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Project by Stephen Mines posted 03-06-2011 03:38 AM 3303 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a bowl shape turned out of a section of a Silk Floss tree trunk. The rim of the bowl is the outside diameter of the tree, natural edge. The tree had been sitting out in the back yard in sections for about 5 years and the cracks that you see in the photos were there when I started turning it…it was dry and checking all over. The silk floss tree is a strange looking animal…sort of a lime green, very smooth bark, except that it has thorns…on the trunk. The thorns are as big as 2 1/2 to 3 inches long. I don’t think any thing climbs this tree! In the photos you can see the thorns on the natural edge, and the marks that look like birds eye maple are from the thorns. 13.75” Diameter X 8.75” High. This is a keeper, and we usually have oranges or apples or bananas in it. This winter my wife Michele thinks it’s a florwer pot and has a Christmas Cactus in it, fourth picture, taken today March 5, 2011. The next to last picture shows the ‘bark’ of the tree. In this case the bark IS the bite!

-- Stephen Mines ([email protected])

5 comments so far

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3367 posts in 4164 days

#1 posted 03-06-2011 05:19 AM


We’ve never heard of Silk Floss . . . except for embroidery and dental work. ;-) It certainly is a beautiful wood and interesting about the thorns. It’s nice to keep learning new things.

Thanks for posting.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3470 days

#2 posted 03-06-2011 06:47 AM

This is beautiful wood! I guess you would have to handle it carefully. I have seen another kind of tree with those type of thorns or similar type thorns. It was on a tree that Indians would break off branches and chew on the twigs whenever they had a toothache and it would relieve the pain but I cannot remember the name of the tree. I have also seen someone make a cane from a tree of this species and only knocking down the pointy parts so it won’t stick you and the cane was very striking!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

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1122 posts in 3577 days

#3 posted 03-07-2011 08:22 PM

Wow. Silk Floss Tree.. nope I haven’t heard of it either. Where can you get the wood? I shall research this..
The figure looks similar to bird’s eye maple.. LOVE it.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

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Stephen Mines

226 posts in 3142 days

#4 posted 03-07-2011 08:52 PM

I got it out of my back yard, cut the tree down to make room for my shop. Two wonderfully orange trees bit the dust too. I didn’t have a fireplace for the first 5 years I was there so the trunk sections just sat around drying. When I put a fireplace in I split and burned the sections. This was the last piece of the lot; on a whim I put it on the lathe and spun it, was amazed (and sorry I burned the others).
The tree is indigenous to coastal regions…the space between ocean and desert. Local lore has it that this was imported to California from Australia by someone hoping to make it on lumber sales, since it thrives where other trees wither. The guy didn’t do his homework…they don’t get large enough or mature fast enough to be viable as a lumber crop. They are all over southern California, but very sparsely populated, apparently seeding themselves with winged thingys that float a long way. The woodturning group I belonged to (Glendale Woodturners Guild) used to make network phone calls when the city tree service was cutting them down. They’d follow along behind and throw the tree sections into their pickups.

-- Stephen Mines ([email protected])

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7 posts in 3082 days

#5 posted 03-15-2011 11:17 AM


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