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Author Topic: Is this Cottonwood - Houston, TX  (Read 614 times)

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Offline Philmographer

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Is this Cottonwood - Houston, TX
« on: March 27, 2019, 05:13:03 PM »
 Hi all,

This is my first post and Iím hopeful yíall can help.  I am fairly certain this is Cottonwood based on the leaf, the density, the amount of water in it, and the speed at which mold grows.  That said, itís a lot more reddish than what Iíve seen online when searching Cottonwood.  The posts on this forum also show more of a brownish heartwood than what I found.

Back story:  Theyíre clearing 58 acres of land 10 minutes from my house and I received permission to look around and harvest what I wanted.  I somehow found the only (what I believe to be) Cottonwood in the whole 58 acre plot.  Iíve harvested a number of chunks from the lower part of the trunk.  Iíve heard great things from a mill owner/woodworker about working with Cottonwood.  Is this Cottonwood?


Best Regards,

Phil



 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Offline curdog

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Re: Is this Cottonwood - Houston, TX
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2019, 08:33:07 PM »
Welcome to the forum....
I'm not an expert on cottonwood, but the few we have around have a flat base on the bottoms of the leaves.... I'm leaning towards elm ( but im not that familiar with elm either) I'm sure someone will be along and give you a definite answer...

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Re: Is this Cottonwood - Houston, TX
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2019, 08:54:14 PM »
The leaf is basswood.  The bark and wood pics appear to be hickory.  Is the wood very hard and heavy?  A close-up pic from the end grain will show if it is basswood or hickory.  Basswood is diffuse porous.  Hickory is ring porous.  Basswood is very light and prized for carving.  Hickory is harder than Hades and heavy. 

Are you sure that these leaves came off the stem that you show in the pics?  Something does not look right.  Anyway, it certainly is not cottonwood.  Like curdog says, cottonwood leaves have a flat base.

Here is cottonwood.

Virginia Tech Dendrology Fact Sheet

Here is basswood.

Virginia Tech Dendrology Fact Sheet

If you are certain that the leaf came off the trunk and stem in the pics, then you have basswood.  Otherwise is is likely hickory.   
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Offline LeeB

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Re: Is this Cottonwood - Houston, TX
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2019, 09:24:16 PM »
what color was the heartwood when you first cut it?
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline Philmographer

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Re: Is this Cottonwood - Houston, TX
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2019, 02:10:45 AM »
Thank you all for the replies.  Thatís interesting.  The leaves look very similar but I see what you mean about the flat bottom.  Itís definitely not Hickory based solely on the hardness of it.  The heartwood is reddish brown.  The leaf and stem definitely came off of it.  I was very surprised at the leaf when I pulled them.  The sapwood is very white but reddens as it gets smothered with sawdust.  It carved wonderfully just like Basswood only better because itís green.  The smell is a bit overwhelming at times but doesnít necessarily smell bad.
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Offline curdog

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Re: Is this Cottonwood - Houston, TX
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2019, 07:26:19 AM »
Basswood.... the tree I always forget about... :D

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Re: Is this Cottonwood - Houston, TX
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2019, 08:05:53 AM »
OK.  Basswood. 
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Offline Philmographer

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Re: Is this Cottonwood - Houston, TX
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2019, 08:38:08 AM »
Sweet!  Yíall are awesome!

I know itís prized among woodworkers but is it uncommon to find a 3.5í diameter tree with a 6-7í base?

Any tips for drying it? Right now I have the large bowl in the pictures in a bag full of itís own sawdust.

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Re: Is this Cottonwood - Houston, TX
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2019, 10:16:05 PM »
Sounds like the way to go. 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Jemclimber

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Re: Is this Cottonwood - Houston, TX
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2019, 07:26:26 AM »
When I dry bowls, I don't like to use sawdust. Sawdust packs to tight, and will mold, but not dry out very well. I find packing the bowls in large, loose "shavings" to be much better.
lt15

Offline KEC

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Re: Is this Cottonwood - Houston, TX
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2019, 10:53:26 PM »
One characteristic of basswood is that in spring and early summer the bark is easily slipped off, as in one of the photos. When I hauled tree length hardwood logs, you had to be careful  in grabbing basswood with the loader grapple lest the bark would slip off in one huge sheath. The log was then very slippery and treacherous to load and handle.


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