The hiba arborvitae tree is a member of the cypress family that is native to Japan, where it can be found mostly in the Aomori Prefecture. The tree came to known as an arborvitae or “tree of life” for its extremely long lifespan and resilience against the elements. The aging of the tree takes place over a period of 250 years and they can withstand extreme weather events such as strong winds and heavy snowfalls. Once the tree reaches full maturity at 300 years old, then only can the highest-quality oils be pressed from the bark of the trees.
The long aging process makes hiba wood a scarce resource and precious material that is carefully regulated and protected in Japan. Also known as one of the three largest trees in Japan alongside hinoki and sugi, the tree is also considered a first-class building material for pagodas and shrines because it naturally resists rot and mold. On top of that, hiba contains Hinokitol and beta-Dolabrin, both of which have antibacterial, insect repelling, deodorizing, and ataractic effects. Aomori Hiba is the only tree which has these two ingredients in Japan and it is distinctive throughout the world.
The many properties of hiba wood makes them very suitable for use as furniture. Our maker, Cul De Sac, has created a small curated range of hiba furniture that one can add into their household. The company mainly produces its products in the family timber factory which has been running since the designer’s grandfather’s generation in the north of Shimokita Peninsula. The factory is located in a village on the northern tip of Honshu, and now products only the Aomori Hiba products.
Cal de Sac uses cuttings as fuels to dry wood and think of ways to effectively utilize cuttings and scraps from the lumber process to create our products. For example, they make dehumidifying and deodorant agent from compressed powdered Hiba. Cal de Sac also makes uses of the branches which can’t be used for building materials to generate a wild and unique design. The company extracts the natural hiba oil from the wood waste of over 250-year old Aomori Hiba wood through water vapor distillation. There are more than 40 different ingredients in the essential oil extracted from the Hiba wood.
atomi has brought in the hiba log stools, hiba square log stools as well as the side tables. They are perfect for any space in the house, from the living, bedroom to the bathroom. They can help absorb moisture and bacteria in the bathroom, leaving the room clean, smelling fresh and free of bacteria. A wide range of essential oil products, including Wild Incense Spray, Hiba Wood Essential Oil, Hiba Wood Reed Diffuser, are available in atomi as well.
Feel free to drop by our store or contact us for more information.