In Part 1 we made a case for the practical benefits of Sapele, and we’re guessing that you’re starting to appreciate what so many others have begun to see in this premium African hardwood species.
Sustainable and Verifiable
Many lumber species that quickly rise in popularity like Sapele fall prey to over-harvesting. Sapele is no exception; Western Africa is still recovering from the initial influx of interest. Thanks to increased awareness of the issue along with the African government’s stringent restrictions, we’re seeing the Sapele recover quite well. In the meantime, both Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire have created Sapele plantations, and the Congo produces the greatest amounts of Sapele lumber on the continent. Despite the political turmoil facing that area, logging companies have implemented strict regulations and verification schemes such as TLTV and VLO.
Because we purchase all our Sapele from TLTV stock, we always have verifiable and well-documented supply chains and can assure our customers that the lumber we sell them comes from responsibly and sustainably harvested trees. Particularly in this era of the Lacey Act and with responsibility falling on all those in the supply chain, we realize that our customers require carefully sourced lumber.
This issue presents yet another way that Sapele is superior to other species lumped together under the moniker “African Mahoganies”: Because many species can be included in a single shipment, matching documentation to each board is difficult, and customers sometimes receive lumber that performs less predictably than Sapele.
Inventory and Purchasing
J. Gibson McIlvain continues to plan ahead of our customers, and we predict a continual increase in Sapele orders in the foreseeable future. We typically stock between 400,000 and 600,000 board feet of Sapele with plenty of inbound stock on its way, ready to be carefully kiln-dried to North American standards.
Whether you choose to purchase your Sapele from us or another lumber supplier, you’ll want to be sure to request provenance documentation to make sure that the species you’re buying is actually Sapele. We’d also suggest checking documentation regarding sustainability and legality. Not only will this extra step help you make sure you’re in compliance with Lacey Act regulations, but it will contribute to the continuation of responsible practices.
As you shop for Sapele, one more area to check is that it’s properly dried and milled. You’ll not only be saving you grief as you install the lumber, but you’ll also be encouraging best practices and quality workmanship, while helping close the door on those who don’t deserve your business. Among the many reasons customers keep coming back to J. Gibson McIlvain is our commitment to quality. If you give us a try, we think you’ll see the difference and become a regular customer, as well.