The Varsity Promo-Box and The Bristlecone Pine

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The Varsity Promo-Box and The Bristlecone Pine – Pinus Longaeva

Varsity HQ has been abuzz with ideas since we decided to embark on a promotional campaign. Marketing has never been our strength but we did feel that we wanted to promote and advertise our fantastic range of boards, and at the same time have a bit of fun! In short, we wanted something that promoted our grades; carried some key messages and included a fun ‘giveaway’. The result is the stackable Varsity Promo-Box! (Don’t throw the box away; you’ll need it for the next installment)

We have grown as a company significantly over the past 25 years and felt that growth was a good theme to develop. We are very fortunate that one only has to take a couple of steps back in the supply chain to reach the raw material source of our Carton-board; trees. And what a fabulous opportunity to use something so synonymous with being a natural product? They are clean, pure and massively beneficial to all environments. So what tree should we use? The first box would be printed on a Folding Boxboard, specifically Excellent Top from the MM Mill in Baiersbronn, Germany. The pulp for Excellent is sourced from forests of Pine, Beech, Birch and Fir; but which of these to choose? While scrolling through page upon page of tree images we soon realised what an immense task this would be. The sheer number of images was staggering and there was always the question of which tree to choose over another. So, we changed our search parameters and put in a few defining terms. These included; ‘fantastic’, ‘breath-taking’, ‘awesome’ and ‘incredible’. The result was a short list from which we chose the Bristlecone Pine.

At first sight it might not look that inspiring. However, here are some amazing facts about this tree: -    

-              Bristlecone pines grow just below the tree line, between 5,000 and 10,000 feet of elevation. At these great heights, the wind blows almost constantly and the temperatures can dip to well below zero. The soil is dry receiving less than a foot of rainfall a year. Because of these extreme conditions, the trees grow very slowly, and in some years don’t even add a ring of growth.

-              Pinus longaeva’s wood is very dense and resinous, and thus resistant to invasion by insects, fungi, and other potential pests. The wood’s extreme durability plays a big part in the tree’s longevity. While other species of trees that grow nearby suffer rot, bare Bristlecone Pines can endure and even after death they are often still standing on their roots for many centuries. Rather than rot, exposed wood on both living and dead trees erodes, like stone, due to wind, rain, and freezing. This creates unusual forms, colours and shapes. You can see this from the unique ‘knotted root’ of the example shown here left.

-              The oldest Pinus longaeva was discovered growing in the White Mountains of eastern California. The tree is an astounding 5,062 years old, as of 2012, and still living. Another of these incredible specimens has been dated at 4,789 years of age and is called ‘Methuselah’. Methuselah was purported to be the eldest living biblical character and so a most appropriate name.

I’m sure you’ll agree with us from looking at the photo above that it is an amazing tree. You’ll also be pleased to hear they are not used to manufacture paper and board! The trees, which are found in regions of the Northern United States, are protected where they grow; and the location of the very old ones is kept Top Secret.

Although not as impressive as the real thing our Promo Box will also grow, by stacking, along with the theme of the promotion. We plan two further installments, one for  later this year and another in 2014. At the end the 3 boxes will stack to reveal a picture of a Bristlecone Pine, in it’s full glory. In the meantime, please enjoy our ‘grasshead gift’  in Promo Box 1. If you haven’t received one, but would like one, give us a call and we’ll see what we have left. But be quick; they’re moving fast!