SD "Wonder Wood" identified

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Blog entry by Monte Pittman posted 07-05-2012 05:58 PM 1863 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

You may have seen some of my projects with my “wonder wood”. Well we believe we have a positive ID on it now. It is Caragana or common name of Siberian Sweet Pea. It is very common in the northern half of the country and all of Canada. Planted as windbreaks. 12-20 feet tall. Profuse white flowers &fragrant in the spring. Very thorny. However the beauty of the wood is worth

it all.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

12 comments so far

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2922 days

#1 posted 07-05-2012 07:43 PM

Now that is some good looking grain.

-- Life is good.

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2407 days

#2 posted 07-05-2012 09:00 PM

That looks so much like redbud it’s scary.

I love the grain too. Glad you solved the “mystery.”

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2486 days

#3 posted 07-05-2012 09:26 PM

I thought Caragana had a smooth bark like a birch or aspen. A least it did where I lived in North Dakota

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 2985 days

#4 posted 07-05-2012 10:54 PM

holy cow that’s beautiful inside. The end grain is deceiving!

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2689 days

#5 posted 07-06-2012 01:20 AM

Monte, Glad you finally solved the mystery. Did someone ‘officially’ ID it or did you match it with pics? Dallas has now cast doubts on the “positive ID”. Is it as pithy and porous in the center as the pic appears?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29227 posts in 2337 days

#6 posted 07-06-2012 01:37 AM

The difference so I’ve been told is that the stuff I originally had was very old growth. This is what I pictured. The younger trees would have the smoother bark and much more solid wood inside. Talked to local parks and rec person that said that old growth rots out and gets porous like what we found. Either way all the northerners should be on the lookout for it.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2780 days

#7 posted 07-06-2012 10:32 AM

I have some small pieces from the old family homestead in Alberta that’s definately Caragana.
What you have is a great match to mine.
It’s quite rough when initialy milled and needs a lot of care to get a smooth surface, most of what I’ve made has been quite small, bookmarks etc, but some pieces have a very yellow area with chocolate brown inside.
When I get a chance I’ll take some shots at home and share.
It was planted by my grandmother, as you say, as windbrake (she also planted hemp for the same use ;-)

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2486 days

#8 posted 07-06-2012 10:36 AM

Thanks Monte and Glen! All I’ve ever seen I guess were the younger bushes.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2272 days

#9 posted 07-06-2012 11:53 AM

Ohhh Monte !!,

That would make some beautiful book matched raised panels or of course your live edged boxes and bed headboards, but then again, as loud as that grain is it may be hard to fall asleep.

It’s indeed, beautifully grained, a wink and a nod to Mother Nature for her imagination. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2803 days

#10 posted 07-06-2012 01:01 PM

Wow! What a surprise to see that slab of beauty. I didn’t see that coming because the 1st pic I was thinking, man, that looks like a really open-grained wood. I have some gonna-be firewood from a few Palonia trees I cut down early this spring. They look real similar to the endgrain on your pic of the log

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2780 days

#11 posted 07-10-2012 11:08 AM

Monte, here’s a couple of mine..

That’s about 3 and a half inches wide, bookmatched, I’ve never decided what to do with it ;-)
this is a book holder

also bookmatched, the back piece is a chunk of maple. now the underside, with table protector feet..

The chunks I had were actualy quite small, nothing like the stuff you scored.

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3160 days

#12 posted 07-15-2012 02:33 AM

>the beauty of the wood is worth it all.

It certainly is.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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