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Identifying wood from the bark #1: What is this species of wood? Need some input.

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Blog entry by DocSavage45 posted 05-05-2014 01:18 AM 1147 reads 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I have access to free logs at the local compost site.

Bought a chain saw and waiting on a chainsaw mill that I ordered.

Not exactly free but close enough. It just opened for Spring clean up. I am planning on harvesting what I can when it is available. I do know Maple ( older trees) Walnut ( I have two walnut trees dumping their stuff on my property which requires clean up), and an old Elm, which are on my property.

Dumped my walnut tree waste at the site and picked up this short log as it was what I could lift onto my truck I brought it home. Got a field guide book “Trees of Minnesota.” Might be OK in the woods but the pictures are small re: the trunk, and bark patterns. Sort of useless without the other parts of the tree.

Description of side view as seen in first two pictures is reddish brown and Blue Grey scales The pattern is irregular and the bark is thin, but not dent able with fingers

From the field book pictures ( poor pictures) It appears that this may be a Maple or a Red Mulberry. Both are found in South Eastern MN according to the guide book ( my location). I don’t have branches or leaves to add to description.

The last picture is the top. Heart wood is almost as light in color as new growth and rings are difficult to distinguish. The Bark covering the log is thin and reddish brown as opposed to the grey usually found in older Maple?

Hope you savvy LJ’s can help this ignorant guy.

Thanks!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher



19 comments so far

View freddy1962's profile

freddy1962

814 posts in 238 days


#1 posted 05-05-2014 01:31 AM

Looks like soft maple to me.

-- JEFF Illinois (Banks of the Mississippi)

View Bugnurd's profile

Bugnurd

53 posts in 280 days


#2 posted 05-05-2014 01:34 AM

Looks a lot like red maple to me too.

-- Marc -- Worcester, MA

View Handtooler's profile

Handtooler

1098 posts in 821 days


#3 posted 05-05-2014 01:51 AM

If y’all have Hickory up yonder, I suppose you’d recognize the Hicker nuts around the base in the fall? You are too far north to be pecan but that’s of the Hickory family any way. Hickory is a very slow growing tree with close tight ring and often few knots. Just a wild a**ed guess. Y’all have lots of cotton wood up there, but that it’s not as it’s a soft wood.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@msn.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112325 posts in 2266 days


#4 posted 05-05-2014 02:00 AM

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

5101 posts in 1532 days


#5 posted 05-05-2014 02:31 AM

Jim,

It expands the trunk identification, thanks!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

5101 posts in 1532 days


#6 posted 05-05-2014 02:34 AM

Handtooler , Cottonwood trees are around. Used Jim’s chart. Bark didn’t match. Wish it were Hickory! LOL!

Thanks!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

5101 posts in 1532 days


#7 posted 05-05-2014 02:35 AM

Jeff, what makes you think it’s a soft maple?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

5101 posts in 1532 days


#8 posted 05-05-2014 02:35 AM

Mark, same question?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112325 posts in 2266 days


#9 posted 05-05-2014 02:38 AM

Anytime Tom

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View freddy1962's profile

freddy1962

814 posts in 238 days


#10 posted 05-05-2014 02:59 AM

Tom, it is one of the most common trees here in West Central IL. Just from experience, looking at the bark. It can be found anywhere, but it can always be located in wet areas along creeks and river bottoms. It is very easily damaged in wind storms. Along the Mississippi River banks and islands, it is probably 90% of what the trees are, along with other wetland trees, including cottonwood, walnut, pecan and the occasional elm. EDIT It may be called red maple or something else, but it’s called soft maple here.

-- JEFF Illinois (Banks of the Mississippi)

View Bugnurd's profile

Bugnurd

53 posts in 280 days


#11 posted 05-05-2014 03:01 AM

As a forester, I’ve looked at a lot of trees. Eventually you just recognize it. It has a grayish color to it, which for me eliminates cottonwood. Hickories have more vertical, tightly furrowed bark (except for shagbark, which is unmistakable). Black cherry bark is darker, with potato chip-like bark. Ash has really tight uniform vertical furrows. White oak has lighter colored platey bark, red oak has wide vertical furrows. Side note, oak, ash, hickory has ring porous wood, so you can really see the rings pop in a cross section. There is a possibility that your tree is horsechestnut, which has similar bark, but red maple is just way more common. If you have any twigs, I can tell you with absolute certainty, but I’d say I’m 90% sure it’s red maple.

-- Marc -- Worcester, MA

View BrianWells's profile

BrianWells

25 posts in 623 days


#12 posted 05-05-2014 03:32 AM

Hey Doc, looks like a Red Maple, and red maple is a softer maple than say sugar maple. Free wood is the best kind of wood.

-- BWells,NY

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

5101 posts in 1532 days


#13 posted 05-05-2014 03:48 AM

Brian, Although I’m a chicago boy living many years in MN, I think I can say “You Betcha!”

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

14597 posts in 1027 days


#14 posted 05-05-2014 02:13 PM

I don’t know specific maple, but I think it’s maple. It’s not cottonwood, that has very thick bark.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7099 posts in 1993 days


#15 posted 05-05-2014 02:53 PM

whatsa madda wif you guys, just ask the tree..ive been talking to them for years , they really are some of the finest growing plants on the earth, just a warning though, oak tree’s dont have much of a sense of humor, but the maples, yea there really cool chaps…dont spend to much time with them, they love to tell jokes…:)

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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