Getting "Green" Wood

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Forum topic by Tachyon posted 05-19-2016 01:16 PM 422 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Tachyon's profile


4 posts in 163 days

05-19-2016 01:16 PM

Topic tags/keywords: carving carving tool question

I’ve been reading about people making chairs and wooden spoons with green wood – that is, wood from trees that have been recently chopped down (as opposed to kiln-dried lumber). I live in a fairly big city in central Texas. I don’t know of any place I’m allowed to chop down a tree. Even if I could I don’t have a vehicle that can haul a felled tree.

Where would a person in my position get green wood? I’d especially like wood appropriate for spoon carving. Wood like apple, cherry, walnut… I don’t know what other woods are good for spoons. I know oak is bad for spoons. Any ideas?

5 replies so far

View jdh122's profile


878 posts in 2239 days

#1 posted 05-19-2016 01:47 PM

I have the same problem. I’ve found that with some creativity it is possible to get some wood. Wood for spoons is the easiest, since short branchwood will work. After windstorms I go around and look for people cutting up branches, ask and they usually will give it to you no problem. Get the word out among your friends and acquaintances. For hewing bowls it’s trickier, given the sizes you need, but the fact you can work with short lengths helps some. I’ve gotten pieces from neighbours cutting down trees for this. There is probably a place in your town where tree service people take their waste (possibly the dump) and you may be able to pick through that. Usually they’re too short for chairs, but can work for spoons and bowls.
The biggest challenge is wood for post-and-rung or Windsor chairs, which need to be relatively long (as well as being a bit fussy about species and especially grain structure). I’ve tried calling around to firewood sellers (may not be as big a thing in central Texas as it is here in Canada), but they generally have sugar maple, which is nice and strong but not a great riving and drawknifing wood. I want yellow birch, red oak or ash, the best chair-making woods around here. So far my best sources have been a local park where I sometimes jog (they cut down trees sometimes, usually into 4 foot lengths) and once I got some fantastic oak at a construction site just before they hauled them off.
Some chairmakers buy from sawmills, which is another possibility.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View MadMark's profile


970 posts in 875 days

#2 posted 05-19-2016 08:27 PM

Call your local tree service …


-- Madmark -

View Woodmaster1's profile


732 posts in 2009 days

#3 posted 05-19-2016 08:47 PM

Tree service is the best source. We don’t have a lack of green wood in Indiana. I have more than I can use. Walnut, cherry, oak, maple, mulberry, ash and poplar. There is more when anyone cleans a fence row or needs a tree cut down in their yard. My sister gave me some mulberry and ash when she had a mulberry tree and seven ash trees cut down. Here a picture of a cherry bowl and some mulberry bowls from green wood.

View isotope's profile


144 posts in 1046 days

#4 posted 05-20-2016 02:15 AM

I live in near Boston, and there is almost constant stream of people looking to give away trees/wood in the Craigslist Free section. As jdh122 mentioned, people occasionally have trees taken down and are looking to someone to take the wood away. I’m not sure whether this also happens in your area, but it’s worth a look.

View Tabletop's profile


71 posts in 169 days

#5 posted 05-20-2016 06:43 AM

Great ideas already given and I can only add this, your local cabinet maker. I have several cabinet maker friends and I go to them for lumber. They order it for me and have it delivered to their shop. One of them may have a supplier that can get green wood. Very possible that some get straight from a saw mill and that would make it real easy. I’ve had several times where I’ve made special request and they come up with it. It may take a few weeks but that’s been no issue.

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