Flaxwood is an option. You can also look for the Forest Stewardship Council logo. This group works in 80 countries and ensures that the wood is coming from a properly managed forest that is growing back as fast as wood as being cleared or cut.
EcoTimber also offers sustainable wood options other than bamboo. You can check out their full range of products here: http://www.ecotimber.com/green-floor.php
You could argue that, because of their accelerated growth rate, genetically modified tress provide sustainable wood. Russian Scientists of the Institute for Bio-organic Chemistry have calibrated the genetics of birch and aspen trees so that they grow twice as fast as their unaltered counterparts. Genetic engineering has been under the microscope before, but the scientists feel it will help curb deforestation in Europe. In addition, GMTs could provide quickly grown wood.
Woods are not sustainable in and of themselves. What is sustainable or not sustainable about wood is how humans harvest and use it. Even fast-growing bamboo, and any of the other woods mentioned by other contributors, are not sustainable if humans over harvest them beyond their ability (and the ability of other organisms that depend on them) to survive in the wild.
This is very true, but, if I’m not mistaken, trees are generally considered a renewable resource.
The argument is the same: trees are renewable only insofar as enough are left unharvested to ensure the continuous survival of woody resources.
Plus, some resources are more ‘renewable’ than others. For example, it only takes a few years for the earth to replenish itself with trees, compared to several millennia for fossil fuels. Bamboo takes even less time than most trees. And straw (straw bales being perhaps the most underutilized building material) comes back every year.
No need to address fossil fuels, but the world seems to be consuming trees a lot faster than they are being renewed. At the end of the day, the resource itself matters much less than how humanity harnesses it.
Many trees are sustainable when harvesting techniques are altered. Selective harvesting an thinning allows subsurface fungi to survive. This allows for a much more rapid re-establishment of forests. One of the most interesting an promising techniques for harvesting wood is the use of coppicing and pollarding in hardwood forests. These techniques have been practiced in european forests for thousands of years. Coppicing involves periodically harvesting branches tips. Pollarding involves harvesting of the entire branch. Both may be performed on the tree indefinitely, because these processes keep the tree in a juvenile state. Plus, they keep root systems intact which prevents erosion. Nitrogen fixing trees like alder may also be used to improve the surrounding soil. Pollarding is also one of the most promising methods of sustainable harvest of fuel for biochar.
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