboldt Sawmill’s Vice President of Sales, Don Dye Jr.

There is current market demand for alternatives to Cedar, Dye said. “We feel the timing is good to provide the industry with an opportunity to get reacquainted with these premiere products,” he said. “We are reintroducing Redwood across the United States. It was global for a long time, then it shrunk way back, and it was stuck, pigeonholed to California. Our goal is to grow that back, to what it once was. The glory of Redwood in the days of old, that’s our goal.”

The Ukiah complex includes a small log mill, air yard, dry kilns, fence line, planer, and remanufacturing plant.
The Ukiah complex includes a small log mill, air yard, dry kilns, fence line, planer, and remanufacturing plant.
Humboldt Sawmill’s sister company, Allweather Wood, further rounds out the companies’ product offerings. Allweather Wood is the largest waterborne preservative treated lumber manufacturer in the western United States.
Humboldt Sawmill’s sister company, Allweather Wood, further rounds out the companies’ product offerings. Allweather Wood is the largest waterborne preservative-treated lumber manufacturer in the western United States.

The company’s current focus is to advance its Redwood and Douglas Fir product sales to the East Coast, primarily to remanufacturers, distributors, and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). “We’re taking a very measured approach as we go across the United States, and we want to do this thoughtfully, measured and for the long term,” Dye said. “We’re not going to do the shotgun approach and sell to whoever approaches us. We have some targets in mind and we’re focusing our efforts on those targets and regions so we can do this in a very measured way and help push Redwood further with key customers. Everybody knows that Cedar and Redwood are cousins, and they have a lot of the same characteristics.

“So, we feel that the timing is good, not to short-term replace Cedar, but to provide the industry with an opportunity to get reacquainted with the premier product,” Dye commented. 

“We have a higher free-of-heart content in our timbers,” Dye continued. “Redwood has a little bit more water in it, which makes it a little bit more stable than Cedar. The only thing is, there is not 500 million feet of it; there is going to be 50 million feet of it. So, it’s going to be put in the hands of responsible partners that want to rebrand Redwood timbers as a specialty product. That’s really our message. We’re trying to create a brand around putting Redwood back as a non-commodity specialty product.”

Humboldt Sawmill has reasoned a way to do this. “We are aligning ourselves strategically with partners that have the capability and the footprint to be able to do the job that we’re looking for,” Dye said. “We feel that we were underutilizing our capacity and underutilizing our ability to maximize that value, and we want to do it in an enduring way,” he added.

Humboldt Sawmill is the leading supplier of Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC® C013133) certified Redwood and Douglas Fir lumber products. Logs are sourced from 440,000 acres of company-owned timberlands in northern California, and an additional 400,000 acres are available under a long-term log purchase agreement. 

“We’re going to produce 250 million feet of Redwood and 150 million feet of Douglas Fir products this year,” Dye said in 2021. “The timberlands we own and manage are going to produce more fiber every year. We’re replanting more trees than we are cutting.”

 The Scotia mill can cut Redwood and Douglas Fir lumber and timbers up to 24-feet in length, and up to 8”x14” dimension. Larger sizes may also be available upon request.
The Scotia mill can cut Redwood and Douglas Fir lumber and timbers up to 24-feet in length, and up to 8”x14” dimension. Larger sizes may also be available upon request.
Humboldt Sawmill is the leading supplier of Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC® C013133) certified Redwood and Douglas Fir lumber and timbers.
Humboldt Sawmill is the leading supplier of Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC® C013133) certified Redwood and Douglas Fir lumber and timbers.

Manufacturing Capabilities

Redwood and Douglas Fir logs are manufactured at company-owned sawmills in Scotia and Ukiah, CA. Total mill capacity is 400 million board feet annually. The Scotia mill processes large and small logs up to 60 inches in diameter and 24 feet in length. The Scotia property also contains an air drying yard, dry kilns, and planer, as well as a cogeneration plant that accepts byproducts from the mill operations. 

The Ukiah mill processes small logs up to 28 inches in diameter and 20 feet in length. The Ukiah property also contains an air drying yard, dry kilns, planer, fence line, and remanufacturing plant. Finished goods are available direct from the mills, as well as through company-owned distribution locations in northern and southern California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. Customer orders ship via rail and truck. 

Redwood

Humboldt Sawmill Redwood uppers are available in 1-inch, 2-inch and 4-inch dimensions in lengths from 6 feet to 20 feet, available rough, surfaced, and S1S2E in a variety of grades.

Humboldt Sawmill Redwood timbers are available in 6-inch and larger dimensions, up to 12 inches x 24 inches, and lengths up to 24 feet, rough and surfaced. Humboldt Sawmill Redwood timbers are available in Construction Heart and Heart B grades and can also be graded and stamped. 

“There’s a lot more that comes out of Redwood than just decking and fencing,” Dye said. “Our goal is to change the way we do things and promote bigger, better stuff to get more value out of our logs.”

An excellent alternative to Cedar timbers, Redwood timbers are well-suited for applications including arbors, barns, entryways, pergolas, and shade structures. Redwood timbers have been used commercially in hospitality venues, including the Sonoma Raceway facility, as well as countless residential applications. 

Redwood timbers are well-suited for applications including arbors, barns, entryways, pergolas, and shade structures. Redwood timbers have been used commercially in hospitality venues, including the Sonoma Raceway facility, as well as countless residential applications.
Redwood timbers are well-suited for applications including arbors, barns, entryways, pergolas, and shade structures. Redwood timbers have been used commercially in hospitality venues, including the Sonoma Raceway facility, as well as countless residential applications.

Douglas Fir

Humboldt Sawmill Douglas Fir joists and planks are available in 3-inch and 4-inch dimensions in lengths up to 24 feet in a variety of grades. 

Humboldt Sawmill Douglas Fir posts and beams are available in 6-inch and larger dimensions, up to 12 inches x 24 inches, and lengths up to 24 feet in a variety of grades. 

Humboldt Sawmill Douglas Fir products are graded and stamped. 

Preservative Treated 

Humboldt Sawmill’s sister company, Allweather Wood, further rounds out the companies’ product offerings. Allweather Wood is the largest waterborne preservative-treated lumber manufacturer in the western United States. The company owns lumber treatment facilities in Ukiah, CA, Coos Bay and White City, OR, Washougal, WA, and Loveland, CO. Mixed loads of Humboldt Sawmill Redwood and Douglas Fir products and Allweather Wood preservative treated lumber products are available from all company-owned distribution locations.

Sales

The Humboldt Sawmill sales team is led by Don Dye Jr., Vice President of Sales. Mike Cameron, Julie Wright, Mary Bower, Dennis Mazorra, and Lee Iorg, round out the Humboldt Sawmill sales team. 

“We’re not looking for customers,” Dye said. “We’re looking for partners.” 

For more information, visit www.MendoCo.com.

By Zach Miller

Editor and fourth generation of the Miller family to work at Miller Wood Trade Publications.

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