Personalized Family Trees

What is a personalized Family Tree print?

Personalized Family Tree prints contain a tree ring print, and names and birth years of your family members. Trees grow in rings and grow a new ring each year. The oldest ring is in the centre and younger rings on the outside. We are able to count the rings to tell the age of the tree.

All of our personalized tree designs started as a tree cookie, and were made into a hand-pressed print. Once we got a perfect hand-pressed print, we digitized it. The digitizing process can take several pain-staking hours (80+). Once each ring is digitized, we are able to select specific years (such as your family member's birth years) and assign a different colour for each of your family members. The colour of the font for your family members and their birth years will match the colours of the growth rings of the corresponding years.

Where did we get the idea?

The idea for Sapwood and Soot came to us during the pandemic when one of us had been laid-off and the other was on maternity leave. We had acquired a very large pile of fire wood and wanted to make prints of the tree rings as wall art for our home. We started thinking of ideas on how to personalize the prints to give them more meaning. Our backgrounds are in Environmental Science and Forestry and we've both analyzed tree rings to learn about tree health in school and for work.
Thus, we combined our backgrounds and our want to personalized tree ring prints to create the idea for Family Tree prints!

How do you know what year belongs to which ring?

Each ring of a tree represents a different growth year, with the centre of the tree being the oldest ring, and the outermost ring being the youngest. Sometimes the rings can be difficult to distinguish and there may be some inaccuracies in years, but our process ensures we do our best to count the rings as accurately as possible to give you our best product.

How old is the oldest family tree design you have available?

We currently have designs featuring 38, 77, 102, and 117 year old trees.

Do you make the original tree ring prints?

Yes! After we acquire some salvaged wood, we prepare the wood surface for printmaking and create original prints using a little elbow grease and ink.

Do you cut down trees?

Our source trees are trees that have been cut down for a different purpose. Several of our source trees were reaching the end of their life span and were cut down because they had become a safety hazard for the immediate area around them.

Is the size of the tree in my print the actual size of the real tree?

Some of our tree prints are quite large, while others are small. We scale them for the size of the family tree print you purchase.

Do you make the print after it has been customized?

We outsource our printing to a company who has manufacturing facilities in Canada and other countries.

What kind of paper is used for the prints?

We print on museum-quality thick and durable matte paper. Each poster is giclée-printed on archival, acid-free paper that yields brilliant prints to brighten up any room.

Paper thickness: 10.3 mil
Paper weight: 5.57 oz/y² (189 g/m²)
Giclée printing quality
Opacity: 94%
ISO brightness: 104%
Blank product sourced from Japan

What if two people are born in the same year?

No problem! We have a few different solutions. You can either choose the same colour for the people born on the same year, or you can choose different colours and the ring will be split for each colour.
All orders with more than one person born the same year need to be finalized by us before it is printed.

Why aren't the rings solid all the way around?

Great question! A piece of wood dries out after it's been cut. As it dries out, the natural fibres shrink and crack. Furthermore, we burn the wood to see the rings, which makes the cracks bigger and can sometimes create more cracks.

I ordered a digital Family Tree, when will it be ready to download?

The version you see on your order is low resolution. Each high resolution personalized Family Tree is still made by me, Tayler.
You can expect your order to arrive by email within 3 to 5 business days. If you're in a rush, you can always upgrade the processing time of your order to 1 to 2 business days at the time you place your order.

Hand-Pressed Tree Ring Prints

What is a hand-pressed print?

Each of our hand-pressed prints is created using a piece of actual wood that has been salvaged, high quality watercolour paper created following sustainable forest management standards, and professional-grade print-making ink. We distress the pieces of wood so their growth rings become more exposed, and we then spread ink onto the wood and hand-press a piece of paper on top. Each hand-pressed print is unique!

What kind of paper is used for the hand-pressed prints?

What kind of ink do you use for the hand-pressed prints?

We use a high-quality water-soluble block printing inks. The inks leave a rich texture and dry to a rich, bold, and satiny finish. The ink carries the AP Seal and clean up easily with soap and water.

Is the size of the tree in my print the actual size of the real tree?

Yes! Hand-pressed prints are imprints from ink that is place on a real piece of wood.


What type of fabric is your clothing printed on?

Please see the item information in the product listing, as fabric type varies from one article of clothing to another.

Do you hand-press the prints onto the clothing?

We have our designs printed by a third party clothing manufacturing company.


What does your name, "Sapwood and Soot", mean?

Our prints wouldn’t be possible without two things: trees or ink.

Trees are actually quite sophisticated, and a tree trunk is made up of different structural components. The rings of a tree are easily distinguishable in the sapwood, which is the component that allows the flow of water and minerals from the roots to the leaves.We use ink to create our original prints. Ink has origins from charcoal or soot from fires.Hence the name, Sapwood and Soot.

How should I care for my sticker?

While our stickers are made out of vinyl, we do not recommend submerging them in water for long periods of time (including the dishwasher). They stick best to hard, smooth surfaces.