Wood identification, Please

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Forum topic by Manasseh posted 10-20-2010 04:49 PM 3046 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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122 posts in 2798 days

10-20-2010 04:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question humor

First of all this is a wood gloat. I have about 400 bf or more of lumber i just got milled after being asked to take down this 50ft tall tree. Initially the woman thought the tree was walnut. I jumped at the chance. When I got out there, I knew it was not walnut, but not sure what it was. After taking the tree job and we cut into the tree, my eyes POPPED! This tree has great figuring and color variation. In addition it was about 30 inches in diameter on the main trunk.

Bark like oak
Figuring like oak
color like pecan and oak
spalting(1st time to see spalting in person and in living color. Wow)
Very dense
No acorns, or walnuts
Leaves are teardrop shaped

I am leaning towards a particular tree after research, but do not want to bias anyones opinion. I have time to wait, since is just now milled up and stickered up for the next year or so before I can use it.
I have sanded the samples in here with 120 grit and applied paint thinner to give you a quick look at what it will eventually look like unless it changes colors in the drying process.

What kind of tree is this please?

Thanks in advance for your input.

-- Someday I will be more than a sawdust wisperer

19 replies so far

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3156 days

#1 posted 10-20-2010 05:18 PM

Might I suggest you edit and change the title to something like “Wood Identification Please?”? You might get more lookers, and thus a better chance of find out your answer. Just a thought. :) Sorry, your guesses are better than mine on which wood it is.

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

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2846 days

#2 posted 10-20-2010 05:24 PM

wild guess, no checking on leaf shape or bark characteristics: gum.

I can’t wait to see if I win the Gates tires, the Amana freezer, the complete set of Samsonite luggage and the Nash Rambler station wagon!

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Manasseh's profile


122 posts in 2798 days

#3 posted 10-20-2010 05:30 PM

Thanks Rance. I changed it and I need to add the humor part of the story.

We dropped the top of the tree. The base was about 2500lbs. From past experience, I knew this would be heavy and I needed to drop the main trunk in the back of the bed of the pick up. Sorry no pictures, use your imagination. Also from past experience(sounding kind of red neck now), I knew to remove the tail gate this time. With two people controlling the main trunk into the bed of the pick up, we had success.
We made it all the way to withing 5 miles of the local mill, Shane of Very nice to work with. Sitting at the light and me not paying attention. I was tired. My buddy tells me green light. So, startled a bit I hit the gas a little too hard. Not a problem, IF I WOULD HAVE PUT THE TAILGATE BACK ON.
Of course, I didn’t. So, here we are trying to figure out how to wench the 2500lb log back into the bed of teh pick up. Thankfully a driver came by with a fork lift and placed it ever so gently back into the pick up. I drove much slower the next five miles and now all the board feet are in the garage drying out.
We were going to keep the story to ourselves, but as with any small town, someone we knew saw us, but did not identify us until they told the story about a couple of drunk guys driving too fast around the corner dropping a log out the truck in Sunday School Class! OK, we had to defend ourselves. There was no drinking or driving to fast around the corner to the story. But with our friends, the story like any good fishing or hunting story get told a little bigger every time they tell it. It’s good for a laugh and great wood. So….

-- Someday I will be more than a sawdust wisperer

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3751 days

#4 posted 10-20-2010 06:28 PM


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View armylogger's profile


41 posts in 2940 days

#5 posted 10-20-2010 06:34 PM

Gum. Not only gum, But I will narrow it down even further. With the tear drop shaped leaves it is going to be Black Gum. I see you live around DWF. If you will think about when you cut it down, the leaves should have been a very dark red color, or somewhat close to it by this time of year. Black gum is the first tree to change color in the fall in your (our) area of the country. They should have been a fairly thick, waxy (is that a word?) type leaf. Kind of like a magnolia leaf, only alot smaller. Anyway, that is my thought on the matter. One more word on the bark. Sweet gum and black gum have a very peculiar type of bark. The bark on these trees can look like just about anything from any one of the hundreds of oaks, to cherry, to walnut and hickory. I hope this helps. Either way, you should have some great lumber once it dries.

-- Of all the people I have met in my life, you are one of them!

View Raftermonkey's profile


560 posts in 2908 days

#6 posted 10-20-2010 06:44 PM

The leaves on a gum tree aren’t teardrop shape, are they? EDIT, Hmmm, so they are.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

View DanCo's profile


66 posts in 2894 days

#7 posted 10-20-2010 06:54 PM

Armylogger could be right, however the bark I see on your pieces doesn’t seem to look right. I would say that it is Elm. The bark would be right and after getting some milled recently the grain and color look very similar. I’m a few hours south of you and we have a lot of elm and blackgum. I would say elm.

-- Daniel

View Manasseh's profile


122 posts in 2798 days

#8 posted 10-20-2010 08:16 PM

Well, I looked at Gum and do not believe it to be Gum because of the leaves. These leaves( I wish I would have taken a picture) were not waxy(yes I will allow it to be a word even if it isn’t) and not red color. They were still green.
I was leaning towards Elm or Ash, Specifically Texas White Ash, but I really don’t know.
I was hoping someone would know definatively just by the look when wet. I hope it holds this color when completely dry. It is going to be awesome if it does. I have some 2” and 3” bookmatch slabs. I felt like a 5 year old on Christmas Day when I saw all the different colors in there. One crazy charateristic was the bark was brown when cross cut and the sap wood looked reddish.
If I am not kicked off of LJ in a year or so, I will show you the end furniture results :)

Thank you every one for your input.

-- Someday I will be more than a sawdust wisperer

View timberframedave's profile


20 posts in 2806 days

#9 posted 10-22-2010 04:29 PM

I would guess that may be a Locust tree.

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3102 days

#10 posted 10-22-2010 10:30 PM

This species is a top secret project. If I reveal it to you then I will have to kill you. Truthfully, I have no idea. BUT that sure is some bee-you-tee-full wood. I hope we are both around for another year to see some great project from this tree. Rand

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3054 days

#11 posted 10-22-2010 11:47 PM

My friend, if you were from Alabama, you would know exactly what that wood is because it grows everywhere in these parts. Unliess I am terribly mistaken, that wood is good old Hickory. It is dense, hard, strong, makes great tool handles as well as lots of other things. It will have interlocking grain that will frustrate you to know end when hand planing, but that is also what makes it so strong. Make sure your tools are sharp before you try to work it, especially with hand tools. You have some great stuff there. If you want to be double sure, take a small piece of it and cut it into small chips and throw it in to your grill next time you barbecue some ribs. You will have the best hickory smoked ribs that money can buy. MMMMMMM. Anybody want some BARBECUE! Seriously, if you know what typical southern hickory smoked barbecue smells like, just burn a small piece or two and you see what the smoke smells like. There is nothing else like the smell of hickory smoke. Man, just thinking about it makes me hungry.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View EPJartisan's profile


1118 posts in 3121 days

#12 posted 10-23-2010 09:29 PM

Oh I love these challenges…. Butternut is my vote. Definitely NOT locust.. which weights a ton and very very dense… so much so it is remarkable.. and besides is more cold silver in color than warm. Butternut (juglans cinerea.. sometimes called White Walnut) is one of the few juglans that can be spalted… mostly by the fungus Sirococcus clavigignenti-juglandacearum… which causes black cankers in and under the bark of Butternut trees and after the tree begins to die, runs into wood itself.

Just a few months ago, my father and I cut up three butternut trunks, been drying since 2006. The wood is much more buttery in color than hickory, but oxidizes to a warm silver. It has closer and tighter grain than Ash, with a more spread open grain for the early wood cells.

Follow up questions… were the leaves compound and opposite like a walnuts? And where was the tree growing.. near water or on dry soil? But so far, in my ignorance I say Butternut.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View EPJartisan's profile


1118 posts in 3121 days

#13 posted 10-23-2010 09:30 PM

Wait you said no Acorns or Walnuts.. and you live in Texas… So I have no idea.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View EPJartisan's profile


1118 posts in 3121 days

#14 posted 10-25-2010 01:57 AM

My apologies, timberframedave… I thought you meant Black Locust. After some quick internet search, that could be honey locust..

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View alnandy's profile


15 posts in 2893 days

#15 posted 10-25-2010 07:35 AM

I work with honey locust all the time. It is definitely not honey locust.

-- Allan

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

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