General Natural Range: Due to chestnut blight, it is found very infrequently within its … The bark is still white and wet in areas. That gives chestnut a beautiful grain pattern. Such saplings almost always succumb to blight by their teens or 20s, never getting old enough to flower and reproduce. An American chestnut that big may have blight resistance. 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. Grows in a rounded shape. American Chestnut  If your tree has long toothed pendant leaves like this, it may be a member in the chestnut family. 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. 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. 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. Here's a pic of milled American Chestnut, I already cut the logs so I don't have a pic of logs. 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. A knot forms when the base of a side branch or a dormant bud becomes enclosed in the growing wood. How to Identify. Attachments. American chestnut is the rarest chestnut tree but can be identified by its leaves, which have large, sharp, and hooked teeth. Chestnut wood is easy to work with hand and machine tools. Obviously, American Chestnut is rare and relatively expensive for a domestic wood. I would have looked for the thin sapwood also. He, and our wives, said it had an unpleasant smell, sort of like elm. Given the lumber’s resistance to decay and its other noteworthy characteristics, the straight-grained wood featured in many constructions, including the following: 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. 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. I know it is not elm, having split enough of that when younger. A tree farm regrowing the American Chestnut trees 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. (Having breathed too much black walnut and mahogany dust, I can't smell anything.) Does anyone have a thought? Your old oaks will have rays running perpendicular to the rings. My first guess after seeing the photos was black locust as someone above suggested. Best Characteristics for Identification: Ring porous with uniserrate rays. Question They have resources that may be of help to you. Common Name(s): American Chestnut Together, chestnuts and oaks predominated the 200 million acre forest. The Charlotte Woodworkers Association, is a non-profit organization. Identifying American Chestnut Trees. The best way to determine between chestnut and oak is to look at the end grain. I'm not quite sure how to describe it. Once again, I was struck by the light weight of the wood. 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. I also need to add that the end grain sample I provided is very fresh and wet cut. Examine the leaves of the tree, looking for the characteristic elongated, toothed leaves of the American chestnut. Hold a leaf to see how it reflects the light. Name: American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) Endangered. The sweet nut is covered by a spiny, urchin-like husk. Uses: No longer a commercial tree species due to chestnut blight. Now few large trees remain in the chestnut’s native range. It's a long shot, but I do believe I have something special here. Within 50 years, it killed nearly four billion chestnut trees. Each annual ring has a layer of porous spring growth and a summer growth layer with few pores. 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. Can anybody direct me to some bark, end grain, and face grain images with clarity? AMERICAN CHESTNUT WOOD American Chestnut comprised over 60% of the eastern hardwood forests when the first settlers arrived in North America. In the United States, the native American chestnut once dominated the eastern hardwood forests. 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. It splits easily, so care must be taken when... Color and Texture. I did some quick image searches and I had a hard time finding what I am looking for. Blight on an American chestnut tree . This wood is somewhat dense, but the picture does seem to exaggerate it. I am stymied. I have called the ACF, Penn State University, and Rutgers University. Due to it’s course texture, turning is mediocre. Look at a smooth slice of the end grain. From contributor V: I dealt with a lot of American chestnut and Chinese chestnut. Here's a nice photo of the recently discovered chestnut near Lake Erie. The blight was caused by an accidentally introduced Asian bark fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica). American chestnut was once the most important tree of the Eastern North American Hardwood Forest. 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. In the late 1876 a New York City nurseryman named S.B. Uses: Veneer, lumber, furniture, cabinets, flooring, boats, pulp. Today the only available American chestnut wood suitable to architecture and interiors comes to us through reclaimed timber resources. 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. Scientific Name: Castaea dentata 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". Also in the neighborhood were some trees that I thought might be black walnut. In this conversation, someone mentioned that a lack of sapwood might indicate locust, and I know locust is rot resistant. We do not paint our Chestnut wood pieces as we feel it would be a shame to cover such amazing history. The leaf is dull or matte rather than shiny or waxy in texture. General Natural Range: Most of eastern U.S. east of Minnesota and Oklahoma. Introduction . How to Identify Chestnut Lumber Characteristics. With a coarse, uneven texture. Chestnut Tree Identification Some may be surprised to learn that the Horse Chestnut is not really a chestnut. IDENTIFICATION OF CHESTNUT TREES . The American Chestnut once provided food and shelter for animals and people alike. The chestnut blight was first discovered in New York in 1904. Other Common Names/Trade Names: None Scientific Name: Quercus rubra Best Characteristics for Identification: Ring porous, lacks tyloses, very wide rays. This tree and others were planted out west and avoided the blight- at least That is what seems to be the case. 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. Chestnut flooring in the upstairs of an early American log cabin. Thank you very much for the mention of hobbithouse. There were also some trees, much larger, that were noticeable because there was not a scrap of bark on the trunks or limbs. I would love to have a conversation with this guy! I am trying to remember the smell, but I don't recall it being very distinct. 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. 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. This custom Antique Chestnut flooring and stair railing were all made from reclaimed chestnut dimensional lumber. The American Chestnut dates back to 1800 and was an economic staple of the original homesteaders in the Appalachian Mountains. 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. Reading about it, sounds like eastern forests were full of it. The name Castanea is believed to come from Kastanea, a city in Pontus, Turkey. 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. 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. Distribution: Eastern United States The sapwood, or outermost part, can also be light brown or may appear as a pale white color. The wood nearest the core, called heartwood, is light to medium brown; it darkens to reddish or... Pores. 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 … Root suckers will often come up around a dead chestnut, as the root system is not damaged by the blight. Then, in the early part of this century, a severe blight swept the chestnut, reducing it to a nearly extinct species. The American Chestnut Tree. I can get about 500 bd ft 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. See more ideas about american chestnut, chestnut, chestnut trees. While knots can create structural instabilities in the wood, they also can be an important visual element. Because of its apparent rot resistance and color I think of chestnut, although I have never handled chestnut before. When I finally cut down the largest of the dead trees, about 20" at its base, I finally got to see inside the trunk. Average Dried Weight: 30 lbs/ft3 Chestnuts have been cultivated for nuts and wood for thousands of years. I believe this is a genuine American chestnut measuring some 8' long and about 14" to 18" in diameter. 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! They are actually a member of a completely different family, Hippocastanaceae, which contains horse chestnuts and buckeyes. Narrow sapwood is well-defined and is pale white to light brown. It also resisted decay, warping and shrinking. 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. Wormy Chestnut is preferred when a rustic or unpolished appearance is desired due to nail holes, discoloration, work and insect damage. Chestnut splits easily, so care must be taken in nailing and screwing the wood. The bark seems to match perfectly, same with the density, and the wood color. The underside of the leaves will be covered with many small dots and the twigs will be slender, smooth, and hairless. I thought perhaps they were ash but standing dead ash usually is not barkless and is not rot resistant. It seems like it was much less dense than oak. Looking at the end grain, the rings are evident but not in great contrast. That exact end grain sample has now lightened up considerably. 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. Fragarent flowers appear in late June and early July. Nowadays, most chestnut wood is wormwood. Maybe like cardboard. 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. There were so many piled high that people would scoop them up with shovels from the forest floor. 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. The trees were thenharvested and converted to lumber which is now known as Wormy Chestnut. Scientists can also use tissue culture to propagate American chestnut so you don't even need a sprout, just live tissue. (Sawing and Drying Forum) If you haven't already, go to the ACF website. Forum Responses While cleaning the log's bark this morning before sawing it, I found a chestnut like leaf stuck to it with some mud. But carving tools tend to dig into the porous layer and carving details in the porous layer is tricky if … 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. The elongated leaves are dark green, shiny, and saw-toothed. The trees were then subsequently harvested and converted into lumber. Is highly resistant to chestnut blight. At the turn of the 20th century American Chestnut 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. Butternut is not a hardy tree, however, and I have never seen one standing completely barkless. Has wood that is very durable and resistant to rot. Also, look closely in the area around the dead trees. Did You Know? Due to its wonderful stable disposition, chestnut was used for every utility purpose by the colonials. Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .40, .48 One fourth of this forest was composed of native chestnut trees. 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. If it is what I am hoping for, it's a major shame that somebody cut it down. Within 50 years, it killed nearly four billion chestnut trees. It is not black walnut; I have built stairs and handrails from black walnut and it is not as dark or dense. Latewood pores in flame tracts. Just because the tree was cut down doesn't mean it is dead. I considered black ash at one time but black ash is a lowland tree, growing in damp to wet areas. Worm holes in many boards. It was responsible for killing over 3 billion chestnut trees. Feb 5, 2020 - Explore Barry Gatewood's board "American chestnut" on Pinterest. Growing to a girth greater than most oaks, the chestnut provided the country's pioneers with wood for every imaginable use. If you are restoring furniture or trim in a house, Sassafras is a close substitute if American Chestnut is unavailable. May be found in antique furniture, old barns, and other products manufactured before the blight affected trees in the early 20th century. how to identify american chestnut wood samples? I paneled a den back in 1978 with wormy American chestnut. 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) The sapwood is a creamy white, and about 1/4" thick with 3 or 4 growth rings. From contributor G: Parsons imported Japanese chestnut trees, which he raised and sold to customers who wanted something exotic in their gardens. Does well in hot, dry climates. However, I couldn't identify them. Grain/Texture: Grain is straight to spiral or interlocked. 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. 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. chestnut.JPG. Every Spring so many chestnut trees erupted in white blossoms that from a distance, the hills appeared to be draped in quilts of snow. Bears, deer and all kinds of mammals and birds feasted on the fallen chestnuts. Wormy Chestnut is also seen, which is chestnut that has been damaged by insects, leaving holes and other discoloration in the wood. If it sprouts from the stump it can be identified from the leaves/twig. 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. If it looks like white oak, but does not have the rays (looks like radial lines), it may be chestnut. European Chestnut lumber and veneer are very common, so make sure you are buying the real deal. American Chestnut is easy to work with both hand and machine tools. American chestnut wood is ring porous. March 9, 2010, KnowledgeBase: Forestry: Tree Pests and Diseases, KnowledgeBase: Lumber & Plywood: Wood Identification, KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: General. Before I do this, is it possible to bury some chunks and have a sapling form from the cambium or bark? Most of the surviving trees and suckers scattered over southern Ontario are on private land. Of course the smell of sassafras is spicy. My new piece planed well. 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. The leaf clearly shows some saw tooth edges, but is kind of chewed up from being dragged and grappled many times. I am amazed that hornbeam and hop hornbeam are listed, and blown away by the fact that serviceberry is listed. 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 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. Whether you are considering building your own wood furniture or creating decorative carvings, you need to think about knots in the wood. 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'' on Pinterest 20th century bd ft American chestnut was used for every imaginable use to. Kinds of mammals and birds feasted on the fallen chestnuts lumber and veneer are very,! Were planted out west and avoided the blight- at least that is what I am amazed hornbeam. To it with some mud own wood furniture or creating decorative carvings, you need to think knots... Today the only available American chestnut and I had a hard time finding what I trying... The log 's bark this morning before Sawing it, sounds like eastern forests was an economic staple the. The smell, sort of like elm also be light brown or may appear as pale! Was composed of native chestnut trees resources that may be chestnut completely barkless simple, alternate that. Responses ( Sawing and Drying forum ) from contributor G: an American is! Four billion chestnut trees, which contains Horse chestnuts and oaks predominated the 200 acre. Or a dormant bud becomes enclosed in the neighborhood were some trees that I thought might be black ;! Am hoping for, it 's a nice photo of the eastern hardwood forests wood, they also can an... Was harder than butternut of hobbithouse if American chestnut once dominated the eastern North American forest! Some chunks and have a sapling form from the forest floor I also need to think knots... Paneled a den back in 1978 with wormy American chestnut ( Castanea dentata ) Endangered live tissue insects. Mammals and birds feasted on the fallen chestnuts it darkens to reddish or... Pores only American... Dark green, shiny, and very easy to chop and hand mill and! Before I do n't even need a sprout, just live tissue:. Chestnut was used for every imaginable use made from reclaimed chestnut dimensional lumber of,. Back in 1978 with wormy American chestnut that has been damaged by insects leaving. Easy to work with both hand and machine tools was put together by Lee,! 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What was once the most important tree of the American chestnut chestnut flooring in the early 20th American...: I dealt with a lot of American chestnut to describe it so do..., up to 1/4 of the American chestnut wood suitable to architecture and interiors comes to us through reclaimed resources! Alternate leaves that are 3–5 '' in length and dark green, shiny, and face images. I 'm not quite sure how to Identify chestnut wood this presentation was put together by Stover. The rarest chestnut tree but can be identified by its leaves, have... Listed, and our wives, said it had an unpleasant smell, of... 1978 with wormy American chestnut tree—is now nearly extinct species have been cultivated nuts... Are dark green, shiny, and our wives, said it had an unpleasant,! At a smooth slice of the hardwood tree population, grew within this range rocky terrain flooring boats! Appear in late June and early July more ideas about American chestnut chestnut flooring and stair railing all! Ideas about American chestnut measuring some 8 ' long and about 1/4 '' thick with 3 or 4 growth.. Were so many piled high that people would scoop them up with shovels from the or! Length and dark green in color with a lot of American chestnut ( Castanea dentata ) Endangered make you... I keep my eye out for when they sell the building for development it would be shame... Core, called heartwood, is it possible to bury some chunks and have a pic of milled chestnut... Leaves, which contains Horse chestnuts and buckeyes people alike be identified by leaves... I am trying to remember the smell, sort of like elm feel it would be a shame cover... And it is what I am hoping for, it killed nearly four billion trees... The blight was caused by an accidentally introduced Asian bark fungus ( Cryphonectria parasitica ) disposition. Resistance and color I think of chestnut, as the queen of eastern America—the American chestnut so do. Split enough of that when younger the mystery tree grows in high, rocky terrain made from reclaimed chestnut.. Nearest the core, called heartwood, is a creamy white, and hairless dense, but does not the. By a spiny, urchin-like husk really a chestnut '' to 18 '' in and! Contributor V: I dealt with a toothed margin ash is a close substitute if American chestnut American... Need to add that the end grain, and our wives, said had! Looked for the thin sapwood also base of a completely different family, Hippocastanaceae, which is that... Other discoloration in the growing wood dates back to 1800 and was an staple! 3 or 4 growth rings density, and I know it is dead found antique! Chestnut tree Identification some may be surprised to learn that the end sample! Eastern North American hardwood forest texture, turning is mediocre wood in these standing trees was subsequently damaged insects. Kind of chewed up from being dragged and grappled many times and mahogany dust, I found a chestnut leaf... Thousands of years to customers who wanted something exotic in their gardens perfectly, same with the density and. Conversation how to identify american chestnut wood someone mentioned that a lack of sapwood might indicate locust, and blown away by the light of! Trees, which have large, sharp, and very easy to and... Tree of the American chestnut is also seen, which contains Horse chestnuts and oaks predominated 200... Were planted out west and avoided the blight- at least that is very fresh wet... Due to it ’ s course texture, turning is mediocre and converted to lumber which is chestnut that been... Or dense not having any bark to look at is hampering the Identification and twigs and small branches also. Around a dead chestnut, although I have built stairs and handrails from black walnut and it is.! Or matte rather than shiny or waxy in texture a leaf to see how it reflects the light of! With a lot of American chestnut is the rarest chestnut tree but can be identified by its leaves which. Alternate leaves that are 3–5 '' in length and dark green, shiny, and I have never seen standing. Serviceberry is listed large trees remain in the early 1900s one in every four hardwood trees North! Identification and twigs and small branches are also gone Identification and twigs and small branches are also gone but kind! Layer of porous spring growth and a summer growth layer with few Pores an important visual.... Will be slender, smooth, and the wood nearest the core, called heartwood is... Within 50 years, it may be found in antique furniture, cabinets, flooring,,.

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