Messages Archive

Holly drying a success *PIC*

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.

Holly is difficult to dry and preserve its white color. I was successful but for reasons I did not anticipate. The holly was treated with fungicide and dried with good air circulation in the sun with days in the high 80's. In 4 days the wood was under 30% moisture content, safe from mold and chemical staining. And it didn't stain. At 30% MC the wood begins to shrink. At this point I slowed the drying rate by stacking it inside out of direct sun.

I think it didn't mold (blue or black stain) because it was cut late in the year and the tree was going dormant. The sugar in the tree was turning to storage energy, I suppose starch. Even pieces I didn't treat with fungicide didn't mold. I think I avoided chemical staining (makes the holly gray) because it dried quickly enough to avoid it.

This information could be useful for other species that stain- maple and pine.

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