The war between England and France gave a huge kick-start to the development of the square timber trade in Canada. Soon, other uses were found for the smooth straight-grained wood of the majestic White Pine.


Not surprisingly, house builders and furniture makers in England began to prize this resource, which they suddenly found to be plentiful. Many an English house, built during the nineteenth century, has a pine panelled library built with wood from the forests of Canada.


A giant pine, suitable for the square timber trade was often as much as 140 feet tall, and at six feet above the ground, had a trunk measuring six feet in diameter. The lower limbs of these giants die back as the tree grows, leaving a full grown tree with no branches for sixty five feet up the trunk — producing distinctively clear, beautiful, mottled pine boards.


In the nineteenth century, timber limits were clear cut. Nowadays, select, furniture grade wood is limited in supply. Often, only a single mature tree finds its way to the sawmill. The lumber from the knot-free timber is prized by cabinetmakers everywhere.


Any growth in trunk girth, after the limbs have fallen off, is free of knots. This knot free wood is straight grained, easy to work, and has a particularly delightful characteristic; the resins in the wood give a wonderfully warm tone to furniture as it ages.


Soon, lumber was being sawn into boards 3" thick and shipped to England in loads called 'deals'. Deals were measured by the cubic foot to determine the quantity of sawn boards in a bundle. Hence the phrase "What's the deal?".