GEM® Premier White Shavings are a mix of approximately 80% kiln-dried (kd) Western Hemlock and 20% kd Douglas Fir. And no, the Western Hemlock tree is not related to the poisonous hemlock plant! The Western Hemlock is a coniferous softwood (evergreen) tree that is a predominant species in the forests of western Washington, Oregon and British Columbia.
Western Hemlock is the preferred softwood for making high quality paper in the Northwest, and it also makes a superior bedding material. What makes Western Hemlock so good for bedding is that it contains no phenols! Phenols are what we think of as “pitch” or resin.
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