Black Locust is unmatched for sustainability and durability. The decking is also naturally rot, decay, mildew, and insect resistance. Black Locust is the perfect choice for any outdoor project in all climates.
Ipe has recently increased in popularity. It is a tropical hardwood grown in the rainforests of South America. Like Black Locust, Ipe is a beautiful and durable wood that can last a lifetime. However, the Ipe tree is much different than the Black Locust tree, most tellingly in its growth patterns. A recent study just revealed that more than 50 percent of the trees that have been growing in the Brazilian rainforest for 300 years have only reached a diameter of only four inches. With Ipe capable of reaching a 72-inch diameter, we’ve got a long time to wait to replenish each tree that’s cut and shipped around the world to be made into building material. Even with this ultra slow growth and densities as low as one Ipe tree per every 25 acres, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) still certifies much of the lumber that is being plucked out of the rainforests. This gives rise to a false sense of sustainability for these tropical species.
Exploitative deforestation has driven tropical hardwood trees used for decking (i.e. Ipe, Big Leaf Mahogany, Teak) toward the brink of extinction. Some other decking options are potentially hazardous and require significant use of energy, such as chemically-treated pine, heat-treated woods, and synthetically-developed composite decking materials made from plastics.
We also offer Sassafras and Eastern Juniper as a lower price point than Black Locust. These two woods are stronger, harder, more attractive, and last years longer than chemically-treated pine.
Robi Decking® is the sustainable option for your deck or outdoor project.