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Any tree experts out there?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Skorzen, Dec 9, 2003.


  1. Skorzen

    Skorzen

    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    I honestly don't know if this is the right forum for this, but here goes anyway: My father has a wood lot, and we found a rather unusual looking maple out there. I am wondering if any of you have seen this sort of thing before? is the wood figured? Just in case your wondering the tree is definetly a maple. Here are a few pics:[​IMG]
     
  2. Skorzen

    Skorzen

    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    and the last[​IMG]

    From a distance it looks like the tree just has some burl action going on, but when you look closer it is actually the whole lower 15-20 feet that are like that. A very irregular surface.
     
  3. Tim Barber

    Tim Barber Commercial User

    Apr 28, 2003
    Serenity Valley
    Owner: Barber Music
    one way to find out...:D

    [​IMG]
     
  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Wow, very interesing. Like you said, from a distance it looks like burl, maybe due to insect infestation, but from close up it's rather odd. The bark doesn't even look like a maple due to the splitting.

    I guess there's only one way to find out!
     
  5. I'm gonna make a prediction. I think you are going to find some of the most interesting grain you've ever seen from that log. I'm assuming the gnarly growth pattern is natural and that has all the signs of some spectacular - Go for it!
     
  6. Skorzen

    Skorzen

    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    yeah that has kinda been my plan all along, but I am trying to find as much info as I can first. I am going to try to find some forestry forums or something and ask there too. I have connections to a sawmill so that is not a problem, but it would be nice to know how the best way to saw this would be.
     
  7. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Can you post a pic of the leaf? That would be one of the easiest ways to indentify it. If the tree is under 15-20 in. in diameter (across, not around) then it will be difficult to get enough sapwood for an instrument grade.
     
  8. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    It did look kind of skinny in the pictures. You might have to wait, and use it for your "40th birthday present to myself" bass!
     
  9. Skorzen

    Skorzen

    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    Unfortunetly this time of year leaves are in scarce supply, all I can say is that the leaves were definetly a kind of maple. As far as the size I would have to check to be sure, but I think it is at least 12" in diameter. THat was another possable concern I had. I have seen some pretty interesting uses of the contrasting sap and hart wood before though.
     
  10. Lackey

    Lackey

    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    My dad (Masters in Forestry and PhD in Biology), looked at the pictures and guessed it's some kind of canker in the bark caused by fungus or a virus. He also doubts this would significantly alter the grain or cause strange patterns in the sapwood.
     
  11. Lackey

    Lackey

    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Also, there's a tool that foresters use called an "Increment meter" that drills into the core of a tree, and pulls out a plug. This should allow you to see the color and constistency of the wood (and you can count the rings too! yay!).
     
  12. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Are there really no branches within view of this tree? Even silver maples seem to have more foliage than the tree in these pictures would seem to have. The reds, Norways, and sugars are much more bushy than this one.

    Weird looking tree. I agree that it's probably too narrow to get much useable out of it for a bass. You don't want the pith anywhere near the wood you'll use. Might be able to use it for something else, though, if it's got to come down.
     
  13. I'm not a big expert on trees but that log doesn't look a lot like maple.. I know that you said it was definately a maple, but nevertheless, judging from its shape and the pattern of the bark, I would believe it is some kind of cypress. Just my opinion thought..