The cofounders of SapphirePine want to create value for wood that most furniture makers consider too damaged to use.
From 2010 through last year, a severe drought gripped California. Aquifers dried up, agriculture suffered, and, according to the U.S. Forest Service, over 100 million trees shriveled and died across 7.7 million acres of the state’s forests. Without a consistent supply of moisture, California’s majestic pine trees began to dry up from the inside out. Parched trees are especially vulnerable to invasion from mountain beetles, which burrow into the bark, lay eggs, and eventually eat their way through the bark, blocking the circulation of water and nutrients around the tree.