Sheesh. Good thing I have a truck now. I saw a note on craigslist today (online classifieds) that a guy had put “10 to 15 more” eucalyptus logs out in the alleyway behind his house. LA is all blocks split in half by access alleys big enough to drive 2 cars through (barely). The Google directions were a little wonky (didn’t name one of the roads, had me lost for an hour), and so a 47mi. round trip turned into a 75mi. round trip, and there were an incredible number of cop d...
It’s a #2 phillips, based on the seed pods. In other news, I stuck all the old sets of the tree find and subsequent handlings (ongoing) into a collection here. I also went through and rotated some that were on their sides, added descriptions to some missing them, and finally made everything public, as I’d forgotten to on several, like these: That’s from May 4th, and shows significant shrinkage of the euc cup. It had been turned and sanded flush with the lat...
A couple weeks ago I passed some tree trimmers cutting up a handful of paperbark trees (Melaleuca quinquenervia). I passed a few times on lunchtime errands, and finally decided to stop and ask for some free wood. I’ve been so curious for 5 years now about what’s underneath the spongy, peeling bark of these trees. You can punch the trunks and leave a deep imprint of your hand, which swells back up eventually, hiding the dent. It doesn’t hurt, because they feel like a s...
This branch, found a week ago now, was a mystery for awhile, but then I accidentally identified it while looking up something about paperbark trees, which are in some ways related. Callistemon, or Bottlebrush Trees, in the Myrtaceae family, are – like many LA trees – native to Australia. My coworker and officemate, who knows about my log and tree-collecting shenanigans told me one morning that the city had roped off a big branch that had fallen. He saw it on his drive in to work. ...
You folks helped me to ID this as probably a California Bay Laurel, blown down a pretty strong wind storm a week ago. I’m still going to research it, but for now, it needed to be sealed up against the checking that had already begun. I wanted some good pics of the cross sections before they get their coat of sealer. I have 2 gallons of Anchorseal in shipment now from the source, and I’m wondering if I should have gotten the 5gal bucket. Meanwhile, last week I picked up 2 quarts of...
In part 1, I found a Euc in an LA neighborhood, went back under cover of ninja darkness around midnight, spent 3 hours cutting it up and hauling it home in 2 trips, and detailed what I ended up with. In this part, I cut up some of the bigger logs, look under the bark a bit more, and brush away boring bug excrement to reveal some more beautiful patterning underneath. The trails seen here are caused by Eucalyptus Longhorned Borer larvae, several of which I found while digging under the bark,...
I went out for a walk from work late in the day last week sometime, through a neighborhood I’d not explored. At its end, I encountered a fallen gum tree, and as probably seems the right response to many in here, was overcome with joy. It had obviously been down for a while. These LA people sure don’t understand what treasure there is to be had in their trash. I determined to come back for it at night… sometime. Uncharacteristically for timid ol’ me, I went back...
I was putting in the rafters on my shed roof today, when while taking a break I noticed a message on my machine from a friend. He had spotted a fallen tree, which didn’t make it through today’s heavy wind storms here in LA. I grabbed my Irwin carpenter saw – the best hand saw I’ve used so far for wet logs (I’ve tried 3 now) – and headed out in my inadequate hatchback. It’s getting traded in for a truck soon, hooray. This was the pile I found: ...
After a little get-together with friends last night around a backyard campfire in the ‘burbs of LA, and them hearing about how I’m collecting wood from wherever I can find it around here now, one of said friends left a message for me today. He was outside of an El Pollo Loco (Mexican fast food chicken place) that I frequent, and alerted me to ‘an entire tree’ that had fallen over in today’s crazy wind storms. I was over there in 10 minutes, new Irwin hand saw in ...
After some online snooping, it looks like the branch I found the other day is of the Juglandaceae Family, which is to say it’s a walnut. Here’s some evidence… The chambers in the middle, seen here in my sample comprise what is known as a “chambered pith” (a pith being the center of a tree/branch/twig). Here's how it happens (in elaborate, if brief science talk). When it comes to chambered piths, it seems the only two choices spoken of online are black walnut (...
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