This tree, which weighs seven tonnes and is just over 12 meters long, must first be lifted using a machine before being sawn on each side.
Once transformed, this oak will become a beam that will be used in the reconstruction of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, badly damaged by a fire three years ago.
” The pressure is really strong. We have no room for error. »
Specialized in the treatment of large trees, the company Wood sur mesure, located in the north of France, was selected for the contract of a lifetime. It is to provide the beams that will be used to recreate the cathedral’s iconic spire, added to the monument in the 19and century before being swept away in flames in 2019.
The owner of the sawmill, Philippe Seynave, recognizes that the pressure is great given the importance of the site to be supplied.
It can happen to everyone to miss a wood, but there, we don’t have the righthe explains before adding that it is always necessary
be behind the blade, always look as closely as possible. To ensure the smooth running of operations, the contractor invested several thousand euros in equipment, even before having officially obtained the contract.
So far, 48 beams have been sawn, and the company run by the cabinetmaker carpenter should finish about 30 more by the end of April.
Work on the frame and the spire should begin in 2023 before the building opens to the public, still scheduled for 2024.
Beams that are the pride of a region
In recent years, more than 1,000 oak trees have been cut in various regions of France, in public and private forests, with the aim of contributing to the effort to rebuild the Paris cathedral.
During our visit to the tailor-made Wood sawmill, the oak in the center of the attention of the employees had a particular importance: it was cut in the communal forest of Hirson, a town located just a few kilometers away.
The mayor of the municipality who donated this tree, Jean-Jacques Thomas, wanted to attend the operation.
The chosen one recalls that this approximately 180-year-old oak survived the two world wars, conflicts that affected his region.
The fact that this tree will one day leave its mark in the heart of Paris arouses the pride of fellow citizens.
” There is a tremendous movement of pride and it is an opportunity to say: “You see how beautiful our forest is.” […] It’s a bit of a part of themselves that will find themselves in the capital. »
The pride is all the greater for Philippe Seynave, who has been dedicated to this project for a long time and who has been working as a cabinetmaker for nearly 30 years.
It’s rewarding, it’s the grailhe says, visibly moved.
We will have our name there, our grandchildren will think of usadds the entrepreneur, explaining that his work will contribute to a structure that should still be in place hundreds of years from now.
When he is in Paris, Philippe Seynave, like many inhabitants of the region, will look up to admire this spire which, from its height of 96 meters, will once again stand out in the panorama of the center of the capital.