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Forum topic by 85GoCards posted 07-17-2017 03:12 PM 224 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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85GoCards

31 posts in 124 days


07-17-2017 03:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: smokey mountain logs slabs log slab lumber paulownia

I’m looking for some paulownia slabs and have read how invasive they’ve been around the Smokey mountains. I’m hoping this could lead me to getting a fair number of full logs and/or slabs easily, as people may be cutting these down just to remove them.

Any thoughts or info would be appreciated!

-- Dylan in St. Louis - Painfully new to woodworking.


2 replies so far

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Planeman40

954 posts in 2454 days


#1 posted 07-18-2017 11:23 PM

As an old rubber model airplane builder I used to use paulownia wood propellers back in the 1950s. Very light but very strong wood. Made great carved props! Anyway, a few years back I looked into trying to buy some paulownia wood to make some more propellers. Here is what I found. The gangly small tree grows like a weed here in the southeastern USA and is found everywhere, especially along the side of a road! It doesn’t get very big and it has a hollow center similar to bamboo but smaller. This hole and the tree’s small size makes getting a decent size slab from a tree very difficult. The wood is grayish in appearance and is very light, approaching that of balsa, but harder than balsa. A point of interest is the Japanese prefer it for their traditional wooden clogs and will pay a premium price to obtain it. There must some call for it as it is expensive to purchase (try to buy some on eBay). Here in Georgia there are Paulownia farms that grow and sell the wood. The tree is rapidly growing and can be harvested in about ten years from planting. What is more, a tree can be cut at the base and the root and stump will quickly grow another tree ready to harvest in about seven years. The farm grown trees must be pruned yearly to get the tree to grow tall and straight for wood harvesting. The tree normally grows low and gangly without pruning.

Google paulownia for a good bit of information.

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

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85GoCards

31 posts in 124 days


#2 posted 07-19-2017 03:24 PM

Thanks for the post planeman. I’ve read about the tree farms, and it being so invasive, so I was hoping someone happened to have access to some. I can’t seem to find much though. From what I’ve read, China now grows a fair bit, so the price and US production has been reduced.

Overall I was hoping that somebody would post a “you’re in luck, I just cut one down last month” type comment, but I know that’d be pretty lucky!

-- Dylan in St. Louis - Painfully new to woodworking.

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