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Author Topic: Tree twist  (Read 541 times)

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Offline charles mann

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Tree twist
« on: January 28, 2020, 04:38:44 PM »
What would cause a tree, during growth, to twist/spiral? 
Unsure of oak species, but i saw an oak around 30” diameter, with a very noticable twist/spiral in the bark, which im assuming the twist is also in the wood structure too. 
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Re: Tree twist
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2020, 04:56:31 PM »
My understanding is it is an adaptation to a difficult growing condition, as the spiral grain makes for a much more strong and stable structure. Think wind or difficult rooting conditions and things like that.
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Offline charles mann

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Re: Tree twist
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2020, 07:40:32 PM »
Would this type of growth cause an issue during drying, more so than wood with less to no twist? 
The tree i saw looked like a dang corkscrew, which is why it caught my eye. 
They are phasing up to start widening the road in that area and its on public, state right of way, so it’ll be coming down. If im hm, plans are to retrieve as many as i can haul off
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Tree twist
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2020, 07:46:57 PM »
yes I think so.  I believe @GeneWengert-WoodDoc spoke about this last year.  we can see what he has to say.  I guess you can always cut it and see.
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Offline charles mann

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Re: Tree twist
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2020, 08:55:59 PM »
yes I think so.  I believe @GeneWengert-WoodDoc spoke about this last year.  we can see what he has to say.  I guess you can always cut it and see.
Ill hang a bar in it, but if it wont be worth the value of a politician, i’ll use it for cooking or heating, not waste a good band on it. But i’ll wait on mr. gene to comment before writing it off as heating wood. 
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Re: Tree twist
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2020, 09:37:50 PM »
Id not waste my time. Twisted log, twisted lumber.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Tree twist
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2020, 07:15:25 AM »
Unless someone has a project for twisted wood, I see firewood.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Tree twist
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2020, 07:55:06 AM »
There are some trees that commonly grow with spiral grain like sweetgum, blackgum, elm, hackberry, and sycamore.  In the commercial markets, these species are usually sawn into pallet wood or low grade industrial wood.  The reason is that the spiral grain leads to drying defects, especially twist and warp.  If these woods are quartersawn, they are more stable, but in the Industry, that is not economically viable.  If you do saw the log, and it is large enough, you could quartersaw it to minimize the twist and warp. 
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Tree twist
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2020, 04:35:28 PM »
I was always told that spiral grain was genetics.  Some species are more prone to it.  I've seen it in tulip poplar as well as some of the other mentioned species.  

Our wood products prof told a story about there being a problem with telephone lines in Wyoming back in the 1950s.  Us old pharts remember when the telephone lines had crossbars on the poles and they carried a lot of lines.  Major lines used to run along the railroad beds.  

The problem they had was that the lines were being broken in certain areas of the line.  They were rather remote, and they thought maybe somebody was cutting the lines.  It turned out that the poles were lodgepole pine.  They are very prone to spiral grain.  Apparently, there were a couple of poles with opposite twists and as the humidity level changed, they would turn.  Eventually they would break the wire as the twist was magnified by the crossbars.   
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Offline reride82

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Re: Tree twist
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2020, 06:42:10 PM »
Can confirm the twist in lodgepole. As I have been taught, most start with a left hand twist and as they mature they either develop a right hand twist or straight grain. Those that stay with a left hand twist are very prone to twist as they dry. So, power companies developed standards for the amount of twist they would allow for their poles. It is also a concern for log home construction as they twist as they dry in place.

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Offline Jesse Duke

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Re: Tree twist
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2020, 06:11:33 PM »
There are some trees that commonly grow with spiral grain like sweetgum, blackgum, elm, hackberry, and sycamore.  
I'm not sure how common ironwood is but it twists pretty noticeably as I recall. 


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