Understanding French Oak

French Oak, known for its exceptional quality and versatility, comprises two species that vary by region. The consistency and premium quality of French Oak stem from meticulous practices such as avoiding species mixing and selecting trees aged between 200 to 250 years.

In France, timber undergoes categorization into four sections based on its intended use:

  • A-section: The base of the tree, typically utilized for crafting barrels.

  • B & C-section: Middle portions of the tree, often employed in joinery or flooring applications.

  • D-section: Reserved for external uses like railway sleepers.

French Oak processing and grading adhere to stringent guidelines governed by the FNB (National Wood Federation), overseeing numerous sawmills across France. These guidelines encompass precise grading criteria and advanced drying techniques. Products crafted from French Oak often boast single-origin materials, ensuring consistent quality throughout.

At Renaissance Parquet, we exclusively source our Oak from France. Additionally, we provide certificates of origin and country of harvest declarations, guaranteeing transparency and authenticity in every purchase. Experience the unmatched excellence of French Oak with us.

Sustainably Managed Forests

As far as our oak flooring is concerned, whether it’s strip flooring or parquetry, comes from trees that are up to 200 years old. This is a sustainable supply, because 200 years ago there were people out there making sure these trees would last for years to come.

Australia’s managed forests are very young compared to the system that the French people put into place for almost 700 years. The French people have always respected oak for its environmental and economical benefits from the outset and throughout.

The first French forestry code was written in 1346, when modern day management started under Louis; the 14th Prime Minister Jean Baptiste Colbert who, between 1661 and 1669 restructured all royal domain forests. The jewel in the crown was, and still is the “Tronçais” forest (pictured above), which can unquestionably be considered the finest oak forest in Europe.

In the 17th century, sustainability was not considered an important manner like it is today. All available timber was utilised for creating warships and other creations. As other countries could freely consume the Tasmanian Huon pines, France was to rely on what they had within their country, therefore a lot of planning and management towards their forests was essential. Sustainability was not the sole reason why these forests were created – they were created for commercial purposes. Although France never really utilised this forest, the end result was extensive planting and available tree sources. This encouraged ongoing management to maintain this reserve of oak.

Nowadays 50% of commercial French oak comes from ONF managed national or local communities forests. This includes 12 million hectares out of the whole 17 million hectares of forests, representing 30% of the French territory. Our main supplier operates under a PEFC agreement – the European equivalent of the FSC.

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Why Choose French Oak?