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Forum topic by jdh122 posted 74 days ago 859 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jdh122

335 posts in 1413 days


74 days ago

Some neighbors just had a big tree taken down. I asked them and they said to take what I want. It’s cut a bit short, but I think there’s wood there for a few greenwood chairs.
I can’t figure out what kind of wood it is. Here are pictures of leaves (taken off the ground from last fall), bark, end and long grain. And also, the inner and outer bark peels off very easily (this is probably the best time of year for that), so a picture of that too.

The wood reminds me of red oak, with pretty distinct early and late rings, but there is no evidence of rays where I split the log and which would be quarter cut. Plus the bark seems wrong. The leaves could pass for beech, but again the bark is not smooth.
I live in eastern Canada. Any ideas what the wood is?

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests


24 replies so far

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Tony_S

416 posts in 1678 days


#1 posted 74 days ago

My bet is Hickory.

-- "The trouble with people idiot-proofing things, is the resulting evolution of the idiot."

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jdh122

335 posts in 1413 days


#2 posted 74 days ago

Thanks for the suggestion, Tony. Normally hickory doesn’t grow this far north. This means I’ve never gotten my hands on any and wouldn’t know how to identify it. Since it was a street/city tree, it could be a type that isn’t generally to be found here. The way the bark peels off made me wonder a bit, but it’s not nearly as tough a leathery as watching Roy Underhill has led me to believe hickory would be.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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Tony_S

416 posts in 1678 days


#3 posted 74 days ago

Well…it sure as hell doesn’t grow in Alberta! lol!

Check the link…it looks like its no stranger to eastern Canada.

https://www.google.ca/search?q=hickory+range+map&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=0YE&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=sb&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=sw9sU7eUDYH4oAT1w4GICA&ved=0CDUQsAQ&biw=1920&bih=969#imgdii=_

As for it being tough and leathery, I have never worked with, or seen ‘green’ Hickory, so I can’t comment on that.
I’ve worked with plenty of dried hickory though….one of my least favorite woods.

-- "The trouble with people idiot-proofing things, is the resulting evolution of the idiot."

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jdh122

335 posts in 1413 days


#4 posted 74 days ago

I’m sometimes jealous of the hardwood variety that they have further south, but compared to what you have we’re fairly fortunate. I’m in New Brunswick, which is unmarked in all of the maps you referenced.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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Bugnurd

41 posts in 186 days


#5 posted 74 days ago

I think that’s ash. The pic of the bark looks like a lot of the furrowed ridges have sloughed off. It’s common in your area, has ring porous early/latewood (like oak) but no rays. I recently split open a large ash log and the grain and heartwood discoloration is identical. Ash leaves are compound, and that leaflet matches those of ash. I would say white or green ash, which are often planted as street trees.

-- Marc -- Worcester, MA

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mrjinx007

1305 posts in 362 days


#6 posted 74 days ago

The branch picture looks like white oak. The trunk looks like post oak.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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Bugnurd

41 posts in 186 days


#7 posted 74 days ago

If you have a twig, see if the buds are arranged opposite or alternate. Ash is opposite, oak and hickory are alternate.

-- Marc -- Worcester, MA

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EastLake

44 posts in 132 days


#8 posted 74 days ago

It’s definitely not ash. We have tons of it here in New York, and it lacks the deep furrows and smoother gray peaks of ash bark.

Whatcha got there is a classic Acer Ruberum or, in common vernacular, soft maple, most likely silver maple. The trefoil leaf, shaggy loose bark, and two tone heartwood is a dead giveaway. Not a bad substitution for it’s hard maple cousin, and depending on how it is cut, can resemble hickory in grain pattern and coloration. The butt logs tend to be shorter since the branch spray is closer to the ground. I have a big one in my back yard with primary branches that I can wrap my hands around flat footed.

http://www.mapleinfo.org/htm/maplumprop.cfm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acer_rubrum

-- Mark, Western New York, East Lake Woodcraft

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WDHLT15

1065 posts in 1071 days


#9 posted 74 days ago

The wood is ring porous with two pore sizes. Larger ones in the earlywood and smaller ones in the latewood. Ash is ring porous, as is hickory, elm, and the oaks.

Maple is diffuse porous with only one size of small pores throughout the growth ring. I do not believe the wood in your pics is diffuse porous. It is not oak because of the absence of large rays.

I agree with bugnurd that it is ash.

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

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Bugnurd

41 posts in 186 days


#10 posted 74 days ago

Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m 100% sure it isn’t maple. The branch picture with bark is deceiving, as most of the outer bark is rubbed off (typical of ash, and you can still see some patches of outer bark remaining). Also, maple isn’t ring porous, which you can clearly see in the cross section despite the resolution. I’m 99% sure it’s ash, and that can be confirmed with a single twig.

-- Marc -- Worcester, MA

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jdh122

335 posts in 1413 days


#11 posted 74 days ago

Thanks for the suggestions. I had wondered about ash, but as Eastlake suggested I thought the bark wasn’t quite right. But it was a big, old tree and bark seems to change so much as trees get really big.
On the other hand, the leaf seems wrong for any of the soft maples. There’s another tree still standing next to the one that was cut, same type. Once the buds and then leaves appear I’ll have a better idea (buds should be within the next 2 weeks).

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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Bugnurd

41 posts in 186 days


#12 posted 74 days ago

Grab a twig now. They’re easier to ID before the buds burst open. I find winter tree ID way easier.

-- Marc -- Worcester, MA

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LiveEdge

197 posts in 215 days


#13 posted 73 days ago

All ash trees have compound leaves meaning a bunch of leaflets (might look like a single leaf) grow off a stem and the stem grows off the proper branch.

Most of the time in these ID threads people don’t include pictures of the leaves because either they don’t have access or didn’t think of it. Leaves are, by far, the most helpful way to identify a tree. I saw your picture and can’t tell if that is an actual leaf or just a leaflet.

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LiveEdge

197 posts in 215 days


#14 posted 73 days ago

Example of a compound ash leaf:

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bigblockyeti

1363 posts in 316 days


#15 posted 73 days ago

The bark doesn’t look like any ash I’ve dealt with before, and at any diameter I’ve never seen ash with dark heartwood like that. Most of the ash here in NE Ohio is down as a result of carpenter ants or ash borer beetles, leaving the inner bark and the surface of the sap wood just below riddled with passages created by the bugs. The shape and rounded points of the leaf make it look a little like a Sassafras which would almost certainly be incapable of growing that large in the north. While it doesn’t look like shag bark, the wood sure does look like hickory to me.

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