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When I finally cut down the largest of the dead trees, about 20" at its base, I finally got to see inside the trunk. That gives chestnut a beautiful grain pattern. 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. I paneled a den back in 1978 with wormy American chestnut. 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. This custom 1.5″ flooring was crafted from reclaimed chestnut lumber. Forum Responses Before the early 1900s one in every four hardwood trees in North America’s eastern forests was an American Chestnut. May be found in antique furniture, old barns, and other products manufactured before the blight affected trees in the early 20th century. From contributor G: 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. If it is what I am hoping for, it's a major shame that somebody cut it down. In this conversation, someone mentioned that a lack of sapwood might indicate locust, and I know locust is rot resistant. Each annual ring has a layer of porous spring growth and a summer growth layer with few pores. In the late 1876 a New York City nurseryman named S.B. 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. Janka Hardness: 540. Uses: Veneer, lumber, furniture, cabinets, flooring, boats, pulp. What was once known as the queen of Eastern America—the American Chestnut tree—is now nearly extinct? Parsons imported Japanese chestnut trees, which he raised and sold to customers who wanted something exotic in their gardens. General Natural Range: Most of eastern U.S. east of Minnesota and Oklahoma. If you haven't already, go to the ACF website. 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. The underside of the leaves will be covered with many small dots and the twigs will be slender, smooth, and hairless. Can anybody direct me to some bark, end grain, and face grain images with clarity? Also, look closely in the area around the dead trees. They are actually a member of a completely different family, Hippocastanaceae, which contains horse chestnuts and buckeyes. Not having any bark to look at is hampering the identification and twigs and small branches are also gone. The wood was lightweight, weather-resistant, and very easy to chop and hand mill. The best way to determine between chestnut and oak is to look at the end grain. Within 50 years, it killed nearly four billion chestnut trees. Did You Know? The leaf is dull or matte rather than shiny or waxy in texture. 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. It's a long shot, but I do believe I have something special here. Hold a leaf to see how it reflects the light. 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. I would have looked for the thin sapwood also. Narrow sapwood is well-defined and is pale white to light brown. The Charlotte Woodworkers Association, is a non-profit organization. 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. In the United States, the native American chestnut once dominated the eastern hardwood forests. The name Castanea is believed to come from Kastanea, a city in Pontus, Turkey. Other Common Names/Trade Names: None Scientific Name: Quercus rubra Best Characteristics for Identification: Ring porous, lacks tyloses, very wide rays. See more ideas about american chestnut, chestnut, chestnut trees. 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. Latewood pores in flame tracts. 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. Worm holes in many boards. March 9, 2010, KnowledgeBase: Forestry: Tree Pests and Diseases, KnowledgeBase: Lumber & Plywood: Wood Identification, KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: General. Banded parenchyma. Your old oaks will have rays running perpendicular to the rings. One fourth of this forest was composed of native chestnut trees. Look at a smooth slice of the end grain. 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. The reddish-brown wood harvested from the American chestnut was lightweight, soft and easy to work with. 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. American chestnut wood is ring porous. Light reddish color. The Chinese chestnut is much shorter, growing to approximately 65 feet instead of 100, with leaves that are shorter, thicker, and more rounded. The American Chestnut Tree. 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. Introduction . American chestnut was once the most important tree of the Eastern North American Hardwood 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. Due to it’s course texture, turning is mediocre. It was responsible for killing over 3 billion chestnut trees. Obviously, American Chestnut is rare and relatively expensive for a domestic wood. Name: American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) Endangered. Average Dried Weight: 30 lbs/ft3 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 of its apparent rot resistance and color I think of chestnut, although I have never handled chestnut before. Bears, deer and all kinds of mammals and birds feasted on the fallen chestnuts. The mystery tree grows in high, rocky terrain. 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. I know it is not elm, having split enough of that when younger. (Having breathed too much black walnut and mahogany dust, I can't smell anything.) Chestnuts have been cultivated for nuts and wood for thousands of years. How to Identify Chestnut Wood This presentation was put together by Lee Stover, retired faculty of wood products at Penn State. If it looks like white oak, but does not have the rays (looks like radial lines), it may be chestnut. Given the lumber’s resistance to decay and its other noteworthy characteristics, the straight-grained wood featured in many constructions, including the following: I'm not quite sure how to describe it. I am trying to remember the smell, but I don't recall it being very distinct. how to identify american chestnut wood samples? Uses: No longer a commercial tree species due to chestnut blight. 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. It is not black walnut; I have built stairs and handrails from black walnut and it is not as dark or dense. Identifying American Chestnut Trees. Nowadays, most chestnut wood is wormwood. 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. American Chestnut is easy to work with both hand and machine tools. The American Chestnut dates back to 1800 and was an economic staple of the original homesteaders in the Appalachian Mountains. 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. Every Spring so many chestnut trees erupted in white blossoms that from a distance, the hills appeared to be draped in quilts of snow. Features simple, alternate leaves that are 3–5" in length and dark green in color with a toothed margin. Whether you are considering building your own wood furniture or creating decorative carvings, you need to think about knots in the wood. They have resources that may be of help to you. Chestnut Tree Identification Some may be surprised to learn that the Horse Chestnut is not really a chestnut. 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. With a coarse, uneven texture. Butternut is not a hardy tree, however, and I have never seen one standing completely barkless. That exact end grain sample has now lightened up considerably. Root suckers will often come up around a dead chestnut, as the root system is not damaged by the blight. Due to its wonderful stable disposition, chestnut was used for every utility purpose by the colonials. It seems like it was much less dense than oak. Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .40, .48 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. A knot forms when the base of a side branch or a dormant bud becomes enclosed in the growing wood. The chestnut blight was first discovered in New York in 1904. A tree farm regrowing the American Chestnut trees The wood in these standing trees was subsequently damaged by insects, leaving holes and discoloration. Recently I cut a smaller tree and split some of it for firewood and, while it split well, the fibers were somewhat interlocked. The leaf clearly shows some saw tooth edges, but is kind of chewed up from being dragged and grappled many times. American chestnut is the rarest chestnut tree but can be identified by its leaves, which have large, sharp, and hooked teeth. Chestnut flooring in the upstairs of an early American log cabin. 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. Such saplings almost always succumb to blight by their teens or 20s, never getting old enough to flower and reproduce. 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". Once again, I was struck by the light weight of the wood. Question As I was cutting through the load I came across an unusual log, and I pulled it out and took it to my sawmill. I am stymied. I have called the ACF, Penn State University, and Rutgers University. Before I do this, is it possible to bury some chunks and have a sapling form from the cambium or bark? Maybe like cardboard. American Chestnut  If your tree has long toothed pendant leaves like this, it may be a member in the chestnut family. Affected trees in North America wood is easy to chop and hand mill and very easy to with. 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