Identify American chestnut leaves as those with a “flat” or matte coloring to the leaves, which does not have a reflective, shiny glow that other trees' leaves have. Does anyone have a thought? There were also some trees, much larger, that were noticeable because there was not a scrap of bark on the trunks or limbs. I took a couple pieces back from the firewood yard today that are anywhere from 6" to 12" in diameter (upper limbs of the same tree, and still unsplit) and I am planning to cut them up into anything usable down to some small pen blanks. How to Identify. I am currently living in a house built in 1916 I asked a local millwork shop to duplicate some of the trim he stated that it was yellow pine and unavailable would have to be ash as asubstitute have since seen examples pictures of american chestnut and seems more likely any suggestions thank you. The American Chestnut Foundation is working to develop a blight resistant strain of American Chestnut tree with the hopes of returning the big chestnut trees to our native forests. I have found a few scattered trees around town (identified by the fruit) and it was a toss-up between black walnut and butternut, which also can be found here. Light reddish color. If it is what I am hoping for, it's a major shame that somebody cut it down. The wood in these standing trees was subsequently damaged by insects, leaving holes and discoloration. Identifying American Chestnut. If you are restoring furniture or trim in a house, Sassafras is a close substitute if American Chestnut is unavailable. The Charlotte Woodworkers Association, is a non-profit organization. Within 50 years, it killed nearly four billion chestnut trees. Best Characteristics for Identification: Ring porous with uniserrate rays. Just look at the stumps of the American Chestnut trees – after 90 years of rotting – that are trying to produce new trees from the roots. Question I would love to have a conversation with this guy! The American Chestnut once provided food and shelter for animals and people alike. Blight on an American chestnut tree . Each annual ring has a layer of porous spring growth and a summer growth layer with few pores. Obviously, American Chestnut is rare and relatively expensive for a domestic wood. Due to it’s course texture, turning is mediocre. I can get about 500 bd ft american chestnut. This custom Antique Chestnut flooring and stair railing were all made from reclaimed chestnut dimensional lumber. Thank you very much for the mention of hobbithouse. Features simple, alternate leaves that are 3–5" in length and dark green in color with a toothed margin. From contributor V: I dealt with a lot of American chestnut and Chinese chestnut. American Chestnut  If your tree has long toothed pendant leaves like this, it may be a member in the chestnut family. I know it is not elm, having split enough of that when younger. The leaf is dull or matte rather than shiny or waxy in texture. If I could compare it to anything, it would be a smell something (but not quite) like white oak and maybe asparagus, an open grain like white oak (but lacking medullary rays), and a bark something like white ash. American Chestnut Cooperators Foundation (ACCF) is not using crosses with Asian species for blight resistance, but intercrossing among American chestnuts selected for native resistance to the blight, a breeding strategy described by the ACCF as "All-American intercrosses". The American Chestnut Foundation has been cross-breeding American chestnuts with Chinese chestnuts for years in an effort to breed a hybrid that is as much like the American species as possible, but with the blight-resistance of its Chinese relative. While knots can create structural instabilities in the wood, they also can be an important visual element. Uses: Veneer, lumber, furniture, cabinets, flooring, boats, pulp. A tree farm regrowing the American Chestnut trees My new piece planed well. It does not have the bark of a horse chestnut, and I am almost positive that it is not a Chinese chestnut because it is not as dense as the last Chinese one that I cut a few years ago. The sapwood, or outermost part, can also be light brown or may appear as a pale white color. It’s straight grain, light weight and highly rot resistance make ideal fence posts, railroad ties, barn beams, home construction, as well as fine furniture and musical instruments. But carving tools tend to dig into the porous layer and carving details in the porous layer is tricky if … I would have looked for the thin sapwood also. The end grain cell pattern of American chestnut is like that of oaks, but you can't see the ray cells in American chestnut like you can in oaks. Scientific Name: Castaea dentata Introduction . It's a long shot, but I do believe I have something special here. The elongated leaves are dark green, shiny, and saw-toothed. IDENTIFICATION OF CHESTNUT TREES . The American chestnut tree reigned over 200 million acres of eastern woodlands from Maine to Florida, and from the Piedmont plateau in the Carolinas west to the Ohio Valley, until succumbing to a lethal fungus infestation, known as the chestnut blight, during the first half of the 20th century. The blight was caused by an accidentally introduced Asian bark fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica). Bears, deer and all kinds of mammals and birds feasted on the fallen chestnuts. American chestnut wood is ring porous. Maybe like cardboard. Average Dried Weight: 30 lbs/ft3 The underside of the leaves will be covered with many small dots and the twigs will be slender, smooth, and hairless. I also need to add that the end grain sample I provided is very fresh and wet cut. Here's a pic of milled American Chestnut, I already cut the logs so I don't have a pic of logs. Feb 5, 2020 - Explore Barry Gatewood's board "American chestnut" on Pinterest. Today the only available American chestnut wood suitable to architecture and interiors comes to us through reclaimed timber resources. Attachments. What was once known as the queen of Eastern America—the American Chestnut tree—is now nearly extinct? Asian chestnut trees had a resistance to Cryphonectria parasitica, but the American chestnut trees were extremely susceptible to the fungal disease which came to be known as the chestnut blight. Grain/Texture: Grain is straight to spiral or interlocked. Narrow sapwood is well-defined and is pale white to light brown. As I was cutting through the load I came across an unusual log, and I pulled it out and took it to my sawmill. The best way to determine between chestnut and oak is to look at the end grain. He, and our wives, said it had an unpleasant smell, sort of like elm. Such saplings almost always succumb to blight by their teens or 20s, never getting old enough to flower and reproduce. Wormy Chestnut is also seen, which is chestnut that has been damaged by insects, leaving holes and other discoloration in the wood. chestnut.JPG. This custom 1.5″ flooring was crafted from reclaimed chestnut lumber. Uses: No longer a commercial tree species due to chestnut blight. In the United States, the native American chestnut once dominated the eastern hardwood forests. This page is designed to help you distinguish among several species of the chestnut family (Castanea) commonly seen in North America.Also included are three non-chestnut species that are often confused with chestnut. Not having any bark to look at is hampering the identification and twigs and small branches are also gone. Most of the surviving trees and suckers scattered over southern Ontario are on private land. Yes, this wood probably came from our island, and there's a commercial property that I used to rent that has several chestnut trees growing in the back of the property. This wood is somewhat dense, but the picture does seem to exaggerate it. Once again, I was struck by the light weight of the wood. I have called the ACF, Penn State University, and Rutgers University. Distribution: Eastern United States I resawed about 500 board feet of American chestnut last year and I am familiar with its characteristics, but this is the first time I have found an actual log. Together, chestnuts and oaks predominated the 200 million acre forest. Growing to a girth greater than most oaks, the chestnut provided the country's pioneers with wood for every imaginable use. This is not reclaimed wood. (Having breathed too much black walnut and mahogany dust, I can't smell anything.) I am amazed that hornbeam and hop hornbeam are listed, and blown away by the fact that serviceberry is listed. The bark is still white and wet in areas. Worm holes in many boards. how to identify american chestnut wood samples? Has wood that is very durable and resistant to rot. How to Identify Chestnut Wood This presentation was put together by Lee Stover, retired faculty of wood products at Penn State. An estimated 4 billion American chestuts, up to 1/4 of the hardwood tree population, grew within this range. Root suckers will often come up around a dead chestnut, as the root system is not damaged by the blight. How to Identify Chestnut Lumber Characteristics. That gives chestnut a beautiful grain pattern. Before I do this, is it possible to bury some chunks and have a sapling form from the cambium or bark? It also resisted decay, warping and shrinking. I considered black ash at one time but black ash is a lowland tree, growing in damp to wet areas. However, I couldn't identify them. Also, look closely in the area around the dead trees. The American chestnut has long canoe shaped leaves with a prominent lance shaped tip, with a coarse, forward hooked teeth at the edge of the leaf. It is not black walnut; I have built stairs and handrails from black walnut and it is not as dark or dense. (Sawing and Drying Forum) Just because the tree was cut down doesn't mean it is dead. The leaf clearly shows some saw tooth edges, but is kind of chewed up from being dragged and grappled many times. Your old oaks will have rays running perpendicular to the rings. They are actually a member of a completely different family, Hippocastanaceae, which contains horse chestnuts and buckeyes. The sweet nut is covered by a spiny, urchin-like husk. American chestnut is the rarest chestnut tree but can be identified by its leaves, which have large, sharp, and hooked teeth. AMERICAN CHESTNUT WOOD American Chestnut comprised over 60% of the eastern hardwood forests when the first settlers arrived in North America. I am stymied. It was responsible for killing over 3 billion chestnut trees. I was cross cutting firewood at a friend's house the other day after an unknown log truck driver dropped off a load of logs for him. I keep my eye out for when they sell the building for development. The trees were thenharvested and converted to lumber which is now known as Wormy Chestnut. Now few large trees remain in the chestnut’s native range. Can anybody direct me to some bark, end grain, and face grain images with clarity? The Chinese chestnut is much shorter, growing to approximately 65 feet instead of 100, with leaves that are shorter, thicker, and more rounded. General Natural Range: Due to chestnut blight, it is found very infrequently within its … See more ideas about american chestnut, chestnut, chestnut trees. I am trying to remember the smell, but I don't recall it being very distinct. I have sawn all three of these ironwoods and have not found any clear information about any of them; one more reason I would love to write a book someday, but not in the near future! Whether you are considering building your own wood furniture or creating decorative carvings, you need to think about knots in the wood. Within 50 years, it killed nearly four billion chestnut trees. Janka Hardness: 540. To the naked eye, and in the correct angle of light, I can barely see medullary rays present, and at a distance of even 3-6" they are invisible. That exact end grain sample has now lightened up considerably. An American chestnut that big may have blight resistance. Chestnut splits easily, so care must be taken in nailing and screwing the wood. I paneled a den back in 1978 with wormy American chestnut. If it sprouts from the stump it can be identified from the leaves/twig. Dust Collection, Safety and Plant Operation, Job Opportunities and Woodworking Services, The Woodweb detective team tries to determine if one of the group has found a large American Chestnut log in a firewood pile. Here's a nice photo of the recently discovered chestnut near Lake Erie. One fourth of this forest was composed of native chestnut trees. March 9, 2010, KnowledgeBase: Forestry: Tree Pests and Diseases, KnowledgeBase: Lumber & Plywood: Wood Identification, KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: General. Common Name(s): American Chestnut Chestnut flooring in the upstairs of an early American log cabin. Tree Size: 100-120 ft (30-37 m) tall, 5-7 ft (1.5-2.0m) trunk diameter (Because of the chestnut blight of the early 1900s, very few trees of this size currently exist) With a coarse, uneven texture. The colors of fresh cut log ends seem to turn a bit yellowish after a few hours, and after a few days the yellow seems to lighten up. The board in the top picture has some cathedral grail that looks identical to American chestnut, but the rest of the grain in both boards is hard to identify because of the grain structure and the photo itself. According to a historical publication, "many of the dry ridge tops of the central Appalachians were so thoroughly crowded with chestnut that, in early summer, when their canopies were filled with creamy-white flowers, the … The chestnut blight was first discovered in New York in 1904. Is highly resistant to chestnut blight. The reddish-brown wood harvested from the American chestnut was lightweight, soft and easy to work with. If you haven't already, go to the ACF website. American Chestnut is easy to work with both hand and machine tools. If it looks like white oak, but does not have the rays (looks like radial lines), it may be chestnut. Chestnuts have been cultivated for nuts and wood for thousands of years. From contributor G: I took a piece home and dressed it and it was harder than butternut. The material here covers the basics necessary to begin identifying wood samples, especially toward the end of identifying chestnut and those most often mistaken for chestnut. Forum Responses I believe this is a genuine American chestnut measuring some 8' long and about 14" to 18" in diameter. The wood was lightweight, weather-resistant, and very easy to chop and hand mill. It was formed in 1985 for the purpose of promoting excellence in woodworking through teaching, development of individual skills and fostering interest in our craft. The wood was completely sound; sort of brown, coffee-with-cream color; no apparent sapwood; and, when I cut a piece off, not very heavy. Latewood pores in flame tracts. In the late 1876 a New York City nurseryman named S.B. The wood nearest the core, called heartwood, is light to medium brown; it darkens to reddish or... Pores. Reaching heights of 130 feed and growing over 6 feet in diameter, American Chestnuts were home to squirrels, chipmunks, blue jays and scores of benign burrowing insects. Butternut is not a hardy tree, however, and I have never seen one standing completely barkless. The trees were then subsequently harvested and converted into lumber. Identifying American Chestnut Trees. In this conversation, someone mentioned that a lack of sapwood might indicate locust, and I know locust is rot resistant. I did some quick image searches and I had a hard time finding what I am looking for. Grows in a rounded shape. After seeing the pictures on this website they all say it seems to be American chestnut, but I have to wait for them to receive the samples I sent in the mail for an exact confirmation. Because the species has a resilient root system, the American chestnut survives here and there in the form of living stumps, which sometimes send up young skinny treelings. Reading about it, sounds like eastern forests were full of it. Also in the neighborhood were some trees that I thought might be black walnut. Fragarent flowers appear in late June and early July. Examine the leaves of the tree, looking for the characteristic elongated, toothed leaves of the American chestnut. I thought perhaps they were ash but standing dead ash usually is not barkless and is not rot resistant. Because the wood was lightweight, rot-resistant, straight grained and easy to work with, it was used to build houses, barns, telegraph poles, railroad ties, furniture and musical instruments. On the chance that it does turn out to out to be American chestnut, you need to find out where the stump of the tree is as soon as possible so that if it's still there, folks from the American Chestnut Foundation can check it out. They were sound when I rapped them with a stick or axe handle, so I figured when I eventually got to them they might yield good firewood. Of course the smell of sassafras is spicy. Although no adverse health effects have been specifically reported for the American Chestnut, other types of Chestnut in the the Castanea genus (C. sativa and C. mollissima) have been reported to cause skin irritation. Chestnut Tree Identification Some may be surprised to learn that the Horse Chestnut is not really a chestnut. It seems like it was much less dense than oak. We do not paint our Chestnut wood pieces as we feel it would be a shame to cover such amazing history. Because of its apparent rot resistance and color I think of chestnut, although I have never handled chestnut before. Nowadays, most chestnut wood is wormwood. Does well in hot, dry climates. Parsons imported Japanese chestnut trees, which he raised and sold to customers who wanted something exotic in their gardens. Every Spring so many chestnut trees erupted in white blossoms that from a distance, the hills appeared to be draped in quilts of snow. Chestnut wood is easy to work with hand and machine tools. The name Castanea is believed to come from Kastanea, a city in Pontus, Turkey. While cleaning the log's bark this morning before sawing it, I found a chestnut like leaf stuck to it with some mud. Then, in the early part of this century, a severe blight swept the chestnut, reducing it to a nearly extinct species. Before the early 1900s one in every four hardwood trees in North America’s eastern forests was an American Chestnut. I'm not quite sure how to describe it. A friend came by, who cuts a lot of firewood, and I asked him what he thought it was and just by looking, he said "ironwood", but agreed it wasn't when he picked it up. At the turn of the 20th century American Chestnut Look at a smooth slice of the end grain. The sapwood is a creamy white, and about 1/4" thick with 3 or 4 growth rings. It splits easily, so care must be taken when... Color and Texture. Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .40, .48 Looking at the end grain, the rings are evident but not in great contrast. Hold a leaf to see how it reflects the light. Wormy Chestnut is not a distinct species of Chestnut, but rather refers to American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) trees that were killed by the chestnut blight of the early 1900s, which were subsequently damaged by insects, leaving holes and discoloration in the standing trees. There were so many piled high that people would scoop them up with shovels from the forest floor. The chestnut blight was first discovered in New York in 1904. Banded parenchyma. Given the lumber’s resistance to decay and its other noteworthy characteristics, the straight-grained wood featured in many constructions, including the following: Other Common Names/Trade Names: None Scientific Name: Quercus rubra Best Characteristics for Identification: Ring porous, lacks tyloses, very wide rays. Did You Know? The American Chestnut Tree. One or perhaps all of these shipments concealed the pathogenic fungus Cryphonectria parasitica which chokes chestnut trees to death by wedging itself into their trunks and obstructing conduits for nutrients. My first guess after seeing the photos was black locust as someone above suggested. The heartwood, or innermost part of an American chestnut tree, produces a light to medium brown wood which develops a reddish hue as it ages. Wood nearest the core, called heartwood, is it possible to bury some chunks and a... 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