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Author Topic: what to do with 30" dbh osage orange/bodark tree? actually 40" with Pic!  (Read 24254 times)

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Offline hackberry jake

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A friend of mine says he has a 30" dbh bodark he want rid of. Says its 30' to Tue first branch... doesn't sound like any I've ever seen. What would you do with it?
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Offline campy

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Re: what to do with 30" dbh osage orange/bodark tree?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2011, 08:51:55 PM »
Mill it and dry it outside.


Osage is Wood with a vengeance.
Some qualities of Osage.
1) Lasts 100 years buried in the ground
2) Strongest wood in north America
3) Replacement for metal
4) Grows fast and is sustainable
5) Pretty color and grain
6) Best wood for archery bows
7) Can be used around food like for rolling pins, cutting boards and spoons.
8) Heavy and dense
9) Sawdust can be used as yellow dye
10) Fruit is edible and good for lawn bowling
11) Good for perimeter security. Troops in the Civil War had to maneuver around Bowdock groves because the are so impenetrable.
12) No need to dry it is stable and will not shrink
13) Although not native to Illinois does grow in the state. Presidents Roosevelt is most likely the one responsible for the tree being there as it was one of the trees of choice used in his ambitious WPA project “Great Plains Shelterbelt.” The project used the trees size and density to act as a windbreak, the goal being to modify weather to prevent soil erosion in the Midwest. In all approximately 220 million trees of different species were planted in all.
14) It produces fire works when burned.
15) John Swain made a boat called the Sultana out of Osage
http://www.lnsart.com/sultana_project.htm 

Offline timbuck2

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Re: what to do with 30" dbh osage orange/bodark tree?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2011, 08:56:12 PM »
Believe it or not, I quarter sawed some orange osage way up here in Northern NH.   all about 6-10 in dia. short logs.  A guy brought them from  Missouri or someplace, and he made long bows out of them.   About 2 years later I was cleaning out the sawdust pile and there was a brilliant orange stripe in it.

Offline WDH

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Re: what to do with 30" dbh osage orange/bodark tree?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2011, 08:58:12 PM »
Wow, sounds like a one of a kind osage orange tree.  With a tree like that, the bow makers would be a good market, but I believe that they rive out rather than saw out the bows.  You could do a little research on the Internet about osage bows and how to cut the staves.
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Offline hackberry jake

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Re: what to do with 30" dbh osage orange/bodark tree?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2011, 09:10:57 PM »
I have a pretty good idea of what CAN be done with it. I'm asking what would YOU do with it? I'm leaning towards personal stash, but its getting rather large already.
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Offline T Welsh

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Re: what to do with 30" dbh osage orange/bodark tree?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2011, 09:12:10 PM »
Mill it!!! look into the market and see whats sells for the most? 4/4 or bigger or bow blanks.I  would look into the bow makers blanks, I have heard there is money there, but I have no dealings with it. or get what ever you can get out of it when you open it up. straight grained stuff goes to bow blanks, the rest goes into furniture wood. I cut a couple of logs for slabs for a cabinet maker for benches and it turned out a strong yellowish type of color with blackish stains between growth rings. hard as rock,bring plenty of sharp blades and use lube. it stinks too!!! Tim

Offline timbuck2

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Re: what to do with 30" dbh osage orange/bodark tree?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2011, 09:17:47 PM »
No they don't saw out bows, the 1/4 sawn slices were stock for the bow making process.   Some of them went for upwards of $1k,   specialty market hit me square between the eyes over 20 yrs ago.

Offline WDH

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Re: what to do with 30" dbh osage orange/bodark tree?
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2011, 09:39:18 PM »
I would saw the best grade as rift and quartersawn 8/4.  I would saw the lower quality in 4/4 at maximum width.  Then, I would market and sell 80% and keep 20% for projects.  I sold some 8/4 to a martial arts weapons maker in Seattle, WA.  He saw my ad on Craigslist.  He makes fighting sticks out of it. 
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Offline zopi

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Re: what to do with 30" dbh osage orange/bodark tree?
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2011, 09:52:42 PM »
From what I have been told the best bow staves are riven..not sawn...but yeah...about eight feet of that would make bows...personal stash otherwise...buthen...I am kind of a packrat whenit comes to wood.
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Offline WDH

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Re: what to do with 30" dbh osage orange/bodark tree?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2011, 09:58:10 PM »
I believe that 8/4 provides enough size to rive out the bow if the grain is reasonably straight.
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5-111, Kubota L2501, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Kcwoodbutcher

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Re: what to do with 30" dbh osage orange/bodark tree?
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2011, 10:25:45 PM »
At 30" the tree probably has large split in the middle.  I just got some logs close to that size and every one was split.  We have a lot of osage around here and that is very common. It's not that there isn't a lot of god lumber in the logs, it's just a little harder to get.  I have sold it for bows, turning blanks, cutting boards, and flooring.
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Offline 5quarter

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Re: what to do with 30" dbh osage orange/bodark tree?
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2011, 10:38:18 PM »
   Could also be a Red Mulberry. They are related to hedge apple and look very similar. A tree the size you describe is not unusual for a mulberry, almost unheardof with hedge apple. The really big ones I have seen were wider than they were tall. no more than 4 or 5 ft of trunk. If you go get it and it is a hedge apple, slab 5 or 6 at 10/4 or 12/4 and as wide as your saw will make. cut the rest 4/4 and put it to sleep for the winter at the bottom of one of your stacks.
What is this leisure time of which you speak?
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Offline swamper

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Re: what to do with 30" dbh osage orange/bodark tree?
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2011, 10:56:00 PM »
BoisD'arc is a pretty wood.  I just used some for knife handles.  It is also a strong and tough wood.  The sawdust is the color of high quality mustard when it is sawn.  It turns dark as it ages.  An old fella that just passed away gave me some that he cut fifty years ago, just a few days later, he died suddenly.  The aged wood was very dark and had a beautiful grain and color to it.  It does make sparks come from your chain saw when you cut it.

Offline Tree Feller

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Re: what to do with 30" dbh osage orange/bodark tree?
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2011, 11:55:43 AM »
I have personally seen one Bois d' Arc tree that was straight and limbless for the first 20 ft. It was about 16" DBH. The landowner said I could have it but I never harvested the tree before he sold his farm and moved to a smaller place. I still regret not getting that tree.

I would do like WBH suggested, riftsaw/QS the best grade and flatsaw everything else 4/4. I'd keep it for myself, however, as I like working with Bois d' Arc. I made one of those Hal Taylor rocking chairs out of Bois d' Arc (like the Walnut one I showed here) and sold it for $3500 to a fellow in Louisiana. The 8/4 kiln-dried lumber cost me $11 per bf from a sawmill.

Just be aware that Bois d' Arc will not retain that bright yellow color. It will turn golden brown from oxidation and UV exposure. Eventually (around 100 years) it will turn dark brown/black.
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: what to do with 30" dbh osage orange/bodark tree?
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2011, 01:19:33 PM »
I've only seen several that size but the were not suitable for lumber .However at one time in addition to uses already  mentioned they used it for planking on equipment trailers .It was tough enough to withstand tracked equipment such as a dozer or track hoe without tearing up .Tougher than oak and that's saying something .I have no idea if it's still used these days or not .

Offline Klicker

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Re: what to do with 30" dbh osage orange/bodark tree?
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2011, 06:45:23 PM »
Having made a number Of bows I would go for bow staves. PM me and I will send you a link to some bow sites that make bows Rod
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Offline 5quarter

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Re: what to do with 30" dbh osage orange/bodark tree?
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2011, 10:55:16 PM »
As an aside, there is plenty of bow material on the market...not so much regarding clear, wide dimension lumber.Oh, and like mulberry, hedge apple has visible rays. if you can get a few perfectly qsawn boards, they shimmer in the right light.
Tree feller, sorry for your loss. An offer like that and I would have shown up the next morning with several sharp chains and lots of oil and gas! :D
What is this leisure time of which you speak?
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Offline hackberry jake

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Re: what to do with 30" dbh osage orange/bodark tree?
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2011, 08:15:38 PM »
Just talked to the man that's giving me the tree, he doesn't want any money from it but he wants enough 16' 6/4 to redeck his trailer... what a waste. He's also giving me a small walnut and small pecan to boot tho.
https://www.facebook.com/TripleTreeWoodworks

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Offline WDH

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Re: what to do with 30" dbh osage orange/bodark tree?
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2011, 08:32:24 PM »
Cut his trailer decking out of the worst grade in the tree as it is just going to be a floor for equipment to sit on  ;D.
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5-111, Kubota L2501, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline jueston

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Re: what to do with 30" dbh osage orange/bodark tree?
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2011, 11:21:45 PM »
or make his trailer decking out of white oak and tell him you don't know why the color seems wrong..... and keep all that awesome wood for yourself....  ::)


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