Pike Lumber Company, Inc., opened in Carbon, since the late 70s. The company itself was founded in Akron, Ind., in 1904. The Pike family, started by patriarch John S. Pike, has run the business for six generations. They were Quakers and instilled some of the beliefs into the company.
Executive Vice-President, Treasure and Carbon Region Manager James Steen, said Pike Lumber Company Inc. is the second largest employer of foresters and has foresters from around the world. He said they have one forester from Northern Indiana with his mastery in forestry received in Germany.
Steen said it is important to have several foresters to assist customers. By having good foresters, the company promotes good environmental procedures. He said when the forester goes to the landowner's property, they do everything they can to protect, protecting the environment from land erosion and poor water quality.
"Any forester will tell you it is important to accomplish the goal of the landowner and employ good forestry," Steen said.
He said some people believe cutting down trees is a bad thing, but that isn't necessarily the case. By cutting down trees, one helps control the growth of the forest and removes trees that are rotting. The tree is full of stored carbons that are released when cut. He said the company is one of the greenest companies because they practice environmental safety.
"We are landowner driven," he said "By the landowner allowing a professional forester, they receive value from their woods and education from a trained professional"
Steen said the forester will go to the landowner's property. They will examine the landowner's forest and determine the best trees to remove. He said the forester would also give the landowner advice on what needs to be done for the care and management of the forest.
"Our foresters try to educate the public," Steen said.
Steen said the company owns 105 tracks of timber ground. Every 5-10 years, the forester goes to the timber ground and selects trees.
Determining factors the forester looks for are, maturity, the condition of the tree, size, health of the tree and if it is economically feasible to remove the tree.
The company is concerned with the life of the forest and does not want to jeopardize the ecosystem.
"We do plant trees," he said. " It is a part of our motto, we do plant."
Steen said the company uses the entire tree. Nothing is wasted. While in the forest, they practice timber thinning, removing the log, and leave the limbs in the forest. The bark is used for mulching and wood chips go to a company that makes paper products. He said it is important to use the waste product.
Steen said the company also buys lumber from other companies, like Cook Lumber.
He said Cook is similar to Pike in that they have their own timber ground and have at least one forester. However, he said the size of the companies is different, Pike has a larger staff.
He said Pike has a worldwide market and ship to places like Europe, Japan and China. They are also involved in the community.
Steen said they will be involved in the Indiana State Fair this year, because they are having a tree fair.
He said the bottom line is providing the landowner professional, environmental service and produce a high quality product for customers.
He believes it is important to practice the company beliefs, which are Quaker beliefs, of honesty, professionalism and trustworthy business methods.
For more information, call 448-3961, 800-334-7453 or visit www.pikelumber.com.