There are two requirements of Super Heroes – they must have special powers and they must have a cool back story.
TerraMai’s exterior woods have both, which is why together they form our Exterior Woods League of Super Woods (X-Woods League for short).
All these woods have been endowed by Mother Nature with the special power to endure the elements and survive in the harshest conditions – wood immortality in other words. Each also possess a colorful origin story that makes them even more exceptional. Let’s meet our team.
Ipe The Righteous
The newest and perhaps most special member of our X-Wood team. Special because TerraMai’s Ipe is perhaps the only truly sustainable Ipe available, at least in the U.S.
This is because TerraMai’s Ipe is reclaimed from harvesting underwater standing trees from reservoirs in the tropics. These reservoirs, like all reservoirs, are created by building dams to store water by flooding formerly open land. The standing trees and forests that are often submerged as part of this process are actually preserved underwater indefinitely from rot and decay by the lack of oxygen.
Millions of acres of standing forests are preserved underwater throughout the U.S. and elsewhere throughout the world as a result. In tropical regions of the world, these submerged reservoir forests contain millions of exotic tropical hardwood trees preserved intact by the lack of oxygen.
TerraMai has worked with partners in Central America, South America and Africa to sustainably harvest these submerged exotic tropical hardwood trees. It is a complex process that involves both advanced technology and timeless human guile and guts.
The underwater harvesting process involves identifying select standing underwater trees and then extracting them using divers and special submersible equipment (including underwater chainsaws – pretty rad). Because the bottom parts of the trees and their lifeless root systems are left untouched, the extraction process does not disturb the lakebed or harm the underwater habitats.
Ipe is coveted for its durability, density and ability to withstand the elements. It is also a handsome, versatile wood that pairs beautifully with other exterior materials like concrete, brick, steel and glass. These characteristics have made Ipe a staple of exterior siding, decking and decor elements throughout the U.S. However, this wide-spread use of Ipe comes at an environmental cost.
Ipe’s notorious reputation as an illegally-harvested rain forest species is well documented. Even Ipe that comes to market with Forest-Stewardship Certification (FSC) and other certifications is considered dubious, at best, by environmental experts.
This is why we here at TerraMai are especially excited and gratified to now make truly sustainable Ipe available to architects, designers and builders.
Teak The Noble
Teak is renowned as the noble “King of Woods” for its legendary beauty, versatility and ability to withstand the elements. Teak is equally suited to the most sophisticated, meticulously designed and crafted furniture applications as it is to the most demanding outdoor applications, which is why teak has for centuries been the wood of choice for boat builders and nautical applications.
TerraMai’s Teak is reclaimed from aging structures in Southeast Asia. This beautiful old-growth Teak produces gorgeous siding and decking able to perform in the most punishing exterior environments. Left to the elements, outdoor Teak develops a classic sliver-grey luster. TerraMai can also provide prefinish options designed to help lock-in old-growth Teak’s prized natural color tones.
Angelique The Pristine
TerraMai’s Angelique provides an exquisitely clean tropical hardwood that also has the toughness to take on the elements in graceful style. TerraMai’s Angelique is also underwater reclaimed from the same reservoir sources that provide our Ipe.
The standing submerged exotic hardwood Angelique trees that are extracted to produce TerraMai’s Angelique Siding and Decking yield a lumber that is remarkably free of knots and other visible signs of surface character. As a result, TerraMai’s Angelique Siding and Decking provides an immaculate exterior wood option that is also sustainable.
Redwood The Legendary
As the world’s tallest organisms, redwood trees hold legendary standing among earth’s living creatures. The majestic redwood forests of the Northern California coast also hold legendary status among America’s treasured natural resources.
Redwood lumber also holds a special place in the history of the American West and most specifically California, where redwood was used to build many of the structures that sprouted like seedlings in the wake of the California Gold Rush that kicked off in 1849.
Redwood was a medium of choice for early-20th architectural masters like Julia Morgan, Bernard Maybeck and Frank Lloyd Wright whose compositions in Redwood still dazzle, now more than ever, in a design world increasingly reliant on the synthetic and mass-produced.
TerraMai’s reclaimed Lost Coast Redwood Siding is an extraordinarily versatile product that looks great as-is with classic weathered-grey redwood patina. TerraMai’s Lost Coast Redwood Siding also takes finishes beautifully to allow for virtually any color tones imaginable.
Cedar The Trusted
Cedar is a tried-and-true exterior wood of choice throughout North America. It performs beautifully in the elements, looks great, and is the standard reliable choice for exterior applications from high-end commercial buildings to humble residential fencing.
TerraMai’s Cedar is reclaimed from forest-floor salvage in the Pacific Northwest. This forest-floor salvage consists of “slash” or “scraps” that were deemed too inconsequential and left behind when the original virgin old-growth forests were first logged years ago. Some of this left-behind material is now being reassessed with fresh eyes and found to yield old-growth Cedar lumber that produces beautiful, highest-quality Cedar Siding.
Exterior Wood Weathering, Finishing & Maintenance
All of TerraMai’s exterior woods will gently weather to a silver-grey patina if left to weather naturally. However, TerraMai can work with designers to provide prefinish solutions that lock-in desired color tones over time. TerraMai can also work with designers, builders and property owners to provide prefinish solutions and maintenance programs tailored to work best with the specific conditions and priorities of each project.
The X-Wood League of Super Woods
Like any great Super Hero team, TerraMai’s exterior woods offer complimentary powers, along with colorful stories and sustainability, to suit any challenge.
- Ipe The Righteous for a gold-standard exterior tropical hardwood that is also supremely durable
- Teak The Noble for the “King of Woods” offering renowned beauty and performance in the harshest elements
- Angelique The Pristine for an exterior exotic hardwood that offers both refined elegance and outdoor toughness
- Redwood The Legendary for its legendary place in American history along with its legendary beauty and ability to perform in exterior conditions
- Cedar The Trusted for a classic, versatile exterior wood perfectly suited for the most grand commercial building, rugged residential retreat, and everything in between
Whenever an exterior design challenge rears itself, like a super nemesis hatched from an evil laboratory or alien planet, TerraMai’s X-Wood League of Super Woods is there to save the day with beauty, style and sustainability.
You’re welcome Planet Earth.
Matt Nichols, TerraMai VP of National Accounts – Western U.S