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Re: Fuertes Bird Sanctuary

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:22 pm
by dbhguru
Joe,

They had ways of drying it so that they could use it for some lumber purposes. I don't have details beyond that. It reminds me of the Ohia tree in Hawaii. If properly dried, Ohia makes fantastic flooring, tables, etc. Hard as iron and beautiful.

You know that the Great Plains, cottonwood was about all they had. They built everything out of it. I imagine the more resourceful found ways to work with it, which in time became a lost art.

It brings up the subject of black birch and how desirable that species has been for furniture at times and in some geographical regions in the past. Here is a quote from Silvics.

The wood is also unique. When exposed to air it darkens to a color resembling mahogany and, in times past, was used as an inexpensive substitute for the more valued tropical wood.

Bob

Re: Fuertes Bird Sanctuary

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 4:37 pm
by Erik Danielsen
I found an interesting note on uses of cottonwood: "Despite its poor grade of wood, this tree does have some uses. Because this wood is
light, the Native American used it in constructing their lodges and the early European
settlers used it in constructing their protective stockades. More recent uses for this wood
have been for barrel staves, baskets, boxes, crates, excelsior, fuel, furniture interiors,
matches, plywood, poles, posts, pulpwood, shelving, veneer, and woodenware. This
wood is able to hold printer’s ink but cannot hold nails. Its pulp is especially useful in
making highly glossed paper for magazines."

It's also had a variety of medicinal and dye-making uses. I thought I remember its inner bark being used to make cords and fiber for handmade paper but I may be mixing it up with basswood (indeed "basswood" derives from "bast" wood, "bast" being said inner-bark fibers).

Re: Fuertes Bird Sanctuary

Posted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 2:22 pm
by ElijahW
NTS,

Below are some pictures I took while with Tom on our October 5 visit to Fuertes Bird Sanctuary. The first two are what both Tom and I assumed was black ash, but I'd like confirmation from the experts on that, if possible.
DSC00364.JPG
DSC00365.JPG
DSC003661.jpg
DSC003671.jpg
DSC003681.jpg
The rest of the pictures:
126.9', 16'8" Cottonwood
126.9', 16'8" Cottonwood
The estimated 119'+ Silver Maple
The estimated 119'+ Silver Maple
DSC003711.jpg
Note the leaves.  Both Freeman and Red Maple are present nearby, and each has a distinctive leaf.
Note the leaves. Both Freeman and Red Maple are present nearby, and each has a distinctive leaf.
Tom measuring the Silver Maple; Spicebush in the background.
Tom measuring the Silver Maple; Spicebush in the background.
Elijah

Re: Fuertes Bird Sanctuary

Posted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:34 pm
by ElijahW
NTS,

A few more trees from Fuertes measured this afternoon:

Eastern Cottonwood
132.4' x12'6"
123.0' x 16'5"

Freeman Maple
130.0' x 10'6"

American Sycamore
135.5' x 7'10"

Crack Willow
98.5' x 15'11"

Spicebush
26.1' x 11" (Largest stem)

The Freeman maple is the first soft maple I know of to top 130' in NY. I believe the Sycamore is the tallest tree in this forest, but Cottonwood still has potential for more height. The Sycamore is the only tree previously posted on, and was listed as being 126'+. The Freeman maple is a very attractive tree, with an atypical narrow crown and clear leader; most Freemans here have many crooked, broken tops. I walked through about 1/3 of Fuertes today, and much remains to be remeasured, especially Cottonwoods, Freeman maples, and Green ash.

Elijah

Re: Fuertes Bird Sanctuary

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 10:47 am
by Erik Danielsen
I definitely think there are more 130+ cottonwoods in there. I wonder whether las Fuertes is representative of the forest types that would have been typical of flat floodplains in early succession in that region, prior to systematic human disturbance.

How does that spicebush compare to others you've measured in NYS?

Re: Fuertes Bird Sanctuary

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:07 am
by Don
A quick note, Native Alaskans and artisans favor the bark of older cottonwoods for carving...

Re: Fuertes Bird Sanctuary

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 12:27 pm
by ElijahW
Don,

It seems like that would require a substantial blade. I think I have seen carvings done in cottonwoods before, though I don't remember where.

Erik,

This is the first spicebush I've measured. I really need to get a good retractable pole, so I can do a better job with these smaller trees. My guess is that spicebush should get just over 30' here, and it's probably the tallest I've come across in NY so far.

Elijah

Re: Fuertes Bird Sanctuary

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:28 pm
by Erik Danielsen
Interesting. Inwood is noted for its spicebush understory, but I haven't measured any yet. We'll have to see how they compare!

Re: Fuertes Bird Sanctuary

Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:57 pm
by tsharp
Don , NTS:
Below is a carving by friend John Fitchner out of bark from a Fremont Cottonwood found down along the Green River, Utah.


Click on image to see its original size


It has hung outside on our back deck for past three years and is starting to get sun bleached. It is about thirty inches long and three inches wide at top.

Re: Fuertes Bird Sanctuary

Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:59 pm
by Don
The more pronounced, deeply furrowed the bark, the broader the beholders 'dreamscape'...to think that such bark is routinely wasted!