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I have large American chestnut slabs

725 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  Oregon Woodworker
Hello, I am new on this site. I live in northwestern Oregon and I have been a woodworker for about 8 years. I have made various furniture pieces and I am slowly but steadily learning more woodworking skills. It seems that building furniture with router inlay work has become one of my favorite things to do with wood. I will be posting photos of some of those projects later.

I have an Alaska sawmill (chainsaw) with 50" bar and so far I have milled Claro black walnut (the most common type of black walnut on the west coast), Pacific Juniper, Big leaf maple, red alder, and bitter cherry (a wild cherry native to Oregon).

My dad who was born and raised in Iowa used to tell me about how the American chestnut was the king of the forest in the Midwest and east coast until an Asian chestnut blight wiped out almost all of it in the early 1900s. Fortunately, pioneers brought American chestnut seedlings to the west coast where it is not affected by the blight. There is an old ranch near where I live with a grove of 20+ large American chestnut trees. I sent samples of the leaves and branches to the American Chestnut Foundation and they confirmed that the trees are American chestnut; not an Asian hybrid. I have also sent them chestnuts which they are using in their orchards to try and develop a blight resistant American chestnut.

Three years ago one of the large trees blew down in a winter storm, and the ranch owner let me mill it into slabs. The slabs and large cookies from the stump have been stacked and stickered (ends painted) going on three years (photos attached).

I milled the lower end of the tree. Before I started the smaller diameter, upper end of the tree was cut up for firewood. Later I heard that the wood put out very little heat BTUs – even less than Black cottonwood which most people here in Oregon don’t even bother to burn for firewood.

My woodworking is primarily in Claro black walnut and big leaf maple and I have no plans for the chestnut slabs. Here in Oregon there is little to no market for American chestnut; people do not have an historic attachment to it here like they do in its former range. So I would like to sell it. At this point I am still in the research phase – I don’t know how to price it or if there is even a demand for it. I have read that people in its former range salvage it from old buildings that are torn down. Maybe it has been so long since American chestnut slabs were available, that even in its original range the market for it has disappeared?

The five best slabs are 8 1/2' long, 32" to 34" wide and 2 1/4" to 2 3/4" thick (bottom photo). There is at least one slab that is 1 1/4" thick and 8.5' long and there are several slabs that are 4' long. I realize that when it really gets time to sell them I will need to spread out the stack and measure/photography each one.

Please let me know if you know of individuals or places in the east or Midwest that would be interested in it. I would prefer to sell it all at one time. On reason is the work and cost to ship separate pieces, and also the slabs could be bookmatched if sold together. I assume that slabs would be expensive to ship. Once I figure out how to price it I may advertise it here on the classified ads forum.

Plant Terrestrial plant Fruit Flowering plant Fruit tree

Plant Branch Wood Tree Trunk

Plant Plant community Branch Shrub Groundcover

Wood Plant Grass Road surface Groundcover

Tire Vehicle Plant Sky Car

Some of the stump cookies have stains from old barb wire that was inside of the tree.
Vehicle Tire Wood Car Trunk

Wood Table Outdoor bench Road surface Asphalt

Plant Wood Stairs Grass Natural landscape
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