Is this stump "healthy" to work on?

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Forum topic by eRajsh posted 10-20-2014 01:17 PM 824 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 734 days

10-20-2014 01:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tree stump bark termite infested bug trails

I am new to wood working and this is my first project.

I always wanted to do a small side stool from a stump with carving on the sides. A few months ago I got this piece free. I think its some sort of redwood? It was sitting in my garage all this while. Today, with the perfect alignment of motivation and free time, I took it out to my patio and started peeling away the bark.

I am not sure what to make of it. There were bug trails in the bark. Pls see attached photos.

What I wanted to know is:
Is this normal or is this an infected tree?
What kind of bug is it? like a beetle? or termites?
Can I clean up the trail/sand away the marks on the trunk and continue? Or should I throw this away?
Any chance of bringing bugs inside the home? (I am optimitically hoping that all the months in garage didnt set an army of bugs loose already)
Also is this a redwood?

Any advice would be highly appreciated!


5 replies so far

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

7696 posts in 1799 days

#1 posted 10-21-2014 03:25 AM

It’s possible to bring bugs into your home. Eventually the bugs will leave or die when the wood dries enough but I wouldn’t store it in your house until they do. Best options are kiln drying or fumigating. IIRC, you need to reach 130 Fahrenheit for awhile to kill bugs but that may be difficult in a home kiln for wood that thick. Another option is put it into a trash bag and fume it with poison, remove the bark first.


View EPJartisan's profile


1116 posts in 2544 days

#2 posted 10-22-2014 04:06 PM

Welcome to woodworking and to LJ’s.

First of all it is hard to tell what kind of wood you have there. Mostly we need clear closeup pics of the wood grain or end grain… coupled with scent, color and weight descriptions… if you have leaves from the tree would make it simple for an ID. But by the bark alone.. seems to be in layers of scales, common for conifers.. so it could very well be a redwood.. or a cedar.

Second did you see any bugs or only bug trails? IT is not hard to remove bugs, it only sounds daunting…. but if you let it sit on a clean sheet of paper and watch for dust piles.. then you KNOW you still have bugs in it. BUT some species can hibernate for years…best to fumigate it completely. Then it depends o the bug and tree, but the bug damage maybe only in the cambium layer under the bark… or there could be bore holes throughout the sapwood. Rarely will there be any in the heartwood. Personally I really like the patterns created by some bug damage. If you clean away the damage you should see if there are bore holes of not.

-- " '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 mahdee's profile


3457 posts in 1186 days

#3 posted 10-22-2014 04:39 PM

What you have there is a hickory. Hickory has a very sweet sap and bug love them. Just peel of the bark and go on with whatever you want to make it into. If you start seeing dust coming out of in a few months, put it somewhere hot for several days and the bugs will die.


View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 1906 days

#4 posted 10-22-2014 04:58 PM

Gotta agree, it isn’t redwood, but I’m not sure what it is. I should have checked the bark more closely.
Hickory is MUCH heavier than redwood, smells different and is much stronger.

Thanks mrjinx007, I should have been more vigilant.

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

View eRajsh's profile


2 posts in 734 days

#5 posted 10-23-2014 03:00 AM

Wow. Thank-you Rick, EPJartisan, mrjinx007 and Dallas for your answers! What a great community!

This is not as bad as I had feared. I will remove the bark, continue with the plan and deal with the bugs if I run into them. Once again thankyou.


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