A Wisconsin company imported a 40-foot board of ancient kauri. It is reportedly the largest board in the U.S.

This 40-foot board is long and wide enough to seat 50 people comfortably, says Robert Teisberg, president of Ancientwood Ltd.

Ancient kauri, found on the Northern Island of New Zealand, is one of the oldest workable woods in the world. It dates back to nearly 50,000 years ago. Recently, Bob Teisberg of Ancientwood Ltd., located in Madeline, WI, imported what is believed to be one of the largest slabs of ancient wood in the United States. The board is approximately 40 feet long, 5 feet wide and 4-1/2 inches thick. According to Teisberg, the wood, if used as a table, could seat approximately 50 people.

Teisberg says that ancient kauri trees are quite large with enormous diameters. They are similar in growth to redwoods but not as tall.

Ancient kauri is often used for musical instruments and high-end furniture. According to Teisberg, the large surface of the wood makes it ideal for table tops, bar tops, flooring and wall paneling.

The wood itself is often considered a work of art. “Some pieces (of ancient kauri) are hung on the wall as individual pieces to look at,” he notes. “People have a connection with the kauri wood. They enjoy the natural history of the kauri story.

“When milled and polished to a fine grit, it gets great iridescence,” Teisberg adds. “People remark that its like looking into a hologram — the shimmer in the wood is almost 3-D.”
Teisberg started Ancientwood approximately four years ago. While in New Zealand in 2000, he saw the wood and knew that there would be a market for it in the U.S. He was familiar with another company that reclaimed approximately 5,000-year-old wood from Lake Superior, but ancient kauri was not available in the country. None of the exotic wood dealers that he contacted even knew that it existed.

So, he developed an arrangement with Dave Stewart of Ancient Kauri Kingdom (ancientkauri.co.nz) in New Zealand to sell the wood exclusively in the U.S.
Ancient Kauri Kingdom extracts the logs, which are found just beneath the surface of peat swamps, with heavy machinery. The logs are then milled and sold either through its retail shop or distributors like Ancientwood.

According to Teisberg, Stewart has a very unique display in his retail shop. A spiral staircase was carved inside of a 40-foot kauri log. This staircase is located in the middle of Ancient Kauri Kingdom’s gift shop and leads to the second floor where more furniture made from ancient kauri is available.

For more information or to request video of ancient kauri excavation in New Zealand, visit ancientwood.com.

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