I woke up this morning and when I let my shop buddy out for her morning search for ‘that perfect spot’ to take care of her doggie business and I found a huge limb broken out of the big maple tree near my front walk. The pictures are a little dark because the Sun was just rising when I took the pictures. I’ve been cleaning it up and while I’m resting I’ll write this blog entry before I finish cleaning it up.
This maple tree was planted when my 2 story farm house was built sometime around the turn of the century. It has been in decline for a while now and broken or rotten limbs are nothing new. I made a blog post a while back about the trees in my yard that would one day become lumber for gunstocks and furniture. I’ve removed the broken limb and smoothed the cut as best I can. After the stores open today, I’ll go to the nursery and get something to cover the wound. But, to get to solid wood, I may have to remove two more limbs that are attached to this portion of the maple tree. It’s about 32” in diameter and the log will be over 16’ long when it’s cut. The tree is gnarly and twisted, so the wood inside will be spectacular. You can see from the ripples just under the bark that some portion of the tree will be tiger maple. There’s also some ambrosia beetle damage, so the colors in the main trunk my also add to it’s natural beauty.
I’ll have to wait till the tree is milled before I see how much figure will be in the wood. The tree is spectacular and provides shade for my front yard. The trees around my house keep my home at least 10 degrees cooler than the surrounding field. I sure hate to lose it, but time and gravity are just not anyone’s friend…
The tree with the broken limb is right above the gas can on the maple log I found listed on Craig’s List yesterday. My 2 story farm house is right behind the trees. You can see how big this tree is in relation to my house. The wind storm we had a few days ago, dropped the small maple I have behind my SUV, on a fence and the farm owner wanted it removed. I was going to carve a thumbhole stock for a Ruger 10/22 today, but it looks like it will be a late afternoon project or I’ll have to put it off till tomorrow.
I’ve cut the limbs into chunks to make bowls and rolling pins from some of the wood, but I’ve got more bowl blanks here than I’ll ever be able to use. Anyone who is close to East Tennessee is welcome to have some of this beautiful wood. I’m sure there will be a lot more available before I am finished cleaning up my front yard.
I had a windstorm about 10 years ago take down 3 of the big maples and at that time I didn’t have any woodworking tools or any way to get the logs sawed into lumber. The only chunk I was able to save is a 3’ square block from one of the trees. I have used parts of it to make small items and the grain is fantastic. I’m hoping this tree will be just as beautiful. I may cut it into flooring to replace the damaged pine floors in the farmhouse instead of making gunstocks or rocking chairs from it. Too bad I won’t be able to show Dr. A.D. Miller, who built this house, and was the first to live in it, floors made from the wood of the maples he planted when he had the home built. I’ve cut poplar from trees on the property to make siding to replace the rotten siding on the house too. I’m sure he would be pleased to see how his trees are being used to bring his home to its original beauty.
-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com