Oak Timber Flooring Specials From Historic Canterbury Woodlot
The sale of NZ grown Hard Oak Flooring provides an opportunity to not only have a beautiful and hardwearing floor but also a physical part of early New Zealand history.
Cloudy Bay Winery – NZ Oak Flooring 83x19
Cloudy Bay Winery, Tasting Room – NZ Oak
The Oak flooring is from two recently harvested woodlots. Most are from a part of an old Canterbury Farming ‘Run’ at Westerfield, inland from Ashburton called ‘Oak Flats’. The woodlot covered a few hectares. The rest of the timber is from windthrow in an original woodlot on the Deans family ‘Homebush’ farm near Darfield in Canterbury. The Deans were the first European settlers in Christchurch. The mixed hardwood stands are some of the earliest examples of New Zealand tree planting for timber production.
Hard Oak logs ready for sawmilling
- Natural, Real, Healthy.
- Attractive – beautiful colours, figure and grain.
- Low Maintenance – Hard wearing, serviceable and easy care.
- Fully Guaranteed – industry endorsed and 20 years of success
- Great value – increases the value of your property.
- From local sustainable woodlots – Good for New Zealand and the environment.
- Versatile – enhances all architectural styles.
“The Oak timber flooring now available from these historic 150 year old stands makes a superb floor” says Mark McKenzie the Manager of Timbers of New Zealand. “Oak in New Zealand grows a denser and harder floor than in Europe due to our better summer growing conditions”. He says. “Also not only do we have Oak available but also two other classic flooring timbers; Elm which is now all but gone from Europe due to Dutch Elm disease and also Ash”.
The wood colour is a lovely pale straw brown with natural features of shimmering lens-shaped medullary rays and small tight knots and cracks. It produces a soft light warm glow in your home and over time the wood develops a patina.
If you’re interested in this Oak flooring follow this link to the Timbers of New Zealand Photo gallery and make an inquiry about our Queens Birthday Special in Oak Flooring in honour of Queen Victoria who sent acorns from Britain’s ‘Royal Oak Tree’ to New Zealand, one of which became the first tree in the Christchurch Gardens . If you’re interested in more of this fascinating history read on…
The Westerfield Oaks from which the flooring has come from were planted about 1867 by Charles Reid, a prominent early Canterbury runholder. He told the local newspaper at the time that the main plantation “would be worth two thousand pounds sterling (in log sale) when it matured”. After accounting for inflation, it turns out after 150 years to be have been worth significantly more.
Charles Reid made a small fortune on the goldfields of Victoria, Australia before arriving in Akaroa. He bought the Run without stock in about 1855 for £2000. At the time of planting the few hectares of Oak woodlot, Westerfield estate spread over 50,000 acres and was a sizeable operation. It had its own flour mill. People recollect that while out on the Run, Reid used to wear a pair of wide white moleskin trousers, a blue woollen smock (in Victoria it was called a ‘blue shirt’) and a cabbage tree hat. Both the blue shirt and the cabbage tree hat worn by Reid were the only ones people had ever seen in New Zealand
Charles Reid was a prominent settler in early Canterbury and was Mayor of the Ashburton District Borough for ten years. He was known for his enterprising nature and public service.
The mixed Hardwood stand comprised predominately Oak trees, but included some Elm and Ash and are some of the oldest in New Zealand. The Deans Home Bush estate is of a similar vintage.
Up until 1839, the 29th of May was a public holiday in the UK called ‘Oak Apple Day’, and on this day it was customary for people to wear either a sprig of oak or an oak apple (an oak fungal gall) on their clothing.
It was an old day of celebration set up in 1660 by the English Parliament on the restoration of King Charles II in remembrance of the Royal Oak tree in Boscobel Wood which had saved the King’s life after his defeat in the battle of Worcester. The King hid in the crown of the Oak from Cromwell’s Puritan troops searching in vain for him below. ‘Oak Apple Day’ is probably a continuation of an older pre-Christian nature worship day.
In 1861 Queen Victoria sent to New Zealand 4 acorns from the Royal Oak Tree. One of the 4 resulting seedlings a ‘tree child’ of the Royal Oak was the first tree planted in the Christchurch Gardens. Within a few years, early acorns from this Oak tree in the Christchurch gardens were used to produce seedlings for early Canterbury oak propagation such as those at Westerfield and Homebush.
The tree and timber botanically named Quercus robur, latin for ‘Hard Oak’, holds great antiquity and mythical status for our European forbears. It is also known as English Oak, French Oak, European Oak and Common Oak.
The Hard Oak is a very tall, large tree, with impressive longevity.
In Linkinborne, Cornwall, there is an Oak tree that was planted as a ‘founder tree’ when the church was built and has a recorded history going back before the year 1000AD.
Hard Oak timber has great strength, hardness and durability. It was used for window and door joinery, beams and floors of ancient British churches. Most are still sound after hundreds of years exposure to the elements.
Timbers of New Zealand over the past few years have been harvesting, milling and producing flooring and sawn timber from these old woodlots. It takes well over a year to dry the timber. The company also encourages landowners to continue to plant the amazing Hard Oak.