Beautiful Valley (White) Oak

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Blog entry by California Urban Lumber posted 10-19-2009 03:52 PM 2017 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The following pictures are of a Valley Oak that was approximately one hundred and fifty years old and five feet in diameter. It lived its life in the back yard of a homeowner in Walnut Creek, CA. In July of this year it fell over onto the garage of said homeowner. We are all glad that it wasn’t the actual house. However, In the battle of tree vs. garage, the eighty thousand pound tree won hands down! Evergreen Tree Service of Antioch, CA removed the “remains” of the tree, (not sure what happened to the poor garage).

Evergreen also chainsaw carved a great bench for the homeowner and California Urban Lumber rescued a nine foot section of the trunk (8700 pounds) which ended up yielding six hundred board feet of beautiful quarter sawn lumber. A much more dignified end to a heritage tree than firewood, don’t you think?

The pictures of the Valley Oak slab are from another hundred plus year old tree that fell over last month in the back yard of a Lafayette, CA resident. Expert Tree Service of Orinda, CA helped California Urban Lumber load several pieces of the Oak utilizing Expert’s crane and CalUrbanLumber’s trucks. One piece of the trunk yielded seven, nine foot long, fifty inch wide, four inch thick stunning, crotch grain slabs. The rest of the two truck loads (twenty eight foot bed on the truck) left us with five hundred board feet of quarter sawn 8/4 lumber, one thousand plus board feet of flat sawn lumber, and a myriad of beams and turning pieces.

Check out the beauty for yourself!

Close up of 150 yr old valley oak

gorgeous oak

quarter sawing the oak

quarter sawing the oak

-- California Urban Lumber | The Green Choice |

5 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3818 days

#1 posted 10-19-2009 06:10 PM

I enjoy seeing stories like this. I always think that it is somewhat disheartening to see wood, especially from a tree this old, ultimately end up as firewood. Milling it into lumber, as you have done, is a far better approach. I have often told that I had to have a cherry, that was at least 36” in diameter, and two ash trees of similar size taken out a few years ago. I tried to find someone willing to mill them but was unable to do so. I eventually had to give up and let the arborists take them for firewood. Needless to say I stayed at work until after they were gone since I did not want to see any of “the action”.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3573 days

#2 posted 10-19-2009 06:13 PM

Looks like some beautiful oak

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3331 days

#3 posted 10-19-2009 07:16 PM

I hope the poor homeowner was insured for this. A fantastic tree. I have quite a bit of milled white oak under my mitersaw bench waiting for a project. It’s great wood to work with.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View ChunkyC's profile


856 posts in 3251 days

#4 posted 10-19-2009 07:26 PM

That’s awfully big coaster you have there for you coffee. lol


-- Chunk's Workshop pictures:

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3587 days

#5 posted 10-20-2009 12:51 PM

That huge oak slab is beautiful.
Unfortunately (so far) I can not find any sawmill in my country that mills large slabs or burls.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

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