Need help identifying wood

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Forum topic by UncleDave posted 04-07-2015 05:45 PM 1074 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View UncleDave's profile


36 posts in 1187 days

04-07-2015 05:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Can someone help me figure out what kind of wood this is?

I was driving by a house and there were a lot of trees that had been cut down so I thought I’d stop and see what there was. He said I could take whatever I wanted, so I grabbed a couple big logs. One is a type of maple, but the other I have no idea. He said that the tree cutter told him it is not native to this area, and was surprised to see it this far north. We are in south-central Wisconsin. When I found it, there was no bark on it (unless its bark is just this smooth and gray), so that might make it harder to identify. The log is about 16” in diameter, and the pith (at least I think it’s the pith) was just about a quarter inch in diameter. Also, I found that the wood had a strange smell when it was cut. Almost smelled like bad foot odor or manure.

Here are some pictures of the yard where I got the wood and the log in question. Included a couple picture of the log cut in half so you could see the grain. Thanks!

9 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


3883 posts in 1767 days

#1 posted 04-07-2015 07:59 PM



View Wildwood's profile


2306 posts in 2134 days

#2 posted 04-07-2015 08:34 PM

I am not sure what species of wood you have there but looks like have some ring shake, disease, mold, and spalting going on!

-- Bill

View mrg's profile


824 posts in 2999 days

#3 posted 04-07-2015 08:37 PM

Fog wood. (found on ground).

-- mrg

View UncleDave's profile


36 posts in 1187 days

#4 posted 04-07-2015 10:18 PM


What makes you think it’s hickory? Just curious. You seem pretty confident.


I actually didn’t notice much ring shake, but I suppose the others are quite possible. I think the majority of the wood away from the exterior should be all right to use. What do you think?

Thanks mrg, that was probably the most appropriate description of the wood. :)

View Quanter50's profile


278 posts in 2296 days

#5 posted 04-08-2015 01:05 AM

The stringy split makes me think Hickory also.

View mahdee's profile


3883 posts in 1767 days

#6 posted 04-08-2015 01:16 AM

I cut and split a lot of hickory for firewood. Also cook with it. The split one looks like hickory; conformation was the split without the bark. Just get a piece of the bark and/or sapwood and put it in fire. You will know if it is hickory by the pleasant smell.


View Wildwood's profile


2306 posts in 2134 days

#7 posted 04-08-2015 11:19 AM

After looking around on the web think you are dealing with a tree with canker rot and nothing to do with ring shake. Long story short “won’t know until try doing something with the wood.” Just see what you can do with what you have and let us know how you make out.

I am mostly a woodturner these day so would try doing something on my lathe. Several years ago got some cherry wood with brown rot looks red and would crumble in your hand or when trying to machine it. Parts of the log were okay and not affected by rot.

Goof luck with it!

-- Bill

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3893 days

#8 posted 04-08-2015 11:29 AM

Ive seen butter nut look similar

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

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2514 days

#9 posted 04-08-2015 11:34 AM

I +1 with mrjinx. I also split and burned a lot of hickory when I heated my house with wood. The stringy nature, the sudden dark/light grain changes, and the bad smell are the triggers for me. I also have a long plank of it on the top of the headboard I built out of mostly oak, and it looks just like that log.

Don’t know about the ring shake, but it looks like the bugs were working on it.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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