• Recreational Leases in New England Forests

    Four coyote pups explore recently harvested woods.
    Forests and wildlife go hand in hand. Forest thinings bring sunlight to the forest floor, leading to new growth that attracts birds, browsers, and predators. Can you find all four coyote pups in this photo? They were exploring a recent timber harvest in Wales, Massachusetts.

    To date we have permanently protected over 10,000 acres of our Massachusetts and Connecticut woodlands from development.  These working forests provide so many public benefits, including enhanced air and water quality, large unfragmented wildlife habitat,  critical wintering and staging areas for migratory waterfowl, carbon sequestration, and a steady supply of timber to meet society’s demand for sustainably grown, renewable building materials.

    As part of our commitment to multiple use in our forestland (wildlife, timber, recreation), we lease some of these large forestland properties to individuals and groups interested in exclusive hunting leases and recreational access. The properties generally include access roads, gates, and miles of trails. Some even have warming cabins with wood stoves. Our clients include fish & game clubs whose suburban locations do not allow them to hunt deer;  bird dog trial enthusiasts; hunters; and outdoorsmen and women of all kinds. Some of our lease clients have been with us for over 30 years, allowing them and their families to develop a special connection with the land.

    For more information on our recreational leasing program, visit us at hullforest.com and click on the “Forestry” tab.

    Properties currently available for lease

  • Barn Destroyed by Hurricane Sandy is Replaced with Hull Timbers

    For all you timber frame enthusiasts, check out this youtube video of the Laird family barn raising.  After their barn was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, the family hired Todd Mendes Woodworking to build them a new timber frame barn.  The timbers were milled from locally grown wood by Hull Forest Products.  It is so inspiring to see our timbers used in this way!

    Laird Family Barn Raising with Timbers from Hull Forest Products

  • Join Us At Architecture Boston 2013 November 19-21st

    Hull Forest Products wood flooring booth at Architecture Boston tradeshow

    Attention Greater Boston residents! Don’t miss the opportunity to see our locally grown wood flooring in person at the Architecture Boston Expo, held at the Boston Convention and Exposition Center, Hall C, November 19-21st 2013. Save yourself the drive to our Connecticut sawmill and check us out while we’re in your back yard. Produced by the Boston Society of Architects, Architecture Boston is the largest regional conference and tradeshow for the design and construction industries.

    We’ll be at booth 936 with samples of our different types of locally grown wood flooring: prefinished, unfinished, and engineered. We hope to see you there!

  • Explore the Woods With Us This Fall

    Portion of the frame and left side landing gear of one of two Navy F6F-FN Hellcats that crashed in the woods of Preston, CT in 1944. (Courtesy of the CT State Historic Preservation Office.)

    As a valued member of our community, we’re giving you a heads up on our fall woods walks so you can mark your calendar now and save the dates for these free and educational tours:

    Town Forest Does the Public Good:

    Explore the recent forest management activities initiated by the Preston Redevelopment Agency and Hull Forest Products on land once owned by the Norwich State Hospital mental health facility. This 2-mile, 2-hour hike over moderate terrain includes a large reservoir, panoramic views of the Thames River, beautiful timber, and historic artifacts from the crash of two Navy Hellcats that went down in these woods while practicing night interception maneuvers in October 1944.
    Date: October 19, 2013 10 am (rain date 10/26/13 10 am)
    Location: 21 Route 12, Preston, CT
    Directions: Approximately 1/4 mile north of the junction of Rte.12 and Rte. 2A on the right. Follow signs to a parking area near the reservoir.
    Contact: Hull forester Chris Casadei (860) 235-6550

    Forest to Faucet:

    Learn how local forests protect watersheds as you explore the beautiful reservoirs of the Southbridge Water Supply and Hull Forestland’s abutting Breakneck Brook Forest. Protected by a conservation easement from MA Fish & Wildlife, the Breakneck Brook Forest is a working woodland that provides drinking water supply protection, recreational opportunity, and a source of timber. This is a 3-mile walk over moderate terrain and should take 2.5 hours.
    Date: October 19, 2013 9:30 am
    Location: 511 Breakneck Road Southbridge, MA
    Directions: From the intersection of South Rd. and Breakneck Rd., take Breakneck Road south for 1 mile and park at the filtration plant.
    Contact: Hull forester Mike Bartlett (860) 377-0117

  • New Woodland Management Video

    Interested in learning woodland management 101? Hull Forest Products offers free open-to-the-public woods walks and tours each year to explain the principles of forest management and show off our work. Can’t make it? Fret not, we have recorded the highlights of our latest woods tour in this 7-minute video:


  • Hull Family Permanently Protects Over 700 Acres of Forestland in Granville, MA

    August, 2013, Granville, MA-

    Over 700 acres of productive forestland in Granville, Massachusetts have been permanently protected in a collaborative effort between the Hull family, the New England Forestry Foundation, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEA), and the town of Granville, MA. The conserved forestland protects Valley Brook, which is Granville’s largest stream and an important tributary to the Hartford Metroplican District’s Barkhamstead Reservoir, the primary water source for the city of Hartford, CT.

    Hull Forestlands L.P., the Hull family land trust, granted a conservation easement  for the 715 acres  to the New England Forestry Foundation in June 2013. This land protection project is part of the Western Massachusetts Aggregation Project, which aims to create larger unfragmented parcels of land in central and western Massachusetts. The New England Forestry Foundation received a Landscape Partnership Grant  from the MA EOEA in 2012 to pursue the project.

    The Hull family, who already steward over 8,000 acres of permanently protected forestland in Massachusetts and Connecticut, had long expressed an interest in seeing the Granville forests protected. The newly conserved forests add to large contiguous tracts of conserved forestland in the area, including NEFF’s Phelon Memorial Forest, forests owned by the Hartford Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), and those of other private landowners.

    The Hull family’s Granville forests, called the “Noble &  Cooley Forest” and the “Valley Brook Forest” will remain in their natural state and continue to provide a source of timber for generations to come.  The Hull family will continue to pay taxes on the land annually to the town of Granville.  (And since forestland pays more in taxes than it consumes in community services like education, water, and sewer, forestland is a net financial gain for the town compared to residential land.)

    The Hull family own Hull Forest Products–the largest hardwood sawmill in the region–and their mission is to preserve working forests, grow trees, and manufacture wood products, thereby satisfying society’s demand for sustainable building materials and forest ecosystem benefits.   Selectively harvested timber from the Valley Brook and  Noble & Cooley forests will be turned into lumber, flooring, post & beam timbers, wood chips, and fuel wood.   These private forests will also continue to provide public benefits that make them important to the region as a whole, including wildlife habitat, enhanced air and water quality, carbon sequestration, and their contribution to the rural character of New England.

    For more information on the Western Massachusetts Aggregation Project:  http://www.wildlandsandwoodlands.org/activities/protect-land/western-mass-pilot-aggregation-project

    For more information on the New England Forestry Foundation: http://newenglandforestry.org/home.html

    More information on Hull Forestlands’ Working Forest Conservation Efforts 

  • Connecticut Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring

    Modern kitchen with wide plank live sawn wood floors
    Live sawn White Oak kitchen flooring from Hull Forest Products (floor #201) in a western Connecticut home. The homeowners wanted to incorporate as many local materials as possible when building their home, so they chose Hull Forest Products, CT’s largest sawmill, as their wood floor supplier.

    Hull Forest Products is  Connecticut’s largest sawmill and premier manufacturer of locally grown wide plank wood flooring.  We are located in Pomfret, Connecticut, and we have been offering   CT grown wide plank wood flooring mill-direct to homeowners since 1965.  In 2017 we were chosen as the wood flooring manufacturer for the new residential colleges at Yale University. You can see our floors throughout the new Pauli Murray and Benjamin Franklin Colleges at Yale.

    yale residential colleges wood floors
    Five inch wide rift and quartersawn Red Oak floors from Hull Forest Products, in the library of Benjamin Franklin College at Yale University. Photo by Yale Alumni Magazine.

    Connecticut is one of the most heavily forested states in New England, with over 60 percent forest cover, yet the majority of the forest products grown in Connecticut are sent out of state.  If you are looking for CT hardwood flooring or pine flooring, why import a wood floor from halfway around the world when you can buy local and save money and the local environment in the process?

    In 2011 Hull Forest Products joined the Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s  Connecticut Grown program, which identifies local producers of forest products and helps connect them with CT homeowners and builders who are looking for local mill-direct wood flooring, paneling, and millwork.

    CT grown wood flooring logo
    The Connecticut Grown logo helps consumers connect with local producers of wood flooring such as Hull Forest Products, a family-run sawmill crafting affordable wide plank wood flooring since 1965.

    If helping the local environment and saving money are not reason enough for you to choose Hull Forest Products as your Connecticut wood flooring supplier, consider these reasons as well: 10 Reasons to Choose Hull Forest Products.

    Read Reviews from Hull Forest Products Flooring Customers

    Browse our mill-direct wood floors   

  • Forest to Floor: Sawmill Open House at Hull Forest Products

    sawing logs on Corley Carriage
    Hull Forest Products’ sawmill uses two headrigs: a double cut bandsaw with a 1/8 inch kerf (shown above) and a circular saw with a 1/4 inch kerf.

    The circular saw was invented in 1813 by a Shaker sister named Tabitha Babbitt (and we still use one today), but you may be surprised to see just how modern lumber manufacturing has become! Join us for our sawmill open house on October 12, 2013, and you’ll see firsthand how sustainably harvested local timber is turned into lumber for flooring, furniture, and pallets, as well as post and beam timbers and railroad ties.

    Don’t miss this opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes workings of a modern sawmill and lumber manufacturing facility.  Here’s what a past tour participant had to say about the experience:

    “Many, many thanks for the wonderful tour of the Hull Forest Products facility. I was impressed beyond words. To see hardwood timber–right off the logging truck–being transformed with sophisticated computer-controlled milling machines into finished product right before my eyes was truly amazing. This process must be experienced firsthand to really appreciate the enormous effort required to deliver such a diverse array of wood products from railroad ties to wide plank flooring.

    And to think that this family-owned manufacturing company is based right here in Connecticut at a time when sadly, very little seems to be made in our country any more. I will not only recommend your beautiful timber and flooring products, but will do so proudly and enthusiastically.Thank you for allowing me this exceptional opportunity. Keep up the good work! ”

    — Philip Tankard, AIA

    The Hull Forest Products open house is scheduled for October 12, 2013 from 8am to 2pm at 101 Hampton Road, Pomfret Center, CT.  Tours last approximately 90 minutes. This is an easy walk and much of it is wheelchair accessible.  Children are welcome.  Free and open to the public. Hope to see you there! Call (860) 974-0127 for more info.

    Learn more

  • A Treehouse Grows in the Yale-Myers Forest

    A sketch of the treehouse under construction in the Yale Myers Forest.

    When Yale undergrad Griffin Collier approached Hull Forest Products about the possibility of donating lumber for the Yale Treehouse Project, we were excited to be able to help him reach his goal of building an arboreal retreat for recreation and wildlife viewing. The treehouse project was begun when Collier,  inspired by the feelings that treehouses evoke, decided to create one for the entire Yale community. Collier used Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects, to raise over $10,000  for the project.

    Located along the Branch Brook Trail just a short walk from base camp at Yale-Myers, the Yale treehouse will soon be built in an old Sugar Maple whose low spreading limbs provide an ideal embrace.  Hull Forest Products is supplying kiln dried Sassasfras lumber at cost for the construction of the treehouse. The structure may well draw more Yale students to the forest, particularly ones outside the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies who might not otherwise have reason to visit.  And in our opinion, anytime you can bring people into nature, it’s a good thing.

    Our Myers Pond Forest , which is under conservation easement to the Nature Conservancy, abuts the Yale-Myers Forest and is the only private inholding within Yale-Myers. This  property was where the summer home of Yale forest founder George Hewitt Myers once stood. Myers, who told Yale Forest head David Smith, “I wanted to be able to stand on top of a hill and own all the land, as far as I could see”, would no doubt have appreciated the vantage point the Yale treehouse will offer.

  • Oak Wide Plank Floors

    Red oak wide plank flooring from Hull Forest Products
    Wide board red oak flooring brings a sense of history to this reproduction colonial home. Wider planks allow for a fuller view of the “cathedral window” grain common to oak. Hull Forest Products long length select grade wide Red Oak, floor #359.

    Oak. Quercus.

    How do you tell one oak wide plank floor from another? And what is the difference between red oak and white oak wide plank flooring? Well, for one thing, there is the price tag (red oak generally costs less than white oak.) Appearance wise, red oak tends to have ruddy undertones that are pinkish to red, while white oak’s undertones tend to be more gray to brown. But it is not always easy to distinguish the two. With the application of stain and/or finish, each can be made to look more like the other.

    A more accurate way of distinguishing these two species within the Oak genus is by comparing ray length.  Rays are vascular tissues in the tree. (Think of them as drinking straws transporting food, water, nutrients, and minerals to all parts of the tree.) In flatsawn wood, these rays appear as horizontal lines, while in quartersawn wood, they can appear as wavy lines. The rays of red oak are noticeably shorter than those of white oak. (Compare figures 1 and 2 below).

    Detailed view of the rays in the grain of Red Oak.
    Figure 1: Close-up view of the rays (the darker horizontal lines) in the grain of a wide plank Red Oak floor.
    Close up view of the rays in the grain of a wide plank white oak floor.
    Figure 2: Close-up view of rays in the grain of a wide plank White Oak floor. Notice how these are longer than those of Red Oak shown in Figure 1.

    Differences in ray length are most obvious when you can compare red oak and white oak boards side by side.

    It’s no secret in the flooring world that red oak, for over a decade, has been the poor cousin in the oak family, taking a backseat to its more popular relative, white oak.  This trend reflected a backlash against the ubiquity of red oak strip flooring (which once accounted for the majority of flooring installations in the United States).  But when you enter the realm of wide plank flooring, red oak becomes something very uncommon.  Wide plank red oak flooring shows off the bold cathedral grain of oak in a way that is simply not possible with the narrow boards of strip flooring, which means that wide plank red oak flooring looks very different from 95 percent of the red oak floors in the world today. Personally, we feel the bias against red oak is unjustified and that it is just as beautiful as white oak.

    You may be wondering how the subtle differences between red and white oak translate to the appearance of an entire floor, so here are some photos that can help. For comparison purposes, both figures 3 and 4 below show select grade oak floors with an oil-based clear poly finish.

    Figure 3: Red Oak in the select grade with a clear oil based poly finish.
    Figure 3: Red Oak in the select grade with a clear oil-based poly finish.
    white oak select with a clear oil based poly finish
    Figure 4: White Oak in the select grade with a clear oil-based poly finish.

    As you can see, with a clear oil-based poly finish, the red and white oak floors look very similar. The oil-based finishes are known for imparting an amber or yellowish glow. In contrast, water-based finishes give you more of a clear coat over the natural wood and do not amber with age. Here are some  examples of red oak and white oak with clear water-based finishes:

    Quarter/rift sawn white oak with a clear water-based poly finish.
    Figure 5: Quarter/riftsawn Red Oak floor with a clear water-based poly finish.
    White Oak with a water-based poly finish.
    Figure 6: White Oak with a  clear water-based poly finish.

    The end result from the water-based poly finish is a much paler floor in both cases, as shown in Figures 5 and 6 above. Now let’s see what happens when red and white oak are given a stain before being finished. The large pores in oak are particularly receptive to stain, so whether you start with red oak or white oak, a wide variety of color can be achieved, from pickled white to dark espresso.

    Red oak floor with Bona Early American stain and poly finish.
    Figure 7: Red Oak flooring with Bona’s “Early American” brown stain and clear poly finish.
    Frye Boot Store - Hull Flooring
    Figure 8: White Oak flooring darkened with an aniline dye stain, at the Frye Boot flagship store, Manhattan.

    As you can see, virtually any color can be achieved when you change the natural color of the wood with stains or dyes. Since monitor colors vary and since the light in your home will affect the view of your floor, the very best way to make sure you are happy with the species and color of your floor is to test out your stain and/or finish choices on samples of the raw woods.  At Hull Forest Products, we offer complimentary raw wood samples so you or your designer or contractor can experiment.  After all, if you’re going to be living on our slice of nature for years to come, we want you to love the way it looks.

    Related posts:

    White Oak Wide Plank Flooring

    For pricing, specifications, and more photographs of oak wide plank floors, please visit our red oak flooring and white oak flooring galleries online at hullforest.com.