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Author Topic: The heart of Sweetgum - How Come?  (Read 1376 times)

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Offline fencerowphil (Phil L.)

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The heart of Sweetgum - How Come?
« on: October 28, 2006, 07:08:57 PM »
I am hoping someone has a leaning toward microbiology with this question.

Can anyone describe the chemical/bacterial/fungal(?) processes which create
the beautiful patterns and colors found in the heartwood of Sweetgum?
After sawing many logs of varying sizes, I can tell you it is not just due to
the size/age of the tree. A very healthy 30" diameter log in central Georgia
(my location) can have little dark heart. On the other hand
a much smaller log may have more central "heart" and have streaks of the
coloration running down from damage to the bark when the tree was less
mature - for example, where a tree trimmer had taken a limb years earlier.

I have cut the logs from 32" to 14" in diameter and have thousands of board feet which have been air-drying for about a year. I cut the sap wood quarter-sawn to get the ripple satin effect and cut the heart wood however I can to get the most out of it.
Love it! 
Phil Lavender
Bi-VacAtional:  Piano tuner and sawyer.  (Use one to take a vacation from the other.) Have two Stihl 090s, one Stihl 075, Echo CS8000, Echo 346,  two Homely-ite 27AVs, Peterson 10" Swingblade Winch Production Frame, 36" and 54"Alaskan mills, and a sore back.

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