National Hardwood Magazine

 
 
 

October 2012 Feature Story

 

Treat Hardwood Lumber Company’s owners Stacey Treat and Douglas Morris.
Treat Hardwood Lumber Strives to Provide the Best Appalachian Hardwoods

By Gary Miller

Wilkesboro, N.C.—Treat Hardwood Lumber Co. (THL), located here, offers Appalachian Hardwood lumber in a variety of species such as Poplar, Red and White Oak, Hickory, Hard and Soft Maple and Walnut. The company is global since their lumber sales extend to customers located throughout North America, China, Vietnam, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, Italy and Germany.

“We process about one million board feet per month of Appalachian Hardwood lumber at this facility,” Stacey Treat, one of the owners of the company that handles a lot of the export sales for his company, said. Situated on about 12 acres, facilities include an office building, a green stacker line, a stick shed, two storage sheds and approximately 300,000 board feet per charge of dry kiln capacity and a boiler room.

“At our yard here in Wilkesboro, N.C., we have 1.5 million board feet in dry storage sheds that are covered on three sides to protect our quality kiln dried lumber from the weather and other elements,” Treat explained.

Situated on about 12 acres, facilities include an office building, a green stacker line (shown here), a stick shed, two storage sheds and approximately 300,000 board feet per charge of dry kiln capacity and a boiler room.
Salesman Monty Minton, who owned the Hardwood lumber concentration yard with dry kilns in Wilkesboro at one time, mentioned the operation was formerly owned by a company called Jeld-Wen. Minton, who purchased the business from Jeld-Wen around 2003, sold the yard to Treat in January of 2012.

Treat, Minton, and David Dixon handle the domestic sales of lumber for Treat Hardwood Lumber. “I have one individual who handles lumber sales for my firm in China,” Treat explained. “Fiona Ho resides in Taiwan and handles THL sales for our company in Southern China.

“Primarily I sell our lumber in the international markets and I only get involved with domestic sales as needed. Monty Minton buys and sells green lumber and David Dixon buys strictly green lumber.”

Treat’s business partner, Doug Morris, has a few customers he furnishes lumber to in Italy. “Doug also takes care of the banking and insurance needs of our company, and, he keeps our computers updated too,” said Treat.

“Originally 160,000 board feet of kilns were in existence at the Wilkesboro, N.C. lumberyard that was formerly owned by Jeld-Wen,” explained Minton. “I installed another 120,000 board feet of dry kiln capacity with kilns manufactured by BOLDesigns and Nardi.”

Treat Hardwood Lumber has 16 employees altogether. A large volume of green lumber bought by Treat Hardwood Lumber is kiln-dried at Monty Minton’s 24-acre lumberyard located in nearby Lenoir, N.C. This facility has 500,000 board feet per charge of dry kiln capacity, and the kilns were built by Irvington Moore. Furthermore, the Lenoir lumberyard often dries thicknesses of lumber for THL such as 4/4, 6/4 and 8/4 Poplar and 4/4 White Oak and 4/4 Hickory.

 
A load of Poplar is being loaded into a shipping container.
Minton’s lumber facility employs nine people, two of which are lumber graders. Patricia (Patti) Hairfield manages the lumber shipments for both locations—the lumberyards in Wilkesboro and Lenoir, N.C. “Patti comes to our Wilkesboro Hardwood lumber concentration yard operation daily and stays from about 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., then she goes over to the other Hardwood lumber concentration yard facility in Lenoir, N.C. and finishes the day out,” Treat said.

Donna Norris is THL’s office manager and Tammy Treat works in the office. Stacey Treat explained, “My wife Tammy comes in occasionally and does some of the paperwork at our firm. Tammy is first sergeant of the 119th Mobile Public Affairs Unit, stationed in Little Rock, Arkansas. She’s been involved with the military for 22 years.” Stacey and his wife, Tammy, have three children—Alyssa, Sheldon and Mason.

In North America and in several countries THL markets their Hardwood lumber to Hardwood distribution/concentration lumberyards, wholesalers, exporters, and all types of woodworking plants. “The largest part of our domestic business occurs up and down the East Coast, although we do limited business on the West Coast,” Treat said. “As I mentioned earlier internationally we sell our lumber into several countries such as China, Vietnam, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, Italy and Germany.”

5/4 Poplar lumber in Treat’s cooling shed.
THL sources their Appalachian Hardwood lumber from suppliers located within a 180-mile radius of their yard. “The Poplar in this region is the best quality there is,” Treat noted. “The lumber we purchase comes in green and we have concrete pylons to stage it on. We grade every load of green lumber that comes in. Our lumber grader sees both sides of the board and puts in the grade and the footage. We have a computerized system developed by Forestry Systems that prints barcodes with grades, so all our lumber is barcoded so we can track it. Once the green pack is graded it goes out on sticks and it’s in our inventory in ‘real time’.

“After our lumber goes on the air drying yard, depending on the time of year, it may go straight to the kiln and from that point it goes into our dry storage shed. Next the lumber goes into our dry line where it’s regraded and packaged. We have a package maker at the back of our dry line. From that point it’s end painted and placed in the warehouse. When the package is finished and we finish the tally, the information is sent to the computer in our office so we know about all the lumber we have at our facility.”

Minton added, “Every pack here is export tallied. We do export prep for all our Appalachian lumber packages, whether they are for domestic or export customers.”

THL also has a 250 horsepower wood-fired boiler by Advanced Recycling Systems, of St. Marys, Pa. “Our boiler burns our dry sawdust and we also have a chipper. The wood waste we accumulate is fed into our boiler,” Treat said. The Hardwood lumber concentration yard located in Lenoir, N.C. has two boilers.

Rolling stock at the yard in Wilkesboro, N.C. includes four forklifts, three of which are manufactured by Hyster, Danville, Ill., and the other forklift was bought from Taylor Machine Works, located in Louisville, Miss.
Rolling stock at the yard in Wilkesboro, N.C. includes four forklifts, three of which are manufactured by Hyster, Danville, Ill., and the other forklift was bought from Taylor Machine Works, located in Louisville, Miss.

The sales people at THL work very closely with their lumber suppliers and customers. “Monty Minton and David Dixon regularly travel to visit our lumber suppliers to see the green lumber that we are purchasing,” Treat offered. “I try to go to Asia once a year to visit customers. Fiona travels her area in Southern China and Vietnam twice a year and sometimes three times a year. Normally on my one trip to Asia I will travel with Fiona to see customers located in Southern China.”

Treat also attends various overseas woodworking shows, including one held in Shanghai and Guangzhou, which has exhibitors such as lumber, dimension and plywood suppliers as well as booths for woodworking equipment manufacturers.

THL operates on a 40-hour work week with four 10-hour days Monday through Thursday. Minton’s facility in Lenoir works five eight-hour days weekly.

Treat’s Yard Supervisor Tommy Gilford unloads lumber from the kiln.
The lumber salesmen at Treat Hardwood Lumber wholesale most species, thicknesses and grades of Appalachian Hardwood lumber. For those companies Treat Hardwood Lumber does not presently serve, they’d like to have the opportunity to do business with any company that needs Appalachian Hardwood lumber shipped to them on time and exactly as they specify.

Owner Stacey Treat and Doug Morris attribute part of THL’s success to a great relationship they have with BB&T Bank, located in Wilkesboro, N.C.

Treat Hardwood Lumber Co. is a member of the Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers Inc., located in High Point, N.C., and the Appalachian Lumbermen’s Club that is also based in High Point. Both of these organizations have Tom Inman running the day-to-day operations. For more information visit www.treathardwoodlumber.com.





Treat Hardwood Lumber’s green Poplar lumber on its way to the stacker.




At their yard in Wilkesboro, N.C., Treat inventories 1.5 million board feet (5/4 FAS shown here) in dry storage sheds that are covered on three sides to protect their kiln dried lumber from the weather and other elements,” Treat explained.

 
 
 
     
 
 

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