Gutchess Lumber sales team member Pat M. Semeraro inspecting hardwood pack

Gutchess Lumber Co. Inc. Expands Sales Team

Gutchess Lumber Co. Inc., one of the nation’s leading suppliers of hardwood lumber, is excited to announce the expansion of its sales team with the addition of Patrick Semeraro. Patrick began his career with Gutchess Lumber stacking lumber and has worked his way up through the ranks, most recently joining the global kiln-dried lumber sales team as a salesperson. In his new role, Patrick will be responsible for developing relationships with new and existing customers. Here is a glimpse into Patrick’s career since joining Gutchess Lumber:

I began working here at Gutchess in our Cortland facility back in July of 2020, where I started off in the yard stacking lumber. After a short time of stacking, I began to learn how to operate various machines such as the sorter, tilt hoist, and trim saws. While learning the ins and outs of how the yard operates, I was attending our grading classes after work. By January of 2021, I had completed the course and was working on the dryline as a lumber inspector. I continued this for over a year, and in April of 2022, I was hired into my current position as a salesperson with the company.

My entire experience here with Gutchess has been amazing. From being hired to working in the yard, to being in sales, everyone along the way has been more than willing to help me learn and grow with the company. Without their help and knowledge, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am looking forward to my new role with the company and am excited for what the future may hold.

Gutchess Lumber is committed to providing its customers with the best possible products and services. With the addition of Patrick Semeraro to its sales team, the company is well-positioned to continue delivering on that commitment. Welcome to the sales team, Patrick. To find your territory’s sales representative, please use Gutchess Lumber’s interactive map here.

Gutchess Lumber showing hardwood manufacturing process to students

AIR CTE Pathway Visits Gutchess Lumber to Learn How Hardwood is Produced

Hardwood production is an interesting process to witness. It’s even more interesting when you get to see it in person. A video can only do so much justice. That’s why Gutchess Lumber Co. Inc is happy to open its doors to students of all ages to see a glimpse of how hardwood is produced. Gutchess Lumber previously welcomed Agriculture Science and Natural Resources students, part of McGraw Central School District’s AIR CTE pathway program, to see what goes on in our Cortland, New York hardwood sawmill.

A Message from McGraw Central School District

The Agriculture Science and Natural Resources classes, both a part of the new AIR CTE pathway, went to Gutchess Lumber on December 17th for a tour of their facilities. We were shown how logs are processed- from being segregated by species out in the yard, being sawed-graded-bundled, to being dried in their kilns. Chris Barber spoke to the students about employment opportunities and what it takes to do the job- the 3 D’s: dependability, durability, and drive. In addition, he explained the whole process of how a log becomes a board and all the technical aspects of each stage of that process. Despite the cold, students and staff enjoyed the tour and learned quite a bit about a world-renowned company right here in our backyard.

The Hardwood Production Process

The first step in hardwood production is harvesting trees. The Gutchess Lumber Natural Resources Department ensures that the mill has a continuous flow of hardwood logs by working with our own land and individual landowners across New York and Pennsylvania to develop responsible forestry management programs. Once the trees are cut down, they are transported to our sawmills where they are then debarked and cut into lumber. The lumber goes through a kiln-drying process where it is dried to a specific moisture content over the course of several weeks or sometimes months. After the lumber is dried, it is ready to be shipped out and used for various purposes.

Common Uses for Hardwood Lumber

Hardwood lumber can be used for a variety of projects, both big and small. Some of the most common uses that Gutchess hardwood goes into making include:

  • Furniture making
  • Cabinetry
  • Flooring
  • Molding and trim
  • Wood components
  • Caskets
  • Stair treads

Why Learn About the Hardwood Manufacturing Process?

It’s always beneficial to learn about how things are produced, especially when it’s something that we interact with on a daily basis like hardwood. Seeing the process in person can also be very eye-opening and might even inspire students to pursue a career in this field. There are several career paths that students get introduced to, including forestry and natural resources, material handling, mechanics, electricity, and more. Who knows, maybe one day these students will be the ones running our yard.

Overall, it was great having students from AIR CTE pathway visit our facility and learn about the hardwood production process. If you are a local business or school and are interested in seeing how hardwood is produced or just want to learn more about the industry in general, we highly encourage you to reach out to us to talk about what we can do to help continue learning outside of the workplace or classroom.

Gutchess Lumber hardwood forest

Gutchess Lumber Co. Inc Celebrates Environmental Awareness Month

Gutchess Lumber Co. Inc is committed to being environmentally responsible and celebrating Environmental Awareness Month is one way we like to show it. This year, we want to focus on raising awareness of responsible forestry practices that help us preserve our forests for future generations.

Forests play a vital role in the health of our planet and its inhabitants. They provide critical habitats for countless species of plants and animals, help regulate our climate, and purify the air we breathe. Responsible forestry practices are essential to maintaining these benefits and ensuring that our forests remain healthy and thriving.

Unfortunately, not all forestry practices are equally beneficial to the environment. In fact, some practices can actually do more harm than good. For example, clear-cutting—the practice of removing all trees from an area—can damage delicate ecosystems and lead to soil erosion and flooding. Unsustainable logging practices can also deplete forests of their valuable timber resources, making it difficult for them to recover.

On the other hand, sustainable forestry practices, which we practice at Gutchess Lumber, such as selective harvesting can help maintain the health of our forests while still providing the hardwood products that the world needs. Selective harvesting allows foresters to remove only certain trees while leaving the rest of the forest intact. This helps to ensure that the forest remains diverse and healthy while the carbon that is absorbed during the trees’ life is stored.

“Those trees otherwise would die and release that carbon directly back into the atmosphere,” Gutchess Lumber President and Chairman Matthew Gutchess explained. “Even better, removal of the overstory allows new trees to grow, which consume carbon out of the atmosphere more efficiently than mature trees. This makes an active working forest a powerful force for mitigation of climate change.”

As we celebrate Environmental Awareness Month, let’s take a moment to reflect on the importance of our forests and what we can do to protect them. By choosing products made from responsibly sourced wood and supporting sustainable forestry practices, we can help make sure that our forests remain healthy for generations to come. To learn more about Gutchess Lumber’s commitment to the environment, head over to our environment and sustainability resource center by clicking here.

Historical photo of the Gutchess Lumber mill in the 1900s

The Gutchess Lumber Story: From One Central New York Sawmill to Global American Hardwood Supplier

Founded in 1904, Gutchess Lumber Co. Inc is an employee-owned (ESOP) and family-led business that specializes in the production of superior quality kiln-dried hardwood lumber products. We are one of the largest suppliers of American hardwoods in the United States, with customers all around the world. Our hardwood lumber products are used in a variety of applications including furniture, cabinetry, flooring, millwork, stair treads, and much more.

Gutchess Lumber began in 1904 as a small, regional lumber company serving central New York. George Gutchess started the sawmill business by powering his mill with a wood-fired steam tractor. In the beginning days of Gutchess Lumber, oxen and horses were used to transport lumber across surrounding regions in New York state.

Today, Gutchess Lumber operates out of seven strategically located mills across New York and Pennsylvania, shipping truck loads and container loads of lumber to customers across the United States as well as all over the world. We attribute our success to our commitment to customer satisfaction and our dedication to producing the highest quality product possible.

The Gutchess Lumber Difference

What sets Gutchess Lumber apart from other American hardwood suppliers? Quality control is paramount at our facility; we grade all of our kiln-dried lumber according to the National Hardwood Lumber Association standards. This results in a more stable and consistent product for our global customers. Our lumber comes from prime timberland in the northeastern region of the United States. Our forestry team is dedicated to working with private landowners to develop plans that benefit the environment, meaning that our hardwood lumber products come from well-managed forests that adhere to our responsible forestry management practices.

In addition to producing high-quality lumber, we also pride ourselves on our customer service. Our international sales team members are happy to work with your schedule, no matter where you are in the world, to answer any questions you may have about our product or your order. We know that when you’re buying lumber internationally, time is of the essence; that’s why we work hard to keep lead times as short as possible.

If you’re looking for an American hardwood supplier that you can count on for consistently high-quality lumber, Gutchess Lumber Co. Inc. is the right choice for you. We have been in business for over 100 years and have shipped container loads of lumber to satisfied customers all over the world. Contact your region’s sales representative today to learn more about how our hardwood lumber products can maximize your yields.

Ariel shot of Gutchess Lumber Co. Inc.'s HQ in Cortland, New York

NSERDA Recognizes Gutchess Lumber for Environmental Responsibility

As an environmentally conscious company, Gutchess Lumber is committed to doing what it can for the environment. The company is always looking for ways to improve energy efficiency and overall operational management. Gutchess Lumber was recognized by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NSERDA) for these efforts in a report.

Gutchess was excited to take part in the On-Site Energy Manager (OsEM) pilot program offered by NYSERDA. This new initiative offered greater insight into Gutchess’ energy consumption and potential cost-saving opportunities.

“I believe progressive companies will employ energy managers as a key component to controlling costs,” Gutchess Lumber Plant Engineer Ben Stuart said.

The goal of the program was to save around 7.5 percent of Gutchess’ annual electric usage. In the end, the results exceeded that goal. The actual electric savings totaled 10 percent.

Gutchess Lumber has been in operation for over 100 years and is one of the largest private employers in Cortland County and one of the largest hardwood producers in the country. The global hardwood lumber leader has made a commitment to sustainability, finding ways to reduce its environmental impact while still providing high-quality lumber products.

NSERDA is a public benefit corporation that promotes energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy resources. The organization works with businesses, government agencies, and residents of New York State to help save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. NSERDA provides technical assistance and other resources to help achieve these goals.

Gutchess Lumber will continue to look for ways to improve its energy efficiency and overall operational management in order to further reduce its environmental impact. For more on Gutchess Lumber’s stance on the environment and sustainability, click here.