Amateur asks, "Is this a good idea?"

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Forum topic by OscarTX posted 03-29-2011 04:45 PM 778 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2037 days

03-29-2011 04:45 PM

We have a pretty large pecan tree (alive – not dead) on a lot we own that is going to be taken down when the lot is made ready for our house construction. You can see the scale of the tree with me standing next to it. I am 6’ 0” tall. The diamater is about 2’ and the circumferene is about 7’ 3”. I would say the main trunk is about 16’ before it splits into branches. The idea occurred to me to have the tree milled for hardwood flooring, for the new house, after it is taken down. The hardwoods would have to be ready to lay in about 8 or 9 months.
First question, is this even a good idea?
Can the wood be ready in 8 to 9 months?
What kind of yield can I expect (probably need 800 to 1000 sq ft)?

Thanks for any help with these questions.


5 replies so far

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3315 days

#1 posted 03-29-2011 04:55 PM

I would have it milled but being a city tree you take your chances with buried nails. That said you wont get enough lumber for your floor and theres no way that will air dry in time, for you to lay it but you could have it kiln dried or make a solar kiln yourself.

Good luck

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View dbhost's profile


5590 posts in 2654 days

#2 posted 03-29-2011 05:01 PM

That one tree won’t be enough for flooring. However you can use it, or at least parts of it for say a mantle etc… in the new house. However air drying won’t be fast enough. You will need to have it kiln dried.

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View dbray45's profile


3147 posts in 2198 days

#3 posted 03-29-2011 05:03 PM

Don’t know if you would have enough for your floor but might make some really nice furniture. Run a metal detector up and down the trunk and see what you find.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View HerbC's profile


1568 posts in 2281 days

#4 posted 03-29-2011 09:47 PM


Best case scenario that tree will yield approximately 400 board feet of lumber from the main log(s) in the trunk. Not enough to make floring for the whole house. Additionally, making flooring is labor intensive and pecan, when dried, is a very hard wood and would certainly tax the machines used for milling into flooring.

But the lumber would be beautiful and I would encourage you to have it milled so you can make furniture projects from it. Consider also milling the major crotches, you can get some beautiful grain patterns there.

And by all means, save every scrap and use for smoking wood when barbecuing…

Good Luck and…

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 2692 days

#5 posted 03-30-2011 12:10 AM

I would agree with the above, with a caveat that using this tree for flooring would also present a problem if you needed to replace some floor boards for damage or remodeling….you would have to find lumber of the same species in order to come close to matching.

I couldn’t count how many times I’ve worked on a house and had to go on a scavenger hunt to find flooring even close to what is there. This substantially raises the cost to remodel in some cases (especially if the flooring is some custom woods…many times the owner doesn’t know what kind – so you also have to classify what type or types of wood it might be and perhaps come up with some creative finishes to match)..... The smarter hoime owners had an extra box or two of the flooing they used. So that is one reason not to use for flooring.

I would also recommend that some of the crotch and other figured areas be considered for turning blocks/rounds. I have turned alot of Pecan and it is a beautiful wood and nice to turn. The straight wood would then make a bit of lumber to do other projects with.

If you really want to make something for the house with the wood…consider some shelving, cabinetry or panelling. You may have sufficient wood for those projects.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

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