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Author Topic: Wonky trees
Ken Hume
Posts: 437
Post Wonky trees
on: March 20, 2016, 09:19

When selecting trees for felling some of the first candidates that would likely be identified by the professional forester to be cut down and discarded would be the wonky cruck / ogee stemmed trees. At first sight these trees might have little commercial value being difficult if not impossible to feed through a sawmill however if an end use for timber is known before felling a tree then this can convert an apparent defect into a valuable aesthetic property.

Recent conversion of a large threshing barn to form a new residence has highlighted that most of the timber employed was far from being perfectly straight or of uniform section and -


- in addition a significant amount of reused historic timbers were employed in the (re)building of this barn including 14th century cruck blades which were recut to form large wall foot braces.


The small woodland owner can benefit from developing an eye for the potential end use of timbers planned to be felled and extracted from the woodland i.e. being able to see the wood and the trees.


The ogee (double curve) and cruck (single curve) shapes observed lying on the forest floor need to be converted in the head for their final use as an inappropriately made cut could ruin an otherwise valuable timber.


The marriage of a timber building project with management of the woodland can generate opportunities for the use of nearly all timber and the woodland manager would do well to remember that "The only thing that is free on a tree is the rustle of the leaves" (C. Venables)


There is no immediate need to extract logs from the woodland provided these are lifted off the forest duff to help prevent the migration of fungii into the timber. Initially fungii and invertibrates will tend to attack only the sapwood which will in in any event be hewed off and discarded and so a larch log can quite easily be saved for future use for years.

Ken Hume

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