hip gable pavilion

Trees power everything; they absorb movement from the earth and energy from the sun. We conserve energy with trees as well as converting and producing energy for human use. In essence, trees are a great big battery and continue to do give to us even after they are harvested.

It is trees that give us the energy to walk, talk and breathe, not to mention the thousands of foods, medicines and other wonderful products we use single every day. Unlike other energy sources such as oil and coal which can be depleted and forever gone, trees are renewable and sustainable.

Here at Western Timber Frame, we specialize in utilizing heavy timbers; solid wood timber shade structures, pergolas, gazebos, pavilions, arbors, and trellises creating the ultimate experience in outdoor living.

pergola diving platform

ShadeScape® DIY Pergola Kit Diving Platform

The ShadeScape® Series represents excellence in world-class architecture. The Western Timber Frame® ShadeScape® Series offers a wide range of size options to create superior outdoor living experiences.

Each landscape is unique in size, location, and application. The ShadeScape® Series can be customized to fit any outdoor environment.

True to size rough-sawn timbers provide timeless quality while embracing authentic old-world craftsmanship.

Working with wood, especially on a massive scale, we are continually reminded of the authenticity of trees and how they continually bless our world. Enjoy some cool, crazy and curious tree trivia on this fascinating earth.

Tree Trivia

A New Wood Kind of Wood

40 treesInsulating with foam helps to lower energy usage. Conventional foam is produced from petroleum or natural gas is not at all eco-friendly. There is though a new greener alternative, a new wood-based product: Wood Foam.

The technique to manufacture wood foam works similar to raising bread dough and baking it in the oven. The wood foam sheets are lightweight and can be flexible or rigid, easily cut and sawn like regular foam.

Navigate With Trees

Trees can help you to navigate. In the Northern Hemisphere, moss grows on the northern side of a tree’s trunk where there is more shade. Also, if you find a cut-down tree, look at its rings. The southern side of the tree that gets more light grows a little thicker. There reverse is true if you are in the Southern Hemisphere.

navigate with tree never get lost

Biocompatible Bone

artificial bones made from trees

GreenBone, an Italian Biotech Company has created a synthetic bone from heated rattan wood that the body will accept. It is load-bearing and so similar to the real bone that tissue cells and blood treat it as if were actually bone. A bone-regenerating implant would eliminate the need for bone replacements and is far surpassed in excellent than any metal or ceramic material.

Floating Forrest

40 treesThere is a strange, yet fascinating relic left over from a ship-breaking yard. At the Homebush Bay in Sydney, Australia, a large old watercraft called the SS Ayrfield, a steam collier built in 1911 and later used as a transport ship during the second world war, was brought to Homebush Bay to be dismantled for salvage. However, the operations of the salvage yard ceased and several vessels were left behind including the SS Aryfield. The old ship is now over one hundred years old and has become a floating forest of vegetation that has seeded itself and sprouted up over the last several decades. Photographers come from all over the world to capture on film this unusual remnant left from the past.

Objects Absorbed By Trees

tree grows around sign

If an object is in the way of a tree, the tree will stop growing, grow away or simply grow around it. Entire objects have been absorbed by a tree.

This bicycle, park bench, and gravestone are three of many objects encased by a tree.

Tree of 40 Fruits

40 trees Sam Van Aken grew up on a farm and later became an art professor at the University of Syracuse in New York.

Van Aken learned that an heirloom orchard station was closing for a lack of funding, he bought the orchard to prevent over 250 varieties of trees from going extinct.

Combining his artistic talent and agriculture knowledge he grafted 40 varieties of trees into one root structure. In the spring, the tree is a gorgeous array of pinks, red, purple and white blossoms. In the summer, it produces rare varieties of almonds, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, and plums.

Seeds Germinate In Rock

Boswellia sacra is a bizarre evergreen tree that grows in the most unforgiving of terrains, It is so tenacious it has at times been known to sprout and grow out of a boulder or solid rock. The Boswellia sacra are treasured for its the bitter-tasting resin exuded by striping the trunk causing milky fluid to bleed and harden into crystals called “frankincense tears.”


For thousands of years, frankincense has been used in animal sacrifice, for religious ceremonies, to embalm, ward off disease and treat a variety of ailments.

Aggressive Foreign Weed Tree

timber trees tall

New Zealand foresters brought the Douglas fir thinking it would be an awesome tree species for their timber industry. Now, the Douglas-fir has become a seriously invasive problem for New Zealanders.

The climate of New Zealand causes the Douglas-fir trees to grow 25-times faster than it does in the United States. Douglas-fir roots make it hopeless to grow native plants so the ground beneath the trees is barren. Extracting these unwanted organisms costs more than the value of the timber.

Blast Testing Timbers

timber-buildingWe build pergolas from timber. It is our material of choice because it offers so many advantages in terms of construction ease, speed, and costs but primarily because of its reliability, and time-tested strength.

timber-buildingIn the field of wood science, technology has made significant advances. Along with new inventions and applications, wood is tested for its endurance and strength under a variety of conditions.

WoodWorks is a team of field experts offering technical support to make wood buildings easier to engineer and build with code-compliant designs at a lower cost. To do this, they test and access buildings of wood like this explosion test of three cross-laminated timber structures.

Woodworks worked with The USDA Forest Service Products Lab and Softwood Lumber Board at Tyndall Air Force Base predicting acceptable levels of damage under large-scale explosive loads. In a series of successful blast tests, their prognosis matched their model builds. All two-story, mass timber structures remained intact after significant explosions. That’s impressive! You can watch their video footage here.

Sweeping View

sequoia monolith tree

The President is a tree so large, it cannot be viewed all at once.

Photographers for the National Geographic used pulleys and levers, hoisting a camera into the air and snapped 126 photographs. In the December 2012 issue, they published one breathtaking composite, capturing this majestic monolith, in its full glory.

Poison Tree Furniture

According to The Guinness World Records the Manchineel, native to Florida holds the record as the worlds most poisonous tree. If you stand under it when it rains it can cause blisters. It can poison water and its deceptively sweet fruit can cause death.

manchineel worlds most poisonous tree

Oddly, the wood from Manchineel has been prized by Caribbean carpenters. After carefully harvesting, the furniture makers sun-dry the wood from the Manchineel trees to neutralize the poisonous resin to make furniture. Nonetheless, manchineel wood has never been in demand for suppliers of wood to woodworkers.

Rainbow Bark

40 trees The rainbow eucalyptus tree is pure delight. Some say it is the most beautiful tree on earth. As the season’s pass the bark peels in strips revealing intense bright colors of blue, green, gray, pink, purple, orange and red like an artists painting.

Columbus’ Ancient Futuristic Discovery

Christopher Columbus was a daring navigator who is famous in world history for discovering the Americas, previously unknown to Europeans. On his return from his second voyage to the Americas, he brought with him fascinating latex rubber balls. The natives shaped this strange substance into a recreational sports ball out of the milk of a tree; when hardened it would bounce.

Santa Maria-Nina-Pinta

Pictured is a model and Caravels of Christopher Columbus: Santa Maria (sunk in a storm), Nina, and Pinta in the port of Palos de la Frontera village, Huelva, Spain.

Waterproofed World

rubber view

Ariel View of Rubber Trees

The Mesoamericans made shoes from the Hevea Brasiliensis rubber tree by repeatedly dipping their feet into the latex rubber, drying it and then peeling a shoe from their feet. The new shoe was then smoked to harden it. They also waterproofed their clothing and by adding morning glory juice, created hollow rubber figurines.

Today rubber is used in surfing wetsuits, swimming caps, elastics, hoses, toys, tires and the list is endless!

Dandelion Tires

40 trees Tires are made of at least 30% natural rubber from Hevea Brasiliensis trees and the rest is compiled of synthetic rubbers. Synthetic rubber, however, is not suitable for truck tires because it does not have the same abrasive action as does the natural product.

As an alternative to rubber trees, a new biomimetic synthetic rubber has been developed from dandelions that claim optimized abrasiveness. Just as the rubber tree does, dandelions consist of 95% polyisoprene. And Dandelions only takes eight weeks to grow as opposed to six years.

Nature never ceases to delight and amaze us. Who would have ever thought that a rubber tree and a dandelion have so much in common?

Flight Began In The Trees

wooden airplane

British World War 11 Night Time Aircraft 

The first airplanes were built with wood and fabric. The famed Wright Flyer was made out of Ash and Spruce trees.

An all-wooden aircraft of World War II, called the DH.98 Mosquito dubbed the “Wooden Wonder” flew at super high speeds for a twin-engine bomber. It flew carrying remarkably heavy loads over great distances. Initially, it was rejected by the British Air Ministry but after extensive and impressive flight trials it outperformed even the manufacturers’ expectations.

Chandelier Cones

The name Douglas-Fir has earned the respect of structural engineers for its beam strength and remaining straight and true, with a high-resistance to corrosion. Nonetheless, this majestic tree is not true to its name, The Douglas-Fir is not a fir tree at all.

Fir trees have cones that sit upon the top of the branches like little owls. Douglas-Fir cones hang down underneath the branches like a chandelier.

Pergola with tables

At Western Timber Frame™ we use sustainably harvested free of heart Douglas Fir timber in our ShadeScape® arbor, gazebo, pavilion, pergola, and trellis kits. It minimizes checking, ensures lasting durability.

Bridging America With Timber

40 trees Timber frame bridges have been among the most visible and noble testimonies of the integrity of timber. Some still in use date back as early as the 16th century; proven masterpieces of engineering, technology, and long-lasting endurance spanning great distances against the violence of water and storms.

In the United States, the USDA Forest Service has more than 1,000 timber bridges spanning 20 feet and beyond, 90 years old and older which are still in service today with more being built every year. There are also more than one thousand five hundred miles of trestles and timber bridges to service the railroads. Timber bridges still remain a choice of engineers today for its ability to bear the dead-load and the live-load of the pedestrian, vehicular, railroad while remaining steadfast under continual exposure of powerful winds, seasonal freezing, thawing and resisting the side effects from adverse de-icing agents.

Oldest Living Organism

The oldest organism still alive upon this Earth is in Utah and is believed to be a colony of Quaking Aspens called the Trembling Giant or the Pando. The tree colony is also the heaviest known organism weighing 6,600 tons as it extends itself over 103 acres.

Timber Gives On

pergola picnic pool family

Incredulously, trees do not stop giving us life after they have been harvested. Unlike concrete or steel; which only emits the carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, mass timber continues to absorb and store carbon dioxide. A ten-story wood building at 2590 square feet per story stores 1570 tons of carbon dioxide whereas a comparable concrete building will emit 2175 tons of carbons.

outdoor eating area pergola

Physically Connected

40 treesThe pattern of the tree is even physically written inside of your brain. The arborvitae cerebelli, Latin for the tree of life is a white tree-shaped substance inside of the cerebellum.

The arborvitae plays a major part in the role of motor and sensory information at the center of the body’s nervous system which involves the body’s movements, transmitting signals, coordination, and timing. It is also a path that coordinates our actions and connects with everything through our body.

In every design, we find tree-like structures that move currents from one point to another. The tree has a natural flowing design for currents to flow through and absorb shock and movement and physically connects us to the earth.

Prison Tree

The Boabab trees are used for art, food, medicine, and shelter. This Baobab tree, in Kimberly, Australia was sometimes used as a temporary prison cell.


The aboriginals call this bizarre-looking tree, “The Tree of Life,” and rightly so, as it is a godsend to the poor. The seedling baobab roots are eaten like carrots. The leaves and flowers make a nutritious salad. The pith from the fruit nuts is often cooked into porridge, filled with healing properties such as vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, and iron.

30,000 Gallons of Drinking Water

The Boabab is also called “The Miracle Tree” because of its trunk and branches store life-sustaining water. A large tree can contain more than 30,000 gallons of supply of drinking water to thirsty people and animals.

Tree Services

Allouville bellefosse oak tree chapel

In stark contrast to prison, the oldest tree in France is a church. Located in Allouville-Bellefosse an oak tree was constructed into two small chapels still used for worship today. It is charming and looks like a child’s fairy tale with a wooden staircase surrounding the outside of the trunk.

Prayer Trees

In Serbia, when the building of churches was barred, people would sometimes inscribe crosses on a tree, usually oak. It was called a zapisi and was considered sacred, used as outdoor churches in many communities.

Tree Characteristic Metamorphed By Seeds Flown In Space


Space flown seeds are baffling scientists. In 2008-2009, Astronauts from Japan took approximately 265 cherry seeds from an old cherry tree thought to be 1250 years old. The seeds were then planted in 14 different locations.

This is where it begins to get a bit weird. The trees grew at an astonishing super-fast rate. Typically Japanese cheery trees take ten-years to bloom. The Japanese cherry trees grown from the seeds that spent a little time in outer-space bloomed after four years, six years ahead of schedule!

Phenomenally, the tree’s characteristics have changed. The Blossoms on the trees from the space-flown seeds have only five petals instead of the thirty petals their parent trees have.

This was not an official scientific test. It had only been a fun school project. No one expected a tree to metamorph. Since then, there are several International Space Stations that are flying seeds into space for school children to plant and experiment.

Living Church

cattedrale vegetale tree catherdral

Artists have shaped, grafted, and formed trees into growing artworks. Artist Giuliano Mauri is building a living “Tree Cathedral” in Bergamo, Italy from beech trees. It is still being built, growing up towards heaven, the trees will eventually form walls and a vaulted ceiling.

Perpetual Work

Living root bridge

Living bridges formed from the roots of a tree.

Since the beginning of time, people have been manipulating the trees to create art or as pictures above, aeroponically grow and shape the roots of a tree to grow bridges. This is done without the aid of a scaffolding or any other materials made by man.

Shades of Justice

tree grows

The Decatur County Courthouse in Greensburg, Indiana, has a tree growing through the roof tower . People first noticed a tree in 1870, growing through the roof of the Courthouse. It became a novelty in the town. When the tree died it was removed. Years later, another tree sprouted out. No one knows how the trees seeded in the tower. There have been over 16 trees grow in the tower and not of the same species. The current tree is a Mulberry tree.

Wood Windows You Can See Through

Scientists at the University of Maryland created see-through wood. The material is stronger glass with better thermal and insulating properties! The treated wood has natural micro-channels acting as it did when it was a tree; it causes light to scatter creating more light through the windows than a glass window does.


Wow! Think for a moment, this solid wood ShadeScape® gazebo kit has the properties to potentially be transparent.

No Waste

40 trees Nearly every product in this world is made or produced through the resources of trees.

Nothing is wasted in trees with the industry of timber products. Even the residue of sawdust and bark are made into mulch to replenish and give back to the earth.

Sampling of Products Made Possible by Trees

shaving cream
yeast • Linoleum • soap
guitars • wax paper • corks • molds 
inflatable beds • window seals • boots • mace
gazebos • prosthetics • calculators • cushions • oxygen
pavilions • flip flops • computers • boots • shade • dye • pillows
Bibles • trelliese • rubber gloves • bathtub plugs • surgical supplies
refridgerators • rubber ducks •gaskets • mattresses • asphalt • synthetic bones
bay leaves • surgical gloves • tools • melamine • rug backings • toilet paper
car dashboards • lab flasks • calcium carbonate • aquarium tubing • wheelchairs
glu-lam beams • brake pads • door stops • toilet seats • veneer • books • ear plugs
wallpaper • cabinets • vials • myrrh • cell phones • maple syrup • raincoats • pond liners
coffee filters • shingles • hot water bottles • varnish • cabinets • protective helmets • paper
ice boxes • fabrics • faucet washers • protective shields * waterproof compounds • tires
bowling pins • shoes • cosmetics •  salicylic acid •  Compound W • diapers • art paper • ink
printing press .• marine plywood • ballpoint pen • electrical outlets •  baseballs • rubber gloves
wheelchairs • footballs • basketballs • fishing buoys • turpentine • nitrocellulose • ice cream
candle sticks • vacuum cleaner bags • medicines • waxers • road materials • zippers • insulation
pears • gum • molasses • syrup • carob • rosin • pitch • film • life preservers * primers • footballs
anti-fungal oil • rocket propellant • particle board • pet litter • fireworks • insulation • walnuts
hot tubs • erasers • crayons plastic • recyclable solar cells • artificial flavorings • movies • almonds
Fishing buoys • checkbook • fishing floats • wall tiles • ceiling tiles • gutters • receipts • hairspray
cars • oranges •candy bars * bandages • shampoo • nutmeg • ammonia • corks • signs • car keys
snow-shoes • pallets • vitamins * houses • carpets • menthol • guitar pics • shatterproof glass
play tiles • telephone • smokeless gunpowder • glucose • beds • gum • tin cans • rubber belts 
paint • coffins • ceiling tiles • musical instruments • adhesives • antacids • cardboard • shoes
violins • olives • drywall • tannin • baby food • furniture • combs • shampoo • pecans
veneer • decks • lubricants • airplanes • rayon • electrical energy • camphor • coffee •
concrete forms • airplanes • blocks • cloves • latex gloves • furniture • bowling pins
phonographs • chemical resistant pads • cinnamon • food containers • pianos
water pipes • computer casings • bicycles • stain removers • apples
bath tubs • fuel • coffee • cider • spinning wheel • hunting bow
arrows • figs • furniture polish • scientific instruments
activated charcoal • silos • mail • Benzoin gum
ball point pens • flooring
equine products
foam rubbers
aluminum foil
rust remover
baking yeast
cellulose acetate

Get the Free Ultimate Pergola and Pavilion Guide

Get the Free Ultimate Pergola and Pavilion Guide