To reconstruct the stool (the base) of the spire of Notre-Dame de Paris, eight oaks of extraordinary size were cut. The entire ramp requires a total of 1000 trees, which are currently sawn in 45 French sawmills.

Roman epitropakis

December 24, 2021

4:00 p.m.

Roman epitropakis

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The restoration of the roof of Notre-Dame includes the restoration of a masterpiece of the cathedral: the spire, built in 1860 under the direction of Viollet-le-Duc. No less than 1,000 oak trees will be mobilized for reconstruction. The Géants sawmill, based in Mayenne, is responsible for sawing eight oaks “of exceptional size” for the stool, the base of the spire.

Selected in the National Forest of Bercé (Sarthe) in March 2021, these eight oaks will “form the beams on which the spire rests”, writes the sawmill in its press release. The Giants sawmill is of course not the only one that demands its work: 44 other sawmills have volunteered to cut down the 1,000 oak trees. The National Wood Federation (affiliated with France Bois Forêt) coordinates all of these sawmills. The carpenters were the subject of a call for tenders which closed on November 5, 2021.

Sawing started in September and will then experience a dry season in the storage centers. After drying and sorting, the wood will finally be delivered to the carpenter in spring 2022 for assembly before being assembled on site in 2023.

Sawing an oak tree at the Giants Sawmill. Photo credit: JLP – Scierie des Géants.

The oaks intended for the restitution of the spire and the transept come entirely from donations, half of which come from public actors (state forests). The other half comes from private forests. These 1000 oaks represent 0.1% of the annual harvest of French oak for construction or furnishings (the average harvest of French oak of this quality is 2 million m3 per year).

The wood is staggering in size, ranging from 14 to 22 meters “for the most remarkable” or about the height of a seven-story building. The Viollet-le-Duc tower will culminate 96 meters above the square.

Map of the origin of oaks. Source: Public body responsible for the conservation and restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral.

[In pictures] The sawing of oaks for the reconstruction of the spire of Notre-Dame de Paris has started

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Related title :
[In pictures] The sawing of oaks for the reconstruction of the spire of Notre-Dame de Paris has started
In Vendée, their company saws wood for Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral
EM – [In pictures] The sawing of the oaks for the reconstruction of the spire of Notre-Dame de Paris has started

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