Hudson Company Mushroom Wood

Hudson Company Mushroom Wood

By:  Julie Knight I recently spoke with Jamie Hammel, president of the Hudson Company, a 30,000 square foot lumber mill in Pine Plains, New York and showroom in Brooklyn.  The business was founded in 1995 and he describes his company as “a vertically integrated mill” that specializes in antique lumber for flooring, paneling and beams.  We “hand-make everything we sale but we try to be efficient in our process” as well as “we take personal pride in what we deliver.”  Additonally,  he “wants each piece to be meaningful.”   And I believe he has taken great steps to ensure his products and company are meaningful and sustainable.  They are a Forest Stewardship Council-certified mill and they use reclaimed and select harvest wood products. The vast majority of their wood comes from the Ohio River valley, New York state and India.  These areas have a source of old wooden manufacturing building and agricultural barns that are being demolished to make way for new structures. So, the Hudson Company will select the timbers while still in the building and then salvage the wood for shipment back to the mill where the wood is cleaned, sorted and processed for re-use in interior and exterior environments.  Many of these structures, marked for demolition, were originally made from mature trees that were 100-200 years old at harvest and have been in the same structure for another 100 or more years.  According to Jamie, “they still have a 50-70 year life left to them.” Additionally, one of the Hudson Company’s unique products is “Mushroom Wood.”  Mushroom Farms utilize Hemlock and Cypress in the growing process but, after 15-20 years, the wood is no longer useful and must be replaced with new.  The Hudson Company reclaims the wood and mills it into its new purpose – paneling, flooring and beams. What makes this wood special?  Mushroom wood has a sculpted surface in which the knots and lines stand out from the surface. This surface was created by the reaction of the enzymes in the organic matter lying on the bunk beds for many years.  Each board has a rich caramel coloring and wonderful topography in its natural state. It is “perfectly distressed”, says Jamie. But, with each piece of reclaimed wood, there are “layers of history from each piece” and a narrative to be discovered. More information on mushroom wood and other antique lumbers can be discovered by searching the Hudson Company website.

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