Wood identification Soft/Hard maple? something else?

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Forum topic by BlauSchuh posted 05-12-2012 05:05 PM 3020 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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15 posts in 2382 days

05-12-2012 05:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi Folks, longggggg time lurker… just joined the forum and hoped to tap your wood expertise.

Just came across a bunch of 2” slabs (15-35” wide x ~8 foot) and was wondering what they were, I guess these things have been sitting in a container for decades (or so I was told). The growth rings vary from 1/32” to 1/4” inch. they are a many as 12-15 per inch in some places.

Maybe the bark will give it away. I sanded the endgrain to 220 or so. the lighting changes the hue, but they are much closer to cream colored than yellow.

10 replies so far

View bent's profile


311 posts in 3844 days

#1 posted 05-12-2012 11:39 PM

looks like osage orange to me.

View Cousinwill's profile


131 posts in 3066 days

#2 posted 05-13-2012 01:25 AM

I think it is Osage Orange also

-- William from the oldest town in Texas

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2663 days

#3 posted 05-13-2012 01:30 AM

Nope, It’s Bodark. Maybe Hedge Apple.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View woodworkerscott's profile


361 posts in 2989 days

#4 posted 05-13-2012 01:34 AM

Hedge, Bois D’ark, Osage Orange…different names for the same wood. Looks like that is what it is.

-- " 'woodworker''s a good word, an honest word." - Sam Maloof

View Dusty56's profile


11822 posts in 3863 days

#5 posted 05-13-2012 01:49 AM

Not any kind of Maple for sure !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View treaterryan's profile


109 posts in 2462 days

#6 posted 05-14-2012 03:40 PM

I’m going to through this out there, Hackberry?

-- Ryan - Bethel Park, PA

View WDHLT15's profile


1786 posts in 2651 days

#7 posted 05-16-2012 02:17 AM

If the heartwood is more of a cream color than deep yellow, I agree with treaterryan that is is hackberry. Both have latewood pores arranged in wavy bands. Both are ring porous. Osage orange would be an unmistakable yellow when exposed on a fresh cut.

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

View BlauSchuh's profile


15 posts in 2382 days

#8 posted 05-16-2012 04:16 AM

I noticed that the guy on the wood-database site used a scanner to grab the endgrain shots, so i figured what the heck ill try. It’s creamy, but definately has a bit of orange tint to it.

The endgrain actually looks quite a bit like honey locust to me at least and the coloring is close:,%20honey/locust,%20honey%201%20end%20grain%20s50%20q60%20plh.jpg,%20honey/locust,%20honey%202%20end%20grain%20s25%20q60%20plh.jpg

Not sure what hackberry would be good for, if it is in fact that type. Seems to be a on the soft side. Will have to

View Tomj's profile


204 posts in 2557 days

#9 posted 05-16-2012 05:50 AM

It looks like Black Locust to me, Black Locust I know has been mistaken for Osage before. Locust can vary in color from a light yellowish to a brownish orange, it’s heartwood is cream colored. The pic of the slab looks like Black Locust to me but the small end grain pic I can’t tell whether it’s the lighting I don’t know. I have worked with Osage and Black Locust many times (two of my favorite and best woods for bows) but it could be Hackberry, Mulberry (which looks like Osage) but I wouldn’t know because I have not worked with either of those. Good luck.

View WDHLT15's profile


1786 posts in 2651 days

#10 posted 05-16-2012 12:08 PM

OK, so we know now that it is not osage orange. We can tell that it is also not black locust because the earlywood pores are not totally occluded with tyloses. You can see that some of the large earlywood pores are open. Therefore it is in the family Ulmaceace, which is the elms and hackberry.

Elm would be a little denser than hackberry, but hackberry does have the creamy colored heartwood. Both elm and hackberry are spiral grain (the longitudinal plane of the pores is not vertical, but slants around the tree in a spiral fashion). This makes them very hard to split, and makes them difficult to dry straight without warp or twist.

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

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