Proteak is plantation grown teak that is all FSC certified. Proteak comes in grades up to the highest quality (Fine European Quality or FEQ) teak but much less expensive than old growth teak. Most of the world's old growth teak comes from Myanmar (Burma). Political turmoil in the country added to the impending commercial extinction of Burmese teak, led Burmese teak to be labeled "Blood Teak." Over the past 50 years of slow burning civil war, the military junta and its opponents used the vast teak forests as a source of hard currency to fund their war efforts. When you purchase virgin clear Burmese teak you are making a poor political, humanitarian and environmental choice.
A good article from National Geographic outlining the illegal logging of teak can be found here:
Proteak took the sames Burmese species of teak, growing it in 17-20 years on a plantation in Mexico and now other parts of central and south America. It is all FSC certified and although 17-20 years is not technically rapidly renewable in terms of the LEED definition, it is very fast compared with other trees and produces a high quality lumber and decking product. Teak has been the gold standard for exterior grade lumber for centuries. All of the high end boat decks in the world are made of teak because it is the best wood to withstand the abuse of salt water etc.
Our teak is a great decking product. Teak has a high silica and oil content which is why it is so unique and performs so well outdoors. Also there is a great study which suggests that teak is overall the best performing exterior grade wood. Please read a copy of the USDA forest service study which we can provide. The study suggests that teak has been used outdoors forever (since 2000 BC… yes BC). Teak has a low percentage of hydrolysable hemicellulose. Hemicellulose is embedded in the cell wall of plants and also hardwood trees. It has a shorter sugar chain than cellulose fiber and teak having a lower percentage basically means it has less material that can undergo hydrolysis or absorb water. Also, according to the study, teak is the best performing when it comes to cracking, checking and warping, the overall best performing compared with other outdoor grade woods. It is less dense than Ipe and not Class A fire rated like Ipe, but the checking and cracks in Ipe produce much worse splinters. Teak makes for a superior bare foot deck.
Old growth and Indonesian teak importers have been trying to sully the reputation of plantation teak. Proteak or plantation grown is the same quality and less expensive so they have questioned the "density" and other attributes due to it's faster growth. Plantation grown teak is not the same density as old growth with 20-25 growth rings/inch vs plantation at 10-12 but this has no impact on performance and plantation grown has the same silica content and the same weather resistance. Teak in general is also unique because the sap wood has same characteristics as heartwood (unlike most other wood species). Although our material looks different due to the many color changes in a board, the performance is on par, despite tales of cracks propagting from pin knots in farmed material versus old growth teak.
Here is another wood database that highlights some of the great aspects of teak for exterior use:http://www.wood-database.com/lumber-identification/hardwoods/teak/
Please request or download a copy of the USDA report mentioned above to see the details.