In the News

Restore Forests, Decarbonize Building, And Sequester Carbon Through Forestry, Biomass Energy, And Biochar

October 22, 2021

Forest and biomass industries can help grow biochar production and use. One Oregon mill, the Freres Lumber Company, converts renewable fiber to carbon smart building materials, supplies fiber to paper and engineered wood products, generates firm renewable power, sequesters carbon, and enables carbon and nutrient cycling with biochar.

Santiam Canyon district turns a $17.9 million bond into a $26 million project

May 4, 2021

Alex Mitchell never thought the day would come when he would want to come to school. After almost a year of learning entirely in front of a computer screen, he was ready to come back to Santiam High School to complete his senior year. “Sitting behind a computer all day wasn’t working,” Mitchell said.

Meyer Memorial Trust by LEVER Architecture

March 9, 2021

Michelle Depass, the CEO of the Portland, Oregon-based Meyer Memorial Trust, the state’s largest private foundation, thinks the label “civic building” is less about the architecture than action. She would argue that the Trust’s new headquarters fits the definition: “Building democracy isn’t about four walls. It is a participatory practice.”

Freres Lumber Utilizes Caldwell Rotary Leg Lumber Lifter

February 17, 2021

Freres Lumber Co. Inc. is using a custom below-the-hook attachment, manufactured by Caldwell, to lift long lumber loads at it’s Mass Ply Panel (MPP) facility in Lyons, Oregon.

The 15-ton capacity, 53 ft.-long, motorized rotary leg lumber lifter handles lamellas (thin layers / plates) of structural composite lumber, used to manufacture MPP products. It is attached to a 20-ton capacity overhead crane with two hoists; the lifting equipment and attachment were provided by U.S. Crane & Hoist, also of Oregon (Wilsonville).

No time to waste: Freres begins post-wildfire timber salvage

November 2, 2020

LYONS, OR – The suffocating smoke that blanketed the Santiam Canyon after Labor Day wildfires consumed nearly everything in their path is gone. The Beachie Creek and Lionshead fires displaced more than 1,200 residents, destroyed more than 500 homes and consumed 400,000 acres of forest lands, both public and private.
The long process of rebuilding homes and lives has begun.

Freres Lumber mass timber MPP beams and columns now APA certified

October 29, 2020

LYONS, OR – Freres Lumber’s mass timber MPP beams and columns are now APA certified. Freres has continued to innovate and expand its Mass Ply Panel products, and is now able to offer its customers beams and columns in dimensions up to 24 inches thick and 48 inches deep.

Oregon businesses fear being publicly identified as COVID-19 workplace outbreak

October 25, 2020

Freres Lumber in Lyons knew of one employee who tested positive in August for COVID-19. But the next month, the state identified Freres as the site of an outbreak — reporting they’d had five and then later 14 cases. Businesses argue they’re being stigmatized by a state reporting system they describe as unfair and misleading.

Meyer Adopts Advanced Equity and Sustainability Approach in Construction of New Portland Headquarters

October 22, 2020

Values-driven real estate developer, project ^, Meyer Memorial Trust and award‐winning design firm, LEVER Architecture, has announced the completion and official opening of the new Meyer headquarters in Portland. 

ROAD TO RECOVERY: A 'can do' spirit emerges as Santiam Canyon residents face rebuilding

September 29, 2020

Homeowners and business operators throughout the Santiam Canyon are assessing the damage and options for the future.  Rebuilding will be a long, tough process as specialists plot a path forward for the national forest.

Timber companies, loggers see major damage from wildfires

September 24, 2020

Oregon’s timber industry has sustained an enormous setback as massive wildfires continue to ravage forests across the state. While the full scale of destruction is still coming into focus, groups representing loggers and wood products manufacturers say losses will total in the hundreds of millions of dollars, including charred timberland that will take decades to replant and regrow once the fires are extinguished.

Freres Lumber’s six mills survive Beachie Creek fire, will resume operations soon

September 14, 2020

Amid the massive destruction wrought by Beachie Creek Fire up and down the Santiam River, the Freres Lumber Co., one of the area’s largest employers, escaped largely intact. The company’s six mills in Lyons and Mill City, which employ about 415, all survived the fire undamaged. The mills will resume operations some of them perhaps as soon as late this week, said Rob Freres, president.

Freres Lumber got a $5 million PPP loan; now it can’t find enough employees

August 5, 2020

At a time when many companies are struggling to keep employees on the payroll, one of the state’s largest wood products manufacturers can’t find enough employees to operate at full capacity. While Oregon’s unemployment rate is at near-record levels, Freres Lumber of Lyons is seeking to hire 100 workers to get back to full capacity after a number of workers resigned over the past months.

U.S. producers warn of unsafe Brazil plywood

June 24, 2020

LYONS, OR – The U.S. Structural Plywood Integrity Coalition issued Product Advisory notices regarding Brazilian structural plywood. The distribution of the notices is the result of a motion for preliminary injunction filed on June 5 by the coalition of 10 U.S. plywood producers including Oregon’s Freres Lumber Co.


Freres Adds Mass Timber Beams

June 17, 2020

With its new Mass Plywood Panel beam and column line up and running, Freres Lumber
Co., Lyons, Or., now has the ability to provide customers with a cost-competitive MPP
solution for all structural elements of large-scale wood buildings.

Freres Lumber turns panels with Caldwell Posi-Turner

April 15, 2020

Freres Lumber Co. Inc. is using a 22,500-lb. (11.25-ton) capacity Caldwell Posi-Turner to turn loads at its
Mass Plywood Panels facility in Lyons, Oregon.
The Posi-Turner, which is designed to rotate bulky and hard to handle objects during manufacture or
assembly processes, is operated beneath the hook of a 15-ton capacity overhead crane to flip panels in
the lumber and timber company’s finishing area.

Freres Lumber installs first horizontal plywood press in U.S.

February 17, 2020

LYONS, OR – Freres Lumber Co. Inc. said it is the first U.S. manufacturer to install and operate the Taihei Horizontal Press Model P25-AB, a horizontal hot press for laminating plywood after the gluing and pre-pressing processes. The press was installed between Thanksgiving and Christmas
and was fully operational on Dec. 17.


Out of the woods: Bob Freres devoted his life to family lumber business

November 27, 2019

Bob Freres grew up in the timber industry — literally. Born July 20, 1929, he spent his early childhood in a logging camp on the North Fork of the Santiam River and learned to read and write in a one-room schoolhouse in Lyons.

Freres being awarded the 2019 Manufacturer of the Year

November 8, 2019

After nearly a century in operation, the family involved in a family-owned business can grow significantly. During the past 97 years, the Freres family has grown to include a significant swath of the North Santiam Canyon.

Mass timber's growth moment in California

November 6, 2019

As engineered wood projects aim for new heights, a push to revive state’s lumber industry

An MPP Modern Prefab A-Frame

October 31, 2019

A Prefab A-Frame at the Foot of Washington’s Slopes Lists for $746K

Grab your skis—this two-bedroom cabin is less than two miles from the Summit at Snoqualmie (and only 28 miles from Seattle).

Whether you fancy the slopes, adore A-frames, or are a prefab fanatic, this 1,721-square-foot cabin is bound to get your attention. Set in Snoqualmie, Washington, just a mile from Hyak Sno-Park, the modern prefab was built earlier this year by Mark Rylant of Buildhouse.

Freres Lumber Moving Logs

Beware of falsely labeled Brazilian wood panels that fail quality, performance standards

October 26, 2019

It is clear to U.S. panel manufacturers that there was a concerted effort to defraud American consumers by misrepresenting imported panels as equivalent to domestic panels.

Freres Lumber Co. has joined nine other U.S. plywood producers as the “U.S. Structural Plywood Integrity Coalition” to file a Lanham Act claim of false labeling against three U.S. certification agencies: PFS TECO, Timber Products Inspection and International Accreditation Service.

Newsmakers - Brent DeHart Interviews Kyle Freres

October 9, 2019

Kyle Freres, Vice-President of Operations at Freres Lumber, joins Brent and Dave in studio for an informational hour on operations of the lumber company, and what is coming next for them.

US Plywood Producers Claim Certifiers Giving Imports a Pass

October 4, 2019

Ten domestic plywood producers have banded together as the “U.S. Structural Plywood
Integrity Coalition” to file a Lanham Act claim of false labeling against three U.S. certification
agencies: PFS TECO, Timber Products Inspection, and International Accreditation Service.

Sturdy, strong and sustainable: Oregon builders more frequently look to engineered wood for construction

September 3, 2019

Mass timber — also called engineered or composite wood — is increasingly popular in construction projects across the country, but especially in the Pacific Northwest.

For a growing crop of revolutionary constructions in Oregon, wood is the new steel.

Commentary: Lumber company stands behind school bond

April 16, 2019

Our company, Freres Lumber Co., wouldn’t be where it is today if it weren’t for the people who work for us. More than 450 employees strong, Freres Lumber relies on its community as much as the community relies on us. We care deeply about our employees, their families and the generations of Santiam Canyon families to come. We are strong supporters of the Santiam Canyon School District in Mill City, Ore., and its students.

Coming Soon: Plyscrapers made from Mass Plywood Panels

March 25, 2019

LYONS, Ore. — There are many ways to glue bits of wood together. Cross-Laminated Timber is the lumber du jour, and is often described as “plywood on steroids” but it isn’t plywood, it’s made from dimension lumber like 2x6s laminated together. Plywood has been made in the USA since the 1880s and Freres Lumber of Oregon has been making the stuff since 1959. It’s well-established technology that uses wood very efficiently, peeling it off logs as small as 5 inches in diameter.

World’s first mass plywood panel approved for 18-story buildings

March 19, 2019

Located in Lyons, Oregon, Freres Lumber has been in business for nearly a century. After starting out producing standard lumber projects, the company moved into wood veneers some 60 years ago and in 1998 purchased a plywood plant. Now, it’s made another step: getting U.S. and Canadian patents on its mass plywood panel (MPP), the first veneer-based mass timber panel in the world, and fire approvals to build up to 18 stories high with the panel.

Freres Lumber named to annual list of most innovative companies

February 21, 2019

LYONS, Ore. — Freres Lumber Co. has been named to Fast Company’s annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019, ranking as the fifth on the Most Innovative Company List in the Urban Development/Real Estate category.

Ted Freres, President

Ted Freres awarded Lumberman of the Year

February 15, 2019

The Lumberman of the Year award for 2018 has been posthumously awarded to Ted Freres, former president of plywood and veneer manufacturer Freres Lumber Co.

Freres Lumber’s massive panels get Canadian patent, pass fire safety test

February 7, 2019

Freres Lumber has just received a Canadian patent for its mass plywood panels (MPP). The panels have also passed fire safety tests. Freres’ massive panels, which Woodworking Network covered last year, are assembled by combining densely layered, extremely thin layers of Douglas Fir veneers. MPP would be used for floors and walls in multi-story commercial buildings, and they could be made to order.

Oregon’s Freres Lumber grows mass timber market

December 7, 2018

The website North American Forest Partnership (NAFP)’s website shares stories from its members, a diverse coalition of forest industry professionals, organizations, and government agencies (including the USDA Forest Service) that focus on relevant, responsible, and innovative efforts for forest management, conservation and sustainable harvesting.

Tyler Freres, Rob Freres and Kyle Freres of Freres Lumber Co. pose with the SEDCOR Manufacturer of the Year award.

After Peavy Hall construction collapse at OSU, Freres Lumber steps up with new product

December 3, 2018

Peavy was envisioned as a showcase for engineered wood products and a beacon for the burgeoning industry in the United States, but a 20-foot section of cross-laminated timber sub-flooring collapsed. Kyle Freres knew he had to do something. His family’s company — Freres Lumber Company of Lyons — had $35 million invested in its own new engineered wood product.

Tyler Freres, vice president for Freres Lumber Co., talks about the new mass plywood panels at the company's new $30 million facility between Lyons and Mill City. Credit: Mark Ylen, Mid-Valley Media

Freres builds for the future with new mass plywood panels

November 26, 2018

Tyler Freres, vice president of sales for Freres Lumber Co., walked through a new manufacturing plant between Mill City and Lyons, off of Cedar Mill Road, and pointed out a stack of wood panels destined for Oregon State University this week. “I don’t even think we’ve started to tap the products and the projects we can make out of this,” Freres said.

Tyler Freres

Freres Lumber VP makes bold predictions for 2017

March 3, 2017

After a year that saw log prices increase dramatically and finished wood product prices remain subdued, at best, wood-products industry professionals in the U.S. speculate what will unfold in 2017. Freres Lumber Company’s Vice President of Sales Tyler Freres published his predictions for the 2017 wood products market on the Freres Lumber Co. blog.