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Help ID this beautiful wood.....PLEASE!

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Forum topic by los posted 04-11-2013 11:12 AM 958 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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los

49 posts in 2299 days


04-11-2013 11:12 AM

Hi Everyone!

I need some help identifying this wood. My local saw mill owner had this wood dropped off by a customer that thought it might be butternut. My saw mill guy has close to 30 years experience and he isnt sure what it is.

I attached a bunch of pictures of some of the wood that I have rough turned into bowl blanks and one of the bark. I think the bark is the part that is confusing everyone. Also the dark colors seem to be mineral stains running up the center of the tree(makes for some great color in the bowl blanks)

Any help would be great!

UPDATE – The tree was close to 3 feet in diameter and from eastern PA.

Los



13 replies so far

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1213 posts in 1225 days


#1 posted 04-11-2013 11:46 AM

Magnolia.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15801 posts in 2967 days


#2 posted 04-11-2013 01:11 PM

My first thought in response to WDHLT15’s suggestion of magnolia was that the bark looks nothing like the magnolia that grows in my neck of the woods. But then I found this photo of Southern Magnolia bark on the web, and I think it’s a pretty close match:

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View los's profile

los

49 posts in 2299 days


#3 posted 04-11-2013 07:13 PM

WDHLT15 & CharlieM1958,

Thanks for the replies! I spoke with my sawyer and he heard magnolia and sort of smiled and said that might be it…...something about its in the poplar family and makes sense.

I did some similar look ups on google and sure enough a lot of the pictures match up.

View richardwootton's profile

richardwootton

1470 posts in 704 days


#4 posted 04-11-2013 07:49 PM

I didn’t realize the heart and sap wood had such a contrast in color. That looks really nice.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View los's profile

los

49 posts in 2299 days


#5 posted 04-11-2013 07:52 PM

richardwootton,

The sap wood is mineral stained…..its black,purple and dark blues. Its going to make some nice bowls for sure.

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1213 posts in 1225 days


#6 posted 04-12-2013 02:02 AM

los,

Not to get too technical, but often magnolia has a double row of parenchyma cells that are put down at the very end of the growing season. It is called marginal parenchyma (parenchyma cells are living cells in wood that are not water conducting cells, but are rather used to store sugars). I can see the marginal parenchyma in the pics, just not sure that any are in double rows. Yellow poplar, also in the magnolia family, has only a single row of marginal parenchyma, and the heartwood is green, although it can have black and purple streaks in it too.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11684 posts in 2437 days


#7 posted 04-12-2013 03:27 AM

My first thought was Poplar , but I’m not sure what the bark looks like. Time for some research and to learn something new today ! Thanks : )

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

View Picklehead's profile

Picklehead

644 posts in 678 days


#8 posted 04-12-2013 12:59 PM

WDHLT15, are you sure about that?

HOLY CRAP! That’s some knowledge! (I do believe he is smarter than the tree)

-- You've got to be smarter than the tree.

View EPJartisan's profile

EPJartisan

1093 posts in 1874 days


#9 posted 04-12-2013 06:24 PM

I finished Hoadly’s book Identifying Wood. I got it last x-mas…. awesome info… I look at all the wood in my shop quite differently now. And I find myself scoping out microscopes now. Honestly if it was not for you WDHLT15.. there would be so few reasons to keep up my game since tree research is just a side hobby for me. It is relieving to see you post… I feel like… oooo there is someone else out there who cares to know this stuff!!! and then.. on man, I better not post any crap.. LOL

-- " '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 WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1213 posts in 1225 days


#10 posted 04-13-2013 01:46 AM

If you go to Hoadley’s book on page 65 and read the description and look at the picture of the end grain of yellow poplar, you will see the parenchyma as he refers to it in the description. He refers to it more properly as terminal parenchyma. The woods in the magnolia family have the terminal parenchyma.

Parenchyma is helpful in distinguishing other woods too, especially between ash and the hickory family, but that is another thread.

Many moons ago, when studying trees, I thought it was so cool that I could learn to identify trees by the leaves, buds, twigs, bark, etc. It was stimulating and challenging, so I worked hard at it. I remember when I first began learning how to ID trees and realized that the trees that surrounded my house as I was growing up were actually green ash and not locust as my Dad always told me. What an epiphany that was!

Also, I was a teaching assistant while I was in Graduate School for Tree ID and Wood Technology, so I got even more exposed to it. I also competed Southwide at the Forestry Conclave of Southern Forestry Schools in Tree ID and in Wood ID, so I had to study all the trees and their woods. Then, in my very first job after graduating, I was a timber cruiser, spending time in the woods every day. If I saw something that I could not remember or did not know, I made it a point to find out what it was. Every time. Never let it pass. As the years rolled on, I became a Tree ID judge for the FFA Tree ID competitions. The best way to learn is to teach, so I got the opportunity to teach many young students. If is still a passion to this day. Now, I can ID 95% of all trees just walking through the woods looking at the bark only. You have to be able to do that to ID trees in the winter. Plus, here is GA we have great tree diversity with over 208 different species.

My sawmill also lets me see the wood from all faces and angles. Here are some of the species that I have sawn on my sawmill: Black walnut, cherry, white oak, red oak, sweetgum, elm, hackberry, persimmon, yellow poplar, sweetbay magnolia, sycamore, hard maple, soft maple, pecan, hickory, chinaberry, osage orange, black locust, mulberry, red cedar, green ash, and southern yellow pine.

I am not trying to be boastful, I just find it very exciting to see people on this Forum that appreciate trees and wood and want to know more about them. These are the kind of people that I love to interface with because they love what I love. Most people could care less. Most people on here care a great deal. This way, we all continue to learn from each other. We are not a product of what we learned 30 years ago but rather what we learn every day. OK, enough philosophy…....

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

View NGK's profile

NGK

93 posts in 660 days


#11 posted 04-13-2013 02:00 AM

Very interesting philosophy and technical knowledge, LT15. Here in ILLINOIS I have been exposed via WoodMizering to all the species you mention except magnolia, chinaberry, and yellow pine. White Pine is more common here. In fact, in northern IL we have White Pines State Park—acres and acres of the stuff and it was an aged stand as far back as 1950.

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1213 posts in 1225 days


#12 posted 04-13-2013 02:17 AM

I have not sawn any white pine yet, but i bet it saws really well. Pecan and hickory are the two toughest woods that I have sawn for sure. Hickory will make you pull your hair out!

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

View NGK's profile

NGK

93 posts in 660 days


#13 posted 04-13-2013 02:08 PM

The problem with most pines is the pitch or gum embedded in spots or throughout. It sticks to the tools and blades and cutters. AND it’s problematic with sanding, too.

I think among American native woods you better add black locust and osage orange (hedgeapple) for “tough to cut”.

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