Hand Tools Archive

Tree centers, "the heart"
Response To:
Re: Heart thrown away. ()

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
When commercially sawing a log except beech ( which is only sawn for RR ties which require the center/heart in the tie) the heart/center of the tree is "boxed. That is, boards are sawed on the 4 sides of the center until about a 4 x 4 or 4 x 5 remains. This center, or "boxed heart" is sold mainly for the large timbered parts of pallets. This juvenile wood is prone to cracking when it is dried and it is not good for much other than these pallet parts.

Beech is common here. It sprouts in shade and idles in shade awaiting some good tree to fall over or be cut upon which it springs to life and shades everything under it. After a couple of logging cycles it can become a dominant species. I regard it a forest weed. I have whacked dozens in our timberlands to free up space for a useful tree. Come visit and I will show you dozens I still need to whack. You can take home all you want.

Beech was common in the Adirondacks where the family hunted deer. It think it is common everywhere in the east. Want is uncommon is anyone motivated to harvest it other than for firewood.

BTW, do you know that the beech you are getting has or had not been steamed? It is easier to dry after steaming and less prone to splitting.

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