Sunken Ancient Timber - What is Riverwood?

That wood is how old? 300 years old!

Riverwood is a term used for wood that grew hundreds of years ago. During the Ottawa Valley logging boom of the late 1800’s these ancient trees were harvested and floated down the mighty Ottawa River (hence “Riverwood”) to be processed at waiting sawmills down river. But some of the logs never finished this epic journey! Along the way many sunk to the dark cold depths of the Ottawa River, where they have laid perfectly preserved. Now a century later, this Ancient Timber is being re-claimed to be crafted into furniture, flooring and in our case, timeless pieces of audio art.

You may be asking yourself, “that’s great and all, but what makes Riverwood so unique?” Well let me tell you!

Because this timber grew hundreds of years ago, it grew in the dense forest canopies under ideal conditions causing trees to grow slow, straight and tall. This resulted in wood with very tight grain. You can actually see this by comparing the annual rings to modern wood. Due to this slow growth Riverwood has much tighter annual rings giving it a strength and beauty that is unmatched by modern timber.

Cross section riverwood acoustics birch

FUN FACT#1: Did you know Riverwood is approximately 15% more dense than wood today!

Now not only is the wood stronger, its beauty is second to none. Years of being at the bottom of the river under the pressures of the water, have pushed the sap and resin from the logs and in turn sucked in the colourful minerals in the water. These minerals give Riverwood unique and beautiful, but very subtle hues, including pinks and purples. It is these majestic colors intertwined with the wavy flowing grain patterns that gives Riverwood it’s uniqueness.

FUN FACT#2: When the sap and resin is forced from the logs it actually creates a more stable wood that is less likely to expand and warp.  

I may be a little bias as I have huge passion for wood, but I believe Riverwood truly is some of the most beautiful wood on the planet. But don’t just take my word for it! Take a look for yourself here how we transform this ancient timber into one of a kind acoustic masterpieces.