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Author Topic: Norfolk Island Pine  (Read 5135 times)

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Offline Tom

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Norfolk Island Pine
« on: October 16, 2001, 04:36:52 PM »
Here is a tree I have never cut before today.  A customer had one cylindrically shaped and about 16" in dia.  He didn't know how he wanted it cut because he had never seen inside of one before.  That made me happy because I didn't know what to expect either. We decided that we would try to get as many 1x12's as possible and cut a squared cant through and through.

The only place I have seen these trees was as ornamentals in S. Fla.  They are straight as an arrow and have a peculiar branching.  The limbs are numerous, about 8 occurring every 6-8 inches up the tree forming a line of knots around the trunk.  looking along the tree from top to bottom they all line up.

The bark was fairly thick, about 3/4 of an inch and had a rubbery texture.  I had the idea that it was full of sand and think I may have been right because the blade lost its fine edge almost immediately.

The wood cut as most soft pines and I was reminded of Pond Pine but without the stress.  The wood didn't move at all and the knots sawed easily.

I thought that it would have been a slow growing tree because the ornamentals I have seen were never more that 8" at the base.  The growth rings on this tree were 1/2-5/8 inches wide.

I was not pleased with the smell.  It reminded me of old tennis shoes.

The grain was wavy because of the knots and the knot pattern made the boards interesting.  I had cut it with one row of knots at top dead center and for some reason never experienced spikes even from the center cut.

I would cut it again and would cut it in volume if the situation arose but I wouldn't go out of my way to locate this tree for lumber.

extinct

Offline swampwhiteoak

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Re: Norfolk Island Pine
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2001, 05:15:06 PM »
That's pretty interesting.  I've only seen Norfolk Island Pine as a house plant.  I had no idea they got big enough to be sawed.  Thanks, Tom, I just learned something today. 8)  You guys grow some weird stuff down there  :D

Online Jeff

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Re: Norfolk Island Pine
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2001, 05:37:19 PM »
My Sister had a Norfolk Island pine. It came with the house she bought in Clare MI. years ago.  All the time she lived there it sat in the same place in her front "sunroom". She never moved it as it was in a half oak barrel and quite heavy. It just sat there on a chunk of green carpet.

Well, the story is that the previous owners left the tree because they hated it. My sister grew to dislike the thing because it was just to heavy to move. They had tried, but it was just to much. So, she just stopped watering it, figured it would die, then my brother-in-law would put a lot more effort in to trying to get rid of it.

Well, with no water, the tree continued to thrive for another year. At this point it was bending it's top on the ceiling. That was enough. She gave one of the local churches a call and offered the tree to put in their sanctuary. When she told them how big it was, how healthy, and the fact that the dang thing was a camel and never needed to be watered they jumped at the chance and said, "Why yes, we would love to have it".

This is where Jeff gets called.  My brother-in-law calls me and says he needs help getting that NIP out of the house and I reluctantly agreed to help.  Well, we pushed and wiggled and tried to twist that barrel, and it would not budge, so we figured it must be that old carpet was acting like glue between the floor and the barrel.

Then it dawned on us. Somebody must have nailed the *DanG barrel down. Yes that must be it. So, I went for the opening of the crawl space to this part of the house. I was not wanting to get under there because for one thing, no body ever had, and another, it was a belly crawl to get to where we figured the barrel was located. I was going to go down there and pound back up any nails I found.

HA! Guess what, no nails. I also discovered why this tree never needed water. Some how, its roots had grown through the bottom of the barrel, through the carpet, through the cracks between the boards in the subfloor, down to the ground and was firmly rooted and I mean firmly!
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Offline swampwhiteoak

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Re: Norfolk Island Pine
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2001, 06:49:38 AM »
So, how'd you ever get that thing outta there?  I have visions of someone jigsawing a circle in the floor and lifting the thing out.  

On second thought, I know what I'd probably do.  Cut the tree off and put a table top on the barrel.  A new coffee table ;D

Apparently NIP grows 200ft tall and makes quite a bit of lumber, down under.  Where's KiwiCharlie when we need him?

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/WRG_norfolk_pine.html

Offline L. Wakefield

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Re: Norfolk Island Pine
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2001, 07:04:36 PM »
   Oh, Jeff, that story is insanely funny!! :D :D :D I just want to hear 'The rest..of the story'.

  I, of course, am totally prejudiced in favor of the tree. it sounds like the baobab trees taking over the plant in the illustrtion from 'The Little Prince'- having that iron grip on the ground, reaching right through the floorboards of the house (I bet they were totally ready to let the living roots through).

  Awesome.              lw
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Online Jeff

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Re: Norfolk Island Pine
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2001, 07:17:49 PM »
Well, the rest of the story is, that the only way to remove the tree was to sever the roots under the subfloor and then pry up the barrel from the floor.  Problem was the tree was dependent now on the root system left under the floor. It really became quite sickly once moved to the church, but with all that prayer and spashing from the babtismal pool, it eventually came around, and the last I knew was still kickin.
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Offline L. Wakefield

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Re: Norfolk Island Pine
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2001, 07:06:26 AM »
   Hopefully they put it on a concrete floor or the probably would have become a repeat offender. 3 cheers for the NIP- what a survivor! 8) 8)              lw
L. Wakefield, owner and operator of the beastly truck Heretik, that refuses to stay between the lines when parking

Offline CHARLIE

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Re: Norfolk Island Pine
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2001, 09:50:58 AM »
I posted the Norfolk Island Pine on the Forestry I.D. forum last August.  The story I was told was that a man brought the tree to Florida thinking it would make real nice mast for sailboat or sailing ships but then found it was not strong enough.  Currently, this tree is very popular with some woodturners because of the knots created by the way the limbs grow.  I think I put a picture of a bowl turned from the Norfolk Island Pine on the Forestry I.D. Forum. I haven't turned one yet myself, but have a chunk in my shop that I'll turn some day...err ahhh....year?  ::)
Charlie
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Offline KiwiCharlie

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Re: Norfolk Island Pine
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2001, 12:12:51 AM »
Hey swampwhiteoak,

Funny you should mention it, saw a couple of nice specimens today actually.  They are plentiful down here, but more as a specimen tree, rather than timber stock.  They do grow very large, so needs thought on placement when young!!
Cheers,
Charlie.
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