Trees: From Seed to Sawdust – Episode 15 – Adding Value to Fallen Hardwoods at Lisnavagh

This week Monica visits Lisnavagh House in Rathvilly Co Carlow to meet William Bunbury. He has come up with ways to add value to the hardwood trees that have fallen on their estate by establishing Bunbury Boards and Lisnavagh Timber Project.

The Bunburys have lived at Lisnavagh House for over 300 years. Their home sits on 600 acres of which 200 acres is woodland, mainly native hardwoods.

Over the years storms have taken down some of the old trees. William Bunbury of Lisnavagh, on looking at them being removed to the sawmill and seeing all the tonnes of wood in them, felt that he could add value to them. Thus, he came up with the concept of Bunbury Boards and Lisnavagh Timber Project.

Bunbury Boards are chopping boards which are made from the trees that fall in the estate. The Lisnavagh Timber Project sells planks of hardwood timber for furniture making; they also make the furniture for their customers too.

Each year William hires a mobile sawmill to come and cut the trees which have fallen due to storms or which have been removed due to ill-health. He air drys the planks of wood in open sheds until such time as they are ready for the kiln. When properly dried the timber is then ready to be processed into chopping boards or furniture.

William also uses the wood as firewood to heat the big house and other cottages on the estate which saves oil and reduces their fuel bill, he also uses some of the wood in new building projects – like the new venue built 5 years ago for weddings or yoga retreats.

William appreciates the trees and the wood they produce and always looks forward to see what the timber will look like once it’s milled.


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