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Author Topic: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)  (Read 4920 times)

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Offline MSSawmill

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First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« on: March 03, 2014, 10:15:34 PM »
Had a chance to cut a few trees out of my uncle's yard on Saturday and then dad and I got them milled on Sunday.

This was the first time we've milled cedar, so that was fun!
 

  

 

And then he wanted this popcorn tree down, too. Even though I had no idea what a popcorn tree was or if it was good for anything, I took the log and decided to see what was inside it! After a little research today, I figured out it's actually a Chinese tallow tree, and that it's called a popcorn tree because of the way the nuts look when they break open. From what little bit I could find, it sounds like I should have left it in a cant and used it for turning bowls. Oh well! it's in 1" stuff now. Guess I can laminate it later.
 

  

  

 

Here's a shot of dad pushing through the biggest cedar log we had.
 

 

Here's the whole load in logs.
 

 

And in boards, (we had some pine flitches to edge, too).
 

 

Anyone have experience with that popcorn tree? Do you know anything about the lumber from it?
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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 10:27:47 PM »
I had no idea what it looked like inside.  If it is not prone to split it could make some interesting turning stock.

That is a super looking sawmill.   smiley_thumbsup
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Offline 5quarter

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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 11:22:36 PM »
popcorn tree? never heard of it. All I want to know is where can I get some? ;) ;D ;D
What is this leisure time of which you speak?
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Offline LaneC

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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2014, 11:44:58 PM »
5quarter, they are all over here down South. Most people hate them because they get everywhere, especially down fence rows(from birds mostly at every fence post). They are pretty in the spring as the name implies their flowers bloom and look like a big pieces of popcorn. They will take a place over pretty quick in fields too if you don't keep it bush hogged. From my observations they grow pretty slow and usually don't get too big. I would say one of the biggest i have ever seen would probably be 14"DBH. Like I say most people around here, when you say "popcorn tree" the first thing they will say is "I hate popcorn trees"
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Offline 5quarter

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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2014, 02:18:05 AM »
Like Mulberry or cedar trees here. I wouldn't mind swapping a load of mulberry for a load of that.  ;D ;D
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Offline WDH

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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2014, 07:16:24 AM »
Chinese tallow is a major invasive plant that out-competes the native trees, especially in the bottomlands.  In many places, they are taking over the bottomlands, especially in the Florida Parishes of Louisiana.  They are very difficult to control and have no commercial value. 
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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2014, 07:49:36 AM »
It would be very rare to find one large enough to saw and by the time it got that large it would have produced millions of seedlings.   :-\

There are no good words to be said for Chinese Tallow trees.  Kinda like privet and kudzu.   
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Offline JamieT

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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2014, 09:02:28 AM »
Nice looking wood! I love cutting cedar!! My only complaint is that the saw dust flies all over! Its beautiful wood tho. And relatively light.
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Offline Rockn H

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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2014, 09:02:55 AM »
First time I've seen the inside of a pop corn tree so I don't know anything about the uses, but we certainly have too many of them here... in subdivisions and river bottoms.   I would be real interested to see how the wood dries if you'd keep us posted.

Magicman, I know what you mean about the pop corn and the privet, but please keep the kudzu on y'all's side of the river :D

Offline hogdogman

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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2014, 09:04:38 AM »
Quote
There are no good words to be said for Chinese Tallow trees.
Unless you need some fast shade.

Offline Wick

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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2014, 09:06:52 AM »
My father in law loves them. He got a little aggravated when I told him they were invasive. But, I can think of one good thing to say about them. The honey bees love them. In this area if you  have a popcorn tree, you will have honey bees, (when they are blooming) which seem to be rare these days.
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Offline 5quarter

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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2014, 09:49:43 AM »
and have no commercial value. 
Yet.  ;) ;D ;D

Chinese tallow is a major invasive plant that out-competes the native trees... 
You guys can keep the seedlings; I'll just take the logs.  ;) :)
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2014, 11:47:06 AM »
ERC is one of the nicer woods to saw. Saws good, makes nice woodworking lumber, rot resistant, dries quickly with little degrade. The stringy bark can plug things up a bit. I sawed a big popcorn tree a few months back, cut nicely. It's stickered under a big pile of cherry, seems ok so far.
MS, that log turner looks EXACTLY like mine, rusty, dirty, covered with sawdust, obviously made out of whatever you had handy.  ;D Good job.
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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2014, 12:05:09 PM »
So how did the lower cuts of the popcorn cant turn out? From looking at the end there looks like some nice dark wood there.

5quater, I'll get you all the popcorn logs you want. Getting the barbed wire out of 'em might be a little tuff though. Nearly every pasture fence row around here is full of popcorn, cedar and sweetgum.
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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2014, 02:29:25 PM »
and have no commercial value. 
Yet.  ;) ;D ;D

Chinese tallow is a major invasive plant that out-competes the native trees... 
You guys can keep the seedlings; I'll just take the logs.  ;) :)
No.  I would not wish them off on anyone or any location.  They are a very serious threat to us.
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Offline WDH

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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2014, 06:00:12 PM »
They are a scourge. 
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Offline 5quarter

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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2014, 10:54:19 PM »
WDH...we have the same problem here with Ailanthus and Siberian elm. They grow at an alarming rate and can easily displace what few native trees we have. I kill at least several hundred a year. The only upside is that they make fairly decent lumber.
I sympathize with you guys, but still can't get over how handsome that tallow is. , I'll be thinkin how to get me some popcorn logs.  ;) ;D
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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2014, 08:31:24 AM »
I'll be thinkin how to get me some popcorn logs.
As many Tallow saplings that we have, I would have no idea where to get an actual log from.  What I see is maybe 2"-6". 
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Offline WDH

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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2014, 07:29:59 PM »
I have seen them at 5,000 to the acre.  Pestilence. 
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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2014, 08:40:37 PM »
They are a scourge.

The lumber looks VERY similiar to the Chinese Sumac or "Stinkin' Shumac" as it is not so affectionately called around here.

See above...  same statement applies   >:(   Invasive species is an understatement.
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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2014, 08:54:35 PM »
We have some sumac here,Rhus hirta That stuff dies hard. No one was living here at The Farm for years. My father and me was maintaining the fields and keeping the bushes some what at bay. My Father gave away the hay in the fields,they cut the fields themselves. They never took thier back swath next to the stone wall . And then the next year,they moved another 7 feet away from the wall. This happened 3 years running. The bushes took off!! We cut all of the bushes by hand.I brought a Sears riding lawn mower and my Father and me started to mow next to the stone walls. Most of the bushes tried to come back but we kept mowing them and they died. We noticed a big diffenace in the second year. But seem like that sumac took 3-4 years to die.
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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2014, 11:23:35 PM »
I really need to get out here more often... Y'all get chatty, and I can't keep up!  :D

That is a super looking sawmill.   smiley_thumbsup
Thanks! There is still some fine-tuning to do, but it's constantly getting better.

Quote from: pineywoods
MS, that log turner looks EXACTLY like mine, rusty, dirty, covered with sawdust, obviously made out of whatever you had handy.  ;D Good job.
Oh yeah... it's ugly! It was made by a couple of amateurs with whatever we could find in the scrap iron pile. But it makes a HUGE difference! That thing is a life-saver, (and back-saver)! Definitely one of the top 2 improvements to the mill. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

First time I've seen the inside of a pop corn tree so I don't know anything about the uses, but we certainly have too many of them here... in subdivisions and river bottoms.   I would be real interested to see how the wood dries if you'd keep us posted.
I'll definitely do that. Not sure when we'll uncover it, but I'll be sure to get some pics of it and then see what a board looks like after it's been through the planer. I'm anxious to see it, too. The dark colored wood is really interesting, and the light colored wood looks like it doesn't even have a grain! Very unusual looking stuff.

So how did the lower cuts of the popcorn cant turn out? From looking at the end there looks like some nice dark wood there.

5quater, I'll get you all the popcorn logs you want. Getting the barbed wire out of 'em might be a little tuff though. Nearly every pasture fence row around here is full of popcorn, cedar and sweetgum.
These are the only pics I took of it. It's a really interesting wood. The grain stands out in the dark wood, but almost doesn't exist in the light stuff. I'd love to see some of it turned into a bowl or something that would showcase the contrast. Send me any of that cedar, sweetgum, and popcorn that you don't want! I'll cut it! ;)

This one was actually a yard tree, so I'm guessing my grandmother planted it intentionally. Apparently it was a pretty tree in bloom, but I don't remember ever seeing it. I will say that this stuff stunk to high heaven when we milled it! Especially after sawing a couple ERC logs. But I can deal with stink if the wood is pretty... and I can get rid of the stink in the final product, of course! Like I said, I had no idea what to expect out of it, but if I get a log from some weird tree, it's going on the mill!  :D There's a big willow tree behind my pond dam that I've been eyeing pretty closely, too...  ;D

And that cedar was amazing to cut and handle! The bark was annoying, but the wood cut smoothly and easily. And the smell was great! The fine sawdust was a pain, but that's a bandsaw for you. I'm looking forward to lining a closet and/or building a chest out of it someday.
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Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2014, 11:56:28 PM »
Nice wood. As soon as my sawmill is finished, I'll have a bunch of sweetgum to mill up. I don't know if we have popcorn tree here, never had it pointed out to me.
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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2014, 12:31:19 PM »
" I have seen them at 5,000 to the acre.  Pestilence. "

Wow, that is crazy  :o. The only ones I have seen are in my FIL's yard. They haven't spread to the woods. I guess their easy enough to control in a yard setting. On the other hand, you can't control bird flight. I'll have to ask some of the foresters about their experience in our area. Scary stuff.
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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2014, 09:16:35 PM »
The seeds are light and float easily on water.  That is why they have spread so much in South Louisiana.  Lots of water to float around in.   
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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2014, 09:55:34 PM »
Wick, I have a feeling that you have many very small plants.  Maybe no identifiable trees as such, but the seeds spread.   I constantly pull them up from the flower beds and most everywhere else that is not lawn here at home.  Look for the heart shaped leaves.  They are deep rooted and I have to use the Leatherman tool to pull them up.

(I must not have any either because it does not show up in my Tree Identification book.)   :-\   :D
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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2014, 10:50:21 PM »
I read up on the taxonomy of the chinese tallow tree...in one paragraph it describes how to best take care of it and the next paragraph describes the best ways to kill it off. ??? :D
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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2014, 02:05:37 AM »
I read up on the taxonomy of the chinese tallow tree...in one paragraph it describes how to best take care of it and the next paragraph describes the best ways to kill it off. ??? :D

Based on my experience with them in my yard, nothing short of a small nuclear weapon will kill them off...

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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2014, 12:40:55 PM »
Yeah Magic, he transplants the small ones from the landscape beds.  ::) I just meant we haven't seen them in the woods so much. We  hunt his property too and would have probably noticed them. I hope they are not spreading everywhere, but I'm sure they are. Maybe just on neighboring properties.  :-X. I'll keep my eyes open.
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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2014, 09:56:28 PM »
The seeds are most easily spread by water, as in areas prone to flood or high water.  Most of the Louisiana and South Mississippi bottomlands flood at one point or the other. 
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Re: First cedar on the mill and a Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)
« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2014, 02:40:07 AM »
Found the discussion on the Chinese Tallow interesting.  I googled it and was surprised to find that it does have a lot of fans and to some it has a lot of commercial value, not in the wood but in the seeds.
I'll try to attach a link to what I was reading.

Interesting topic......GCGranthttp://www.arinvasives.org/downloads/tallow-tree/tallowtree2.pdf


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