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Author Topic: Buying a Huge Butternut Log  (Read 2575 times)

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Offline ESFted

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Re: Buying a Huge Butternut Log
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2021, 01:27:18 PM »
Can't help with the ID, but that big crotch section would make some beautiful slabs if you have a chainsaw mill that can handle it.
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Offline stanmillnc

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Re: Buying a Huge Butternut Log
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2021, 01:44:43 PM »
I picked up a huge butternut tree awhile back and it looked similar to that, but darker heartwood (perhaps because it was fresh cut?). I bought it sight unseen as I was told it was a black walnut, but it wasn't was white walnut.


 




Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Buying a Huge Butternut Log
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2021, 01:53:31 PM »
That's pecan or hickory to me. Not butternut. Lots of people confuse the nuts.

Here is bark of butternut.




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Offline zippski

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Re: Buying a Huge Butternut Log
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2021, 02:02:24 PM »
If the guy who has the log hadn't told you that he had confused the tree with Black Walnut (likely by the compound leaves?), I would have sworn that was a Catalpa log.  The bark does not look anything like true Butternut bark to me.  There is a complete absence of interlocking flat top ridges with a semi-lustrous shine to many of then (Butternut bark looks like, say, a cross between Basswood and Walnut.) Maybe it is a hybrid Heartnut/Butternut?

Here is a link to the best example of a close-up photo of butternut bark I could find in a ten-minute search.  The light ash-grey bark is very distinctive and often really stands out in the forest:

https://cvc.ca/conversations/search-healthy-butternut-trees/

Hope this helps.  The hybrid trees are relatively rare in Ontario and the limited ones I have seen do not have the same coloured heartwood.  It's more yellowish-brown than the pinkish/reddish-brown found in a true Butternut.

Leigh
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Buying a Huge Butternut Log
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2021, 02:08:29 PM »
If there are any smaller limbs around like 4"-6" the bark will look striped.

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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Buying a Huge Butternut Log
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2021, 02:24:36 PM »
I am not familiar with the hickeries, but someone may have told him 'bitternut', not butternut.
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Re: Buying a Huge Butternut Log
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2021, 02:28:27 PM »
Very hard to describe the smell of the log, but fresh cut it will smell like green crushed walnut husks, for days. It's the butternut oil.
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Buying a Huge Butternut Log
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2021, 02:44:03 PM »
That's odd.  I just read something that said the wood has no odor.  
According to my tree book, bitternut hickory should have dark heart wood, so I don't think thats the case either.
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Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Buying a Huge Butternut Log
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2021, 02:48:33 PM »
Looks like cottonwood or tulip poplar to me

Offline stanmillnc

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Re: Buying a Huge Butternut Log
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2021, 02:51:20 PM »
Definitely wasn't pecan or hickory, as the wood was soft and milled much easier than hickory or pecan. It wasn't nearly as dense and heavy as hickory, pecan or black walnut. The slabs I milled from this tree had grain that looked like the pictures in this thread and they sold quick. Perhaps it was a hybrid? I still have the main trunk from this load buried my log pile because it was too big for my LT40 WIDE and I have grown tired of my CSM! I'll have to dig it out and mill it, that is assuming it's not rotten by now.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Buying a Huge Butternut Log
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2021, 02:51:55 PM »
Sawn lumber, no odor to speak of, but fresh logs definite smell. Those books usually talk of sawn dimension wood.

Yep, as I said not familiar with hickories.

Could well be another variety. But that's no native butternut. I know the inner bark is like walnut, in that it is yellow in butternut. But that could be true of hickory as well, ask @WDH .
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Buying a Huge Butternut Log
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2021, 02:54:52 PM »
Definitely wasn't pecan or hickory
Wasn't talking about your logs Stan.

But I've never seen choc brown heart in butternut, bark is also different than I see around here.

That trunk photo up there I posted is not mine, it came from the forum. But it looks identical to ours up here.

I do recall WDH making a hickory call on a log you claimed to be butternut. Butternut is very soft and when planed will bur up as if half way rough sawn with less than ideal sharpened tools. Native folk up here carve masks with it. Dad's uncle Arthur always had a block of butternut by the wood stove. He'd take his thumbnail, split off a sliver of wood and make a toothpick after a meal. ;D
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Buying a Huge Butternut Log
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2021, 03:27:43 PM »
I'm beginning to lean toward cottonwood.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Buying a Huge Butternut Log
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2021, 03:32:03 PM »
From keys in "Textbook of Wood Technology", which I assume would be similar to Hoadley.





The butternut smell is in the bark, not the sawn lumber. When you smell that, you'll never forget it. It's not nasty, it's just juglans. ;D

Black walnut doesn't grow natural here in NB. What I see is in yards and doing very poorly, not frost resistant up here.
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Buying a Huge Butternut Log
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2021, 03:34:33 PM »
I'm beginning to lean toward cottonwood.
I'm certainly no pro and have never seen butternut but if you just showed me a picture of your log and asked me what it was that's where I'd be leaning (cottonwood). I find it hard to believe anyone could mistake a cottonwood for a walnut or butternut though; assuming they'd been around the tree previously other than just stumbling upon it recently with no leaves.

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Offline snobdds

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Re: Buying a Huge Butternut Log
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2021, 03:54:52 PM »
That doesn't look like the cottonwood we have around here.  The bark is much thicker around these parts. 

Cottonwood stinks bad on a fresh cut.  I would take an axe and chop into a piece of the center of the log...see if it smells like a stale swamp.  

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Buying a Huge Butternut Log
« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2021, 04:08:39 PM »
Wish I had known about the smell when I was there.  I could have brought a hatchet and chopped into the bark to take a whiff.  Most likely I will go back with the intent to take some of the smaller logs and sample the smell first.  Are we talking similar smell to black walnut?
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Offline 69bronco

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Re: Buying a Huge Butternut Log
« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2021, 04:09:55 PM »
Looks like cottonwood to me.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Buying a Huge Butternut Log
« Reply #38 on: January 11, 2021, 04:24:18 PM »
Are we talking similar smell to black walnut?
If you recall the smell of green walnut husks, that's the smell your after. Anyone handling walnuts or butternuts , the green nuts with husk, won't forget it. The wood smell mentioned in the keys is a different smell. Butternut wood has no distinct smell in the wood, walnut does. Well, I challenge that 'no distinct smell' because you and I know that a piece of fresh planed ash smells different than fresh planed maple. But fresh is different than something sitting around 3 years. Walnut wood will retain the odour. ;D
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Buying a Huge Butternut Log
« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2021, 04:38:36 PM »
Okay, that would be hard to mistake.  
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