Redwood No Longer an Option for Quality Hot Tub Manufacturers
Few species of wood, other than “Old Growth”, have enough natural rot resistance to be acceptable for use in top quality wooden hot tubs.
“Old Growth Forests” as defined by Wikipedia, are “areas of forests that have attained great age and exhibit unique biological features.”
Old Growth Forests are also commonly referred to as Ancient Forests, Virgin Forests,
Primary Forests and Ancient Woodlands.
Forests that have not attained great age due to severe disruptions, such as clear-cut logging or wild fires, are referred to as Regenerated or Second Growth Forests.
Forests remain classified as “Regenerated” for a very long period of time and until all of the effects of the severe disruption are no longer evident. Depending on the forest, this may take anywhere from as little as a century or as long as several millennia.
As their name states, Old Growth trees grow very slowly over long periods of time. One significant reason for their slow growth is the struggle for sunlight being blocked by neighboring trees.
Slow growth can be seen and measured by looking at the growth rings of the tree, some of which can have up to 50 rings per inch, indicating that it took the tree 50 years to add 1 inch of girth. Slow growing species of wood with tighter growth rings have proven to be much more rot resistant than faster growing trees with wider growth rings.
The space between trees and the sunlight conditions for Regenerated and Second-Growth Forests are much more conducive to fast growth and in an ideal atmosphere, second growth trees can have as few as 3 growth rings per inch.
In 1996 one of the largest lumber companies in the world, The Pacific Lumber Company, entered into an agreement with the US government and the State of California known as the Headwaters Forest Act.
This agreement all but ended all large scale commercial harvesting of Old Growth Forests in general and Old Growth Redwood Forests in particular. What remains is a very small supply of “reclaimed” old growth redwood and a minuscule amount of old growth redwood being produced by some very small, privately owned mills.
The vast majority of redwood on the market today is regenerated or second-growth and is completely unacceptable for use in any hot tub and even more so for a quality Roberts Hot Tub.
The image below shows the difference between an Old Growth Western Red Cedar Hot Tub Stave and a Second Growth Redwood Hot Tub Stave.
The image to the left shows one of our typical western red cedar staves from Roberts Hot Tubs. There’s up to twenty (20) growth rings per inch.
This image on the left shows a redwood stave from one of our hot tub competitors. As you can see, there’s only two or three (2-3) growth rings per inch.
There’s No Substitute for Quality