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Are popcorn trees good for anything

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 05-14-2017 09:47 PM 1153 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MrRon

4492 posts in 3078 days


05-14-2017 09:47 PM

Here in the South, we have an invasive specie of tree known locally as a popcorn tree. It is also known as a Chinese tallow tree and is native to Asian countries, especially China. Various forestry services in the Southern states, declare them as harmful to our native vegetation. They drain the nutrients from the soil, starving nearby vegetation to suffer.We are urged to get rid of them . My property has many of these popcorn trees and I am taking steps to remove them. They can grow quite large, as much as 60’ tall and 3’ in diameter. I have seen pictures of bowls that were turned from a popcorn tree and they are beautiful. I don’t intend to do any turning, but does anyone have experience using it’s wood for any other project other than turning?


14 replies so far

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papadan

3584 posts in 3203 days


#1 posted 05-14-2017 10:37 PM

Seams like you should get a lot of good lumber from any kind of tree that size. The worst you could do is have lots of framing lumber.

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TheFridge

8287 posts in 1320 days


#2 posted 05-14-2017 10:41 PM

Is that sweet gum?

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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Don Broussard

3385 posts in 2086 days


#3 posted 05-14-2017 10:43 PM

Fridge—I think you and i call them “chicken trees”. Bright white wood, but not sure of its hardness or usefulness as turning stock.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

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TheFridge

8287 posts in 1320 days


#4 posted 05-14-2017 10:59 PM

Gotcha. I’ve heard them called popcorn as well I thought they were a sweet gum variety.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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WDHLT15

1695 posts in 2310 days


#5 posted 05-15-2017 12:24 AM

Not a sweetgum variety. An invasive from Southeast Asia. Takes over bottomlands and out-competes native vegetation. Runs rampart. A real issue on the Gulf Coast.

Triadica sebifera. Chinese Tallow. Also called Popcorn Tree because the fruits look like popcorn (popped popcorn, not the kernals). Most professional foresters and wildlife biologists do not see any redeeming value in it, even in the wood which is kinda bland and non-descript.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

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papadan

3584 posts in 3203 days


#6 posted 05-15-2017 01:18 AM



Not a sweetgum variety. An invasive from Southeast Asia. Takes over bottomlands and out-competes native vegetation. Runs rampart. A real issue on the Gulf Coast.

Triadica sebifera. Chinese Tallow. Also called Popcorn Tree because the fruits look like popcorn (popped popcorn, not the kernals). Most professional foresters and wildlife biologists do not see any redeeming value in it, even in the wood which is kinda bland and non-descript.

- WDHLT15


Like I said, framing lumber! LOL

View Jimbo4's profile

Jimbo4

1578 posts in 2597 days


#7 posted 05-15-2017 01:26 AM

Us turners will turn anything, as long as we can get it on the lathe. :o)

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected !

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oldwood

110 posts in 1078 days


#8 posted 05-15-2017 02:20 AM

I had one piece that I carved a large heart from and it carved great. Not sure how it would take detail but very well I think. Takes stain great but the piece I had did not not have distinct grain pattern. I believe it would be a good turning wood.

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Planeman40

1034 posts in 2595 days


#9 posted 05-15-2017 02:50 PM

Carves great, takes stain well, no distinct grain pattern . . . sounds like a great woodworking tree! Kinda like Aspen or Linden (Basswood), except Aspen doesn’t take stain worth a damn. I looked it up. It grows here in Georgia. I don’t recall ever seeing one, but then I don’t pay that much attention to trees when I am driving. I made a note of the leaf and its appearance, will try to find on and hopefully get some wood from it to try.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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HerbC

1685 posts in 2694 days


#10 posted 05-15-2017 03:13 PM

Planeman40, you can come on down here to my place in Panama City, Florida if you want to see popcorn trees. I’ve only got about twenty on my little half acre lot. We had six to start with but they propagate so many ways and are so hard to kill that I’ve just about gave up the battle…

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

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Planeman40

1034 posts in 2595 days


#11 posted 05-15-2017 03:19 PM

Thanks Herb!

I think I’ll wait until the next college spring break. This 76 year old man wants to fraternize with the drunken college babes! (though I don’t think I’d recall what to do with her if I caught one) : )

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View richardchaos's profile

richardchaos

530 posts in 214 days


#12 posted 05-15-2017 03:51 PM

Fire wood!

-- “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” ― George Orwell

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

683 posts in 651 days


#13 posted 05-16-2017 01:02 AM

Like I said, framing lumber! LOL

- papadan

I would never frame a house with sweet gum. In addition to being weak, it twists, cups and bows even after it is kiln dried. It isn’t any good for firewood either because it burns so poorly and has such a small heat content. As my FIL used to say, you can’t burn sweet gum but if you build a really hot fire, you can melt it a little around the edges.

View oldwood's profile

oldwood

110 posts in 1078 days


#14 posted 05-16-2017 04:05 AM

The only real redeeming quality this stuff has is that is is the best autumn color we have in the deep south.

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