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Author Topic: Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--  (Read 6395 times)

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Offline Okrafarmer

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Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--
« on: April 09, 2012, 11:22:05 PM »
We just got a whack of the stuff. There is no major market for it in this area-- it is a rather rare tree for us, but we just took down 8 in one yard.  I expect we will sell most of them for pallet logs (can't get more than $175/k for them around here, that I know of). But I thought I might keep a couple of the best ones to mill myself-- you know, to add to my list of species I've done, that kind of thing. So-- any advice, suggestions, jokes, snide remarks?
No matter how conventional wisdom may fly in the face of radical thought, it's still the most popular type.

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Offline Magicman

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Re: Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2012, 11:53:18 PM »
That was the species of choice for making dough bowls.
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

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Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2012, 12:03:23 AM »
In which case, we really wouldn't mill it, would we?
No matter how conventional wisdom may fly in the face of radical thought, it's still the most popular type.

Reduced to Uber Driver and a broken MS290 Stihl

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Offline ellmoe

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Re: Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2012, 07:42:48 AM »
   Not that you're likely to find this need in the current market, but house movers down here like timbers made from them. They like the strength to weight ratio.

Mark
Thirty plus years in the sawmill/millwork business. A sore back and arthritic fingers to prove it!

Offline WDH

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Re: Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2012, 08:34:29 AM »
It has spiral grain like elm so it is very hard to split.  You will likely get a good bit of warp and twist, so as much quarter sawn boards as you can saw will help.  It seems that in spiral grain trees, the first few flat sawn boards from the outside of the log are the worst actors.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2012, 09:07:34 AM »
Dough Bowl makers would slab it and then store it away in the top of the barn and in a couple of years  it would be retrieved.  Those slabs that had not misbehaved were candidates for a bowl.

I do not recall but one instance where I sawed Tupelo Gum for lumber and I do not remember what it looked like.
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Offline thurlow

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Re: Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2012, 09:28:43 AM »
Black gum is a different species than sour/Tupelo, isn't it?  Maybe it's a regional thing...........Around 'here', black gum was the wood of choice for wagon beds, sideboards, spokes, etc, because of its toughness.  Not a lot of wagon beds, sideboards, spokes still in use.  :(
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Re: Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2012, 10:03:57 AM »
Yes, they are a different species, but surely they are very closely related

Water Tupelo, tupelogum, sourwood, is "Nyssa aquatica".

Black Gum, sour gum, pepperidge, is Nyssa sylvatica Marsh.

Both have similar leaves and seed with berries.  The wood is very similar with an interlocking grain.  I guess the fact that they grow in different environments separates them somewhat.  The Tupelo Gum is a swamp/wetland variety and Black Gum grows in hilly country.
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Offline Sprucegum

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Re: Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2012, 10:40:44 AM »
I just read an old book (historical fiction) wherein they claimed that Black gum was impervious to lightening. In this instance the lightening bounced off the tree and struck the mean old dude without harming the two innocents riding beside him. And that's an important fact whether it's true or not  :P

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Re: Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2012, 11:28:04 AM »
And I knew that "mean old dude".   :o

He was the one that cross pollinated the gums and produced Sweetgum !!!

I hates Sweetgum.
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Re: Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2012, 02:55:55 PM »
I hates Sweetgum.

Awwwwwww man; sweetgum is the wood of choice for laths (probably called purlins in other places); onliest thing is............they need to be nailed up within a day or two of sawing them.  They hold the nails really good...........
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Re: Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2012, 08:21:12 PM »
Sourwood is not a Tupelo. It is a seperate species, although the leaves and bark bare a slight resemblance to it. We have a lot of sourwood around here on the high ground. The two Tupelos, I believe, from Peterson's Guide to Eastern Trees, can be distinguished by the leaves. Black gum / Black Tupelo / Sour Gum has smooth edged leaves, and Water Tupelo has some wavy teeth on the leaves. These trees were of the smooth edged variety.
No matter how conventional wisdom may fly in the face of radical thought, it's still the most popular type.

Reduced to Uber Driver and a broken MS290 Stihl

Genesis Hardwood Lumber

Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2012, 08:25:22 PM »
Well, maybe I will try a little quartersawing, then. I've never set out to quartersaw anything yet, but this sounds like the right time.
No matter how conventional wisdom may fly in the face of radical thought, it's still the most popular type.

Reduced to Uber Driver and a broken MS290 Stihl

Genesis Hardwood Lumber

Offline WDH

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Re: Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2012, 09:43:02 PM »
The Tupelo Gum is a swamp/wetland variety and Black Gum grows in hilly country.

A variety of black gum also grows in the swamp.  It is Nyssa slyvatica var. biflora.  The easiest way to tell them apart is leaf size and petiole length.  Water tupelo has a petiole over 1" long whereas black gum's is shorter.  There is another species of tupelo called ogeechee gum, Nyssa ogeche, but is only found in Georgia and Florida.  The swamp versions usually have a very flared or buttressed trunk.  Wood ducks like to eat the drupes (fruits with a pit like an olive).
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Offline cutterboy

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Re: Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2012, 10:08:18 PM »
OK, I'll be the one to ask.

WDH, what is a petiole? ??? :P

Offline Magicman

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Re: Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2012, 10:10:22 PM »
I should have noted that only the two that I mentioned grow in Mississippi.  At least enough to be recognized as being native.
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Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Re: Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2012, 10:10:29 PM »
OK, I'll be the one to ask.

WDH, what is a petiole? ??? :P

The stalk that joins the leaf to the stem.
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Re: Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2012, 10:24:38 PM »
Thanks David

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Re: Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2012, 10:27:50 PM »
Yes, it is that little stalk thingy that holds the leaf to the twig.  A petiole is always subtended by a bud  :).  That means that there is a bud at the base of the petiole where it meets the twig.  This is important in distinguishing what is a petiole and what is a rachis  :D.

Not tying to throw out big words, but botany has a language all its own.  For example a Dendrologist in looking at a black gum would briefly describe it like this:  The leaf blade is oblanceolate, the leaf tips are arcuate, the margins are entire, the surface is glabrous, the petiole is short, the twig pith is diaphrammed, and the drupes are slightly ribbed.
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Re: Black Tupelo-- Black Gum-- Sour Gum--
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2012, 10:29:31 PM »
Yes, it is that little stalk thingy that holds the leaf to the twig.  A petiole is always subtended by a bud  :).  That means that there is a bud at the base of the petiole where it meets the twig.  This is important in distinguishing what is a petiole and what is a rachis  :D.

Not tying to throw out big words, but botany has a language all its own.  For example a Dendrologist in looking a black gum would briefly describe it like this:  The leaf blade is oblanceolate, the leaf tips are arcuate, the margins are entire, the surface is glabrous, the petiole is short, the twig pith is diaphrammed, and the drupes are slightly ribbed.


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