Hand Tools Archive

Re: Grandfather in law...
Response To:
Grandfather in law... ()

William Duffield
I will second Waren's recommendation of dogwood, Cornus florida. It is a similar color to sugar maple heartwood. I get most of mine from standing dead trees. It is much more difficult to find than it used to be due to Anthracnose blight killing most of the native trees, but can still be found. It is an understory tree that tends to grow at the edges of woodlots. There are varieties of pink dogwood, usually with varietal names starting with "Cherokee" that are planted as ornamentals because they are more resistant to the fungus. Some of them have a light pink tone to the wood but most are white. You can still find them as standing snags, because the fungus still kills some of them.

I'm pretty sure Holtzapffel would classify it as hard.

There is also a Korean dogwood, Cornus kousa that blooms a little later than the native C. florida, that you might experiment with, but I don't have any experience turning it or any of the other Cornus species.

I have two dogwoods at the end of my back yard that have been blooming there for at least 45 years. No, you can't have them! However, just last week, I started processing one trunk of a two trunk specimen that was growing across the street. The other trunk is still alive and blooms every year, so if you are out driving in the country in early May (maybe a little later where you live) and see one in bloom, you might investigate whether there is another available dead trunk on the same tree that you can appropriate. Don't leave the rescued trunks laying on the ground; they spalt very quickly. I have another dead one standing on another piece of property we own, but I haven't cut it up, so I don't yet know the condition of the wood. It has been dead longer than the one I just got, so I don't know whether the wood is rotten beyond usefulness yet.

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