Large cottonwood tree coming down across the street

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Forum topic by WayneC posted 11-03-2007 02:14 AM 2141 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5185 days

11-03-2007 02:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cottonwood tree lumber

Is it worth getting any of the wood? Bowl blanks? Anything else?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

10 replies so far

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 5050 days

#1 posted 11-03-2007 02:19 AM

Try it if you want but I’ve never had any cotton wood that was any good. It doesn’t even burn good and it is some times really hard to split or it splits like fir. Then it burns like a cardboard box. We tryed to use it on the ranches and it will get you warm more from cutting and splitting than from the heat. Maybe someone else has had a diffferent experience with it.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14189 posts in 5070 days

#2 posted 11-03-2007 02:20 AM

grab a few pieces for bowls. cottonwood turns easily when wet and easy to work. it does have a odd smell.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View SteveRussell's profile


101 posts in 5048 days

#3 posted 11-03-2007 02:21 AM

Hello Wayne,

If it’s a really large tree, it might be worth it. Large Cottonwood trees can have some really nice curl and colour. The wood tends to leave a fuzzy surface when cut, but it’s bulletproof for utility pieces as it is almost indestructible. So, I would give it a go, especially the crotches which can yield magnificent feather in the “V”...

Steve Russell
The Woodlands, Texas

-- Better Woodturning and Finishing Through Chemistry...

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 5050 days

#4 posted 11-03-2007 02:53 AM

I just remembered something. In the old days they made saddle trees from Cotton wood. The front was made from a crotch which is why the front of a saddle is called the fork. It was then covered with rawhide. Sorry, Wayne, forgive my lapse of memory, must be age.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 5084 days

#5 posted 11-03-2007 08:08 AM

It’s certainly a soft hardwood and fuzzy on the end grain. I’m not gonna say much new here, but I like Steve’s idea of looking some figured pieces to turn, and Dan’s on the mark about the stink. And, Thomas is right about the firewood – it doesn’t put out too much heat (I have hit the 500 degree mark with it though) and I don’t like to burn it because of how bad it smells when burning.

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Tony's profile


995 posts in 5118 days

#6 posted 11-03-2007 10:56 AM

I do not know the properties of cotton wood – but if it is free then take some – you could just use it for practicing your turning (trying a new cut or method) – you may pleasnatly surprised at the outcome -

you could also use it as a secondry wood in a project at worst you can burn it – it will have some calories, therefore it will give you some “Free” heat. Never turn down free wood

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5185 days

#7 posted 11-04-2007 03:00 PM

Thanks. The tree is very close to two houses and the owner has decided to take it down a piece at a time over the next couple of months. I will see what I can get when it comes available.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 4993 days

#8 posted 11-04-2007 06:37 PM

Carvers like the bark.

View brm's profile


8 posts in 2589 days

#9 posted 04-19-2014 02:06 AM

This stream of posts is several years old but i’m going to comment anyways.Where i live cottonwood grows really well and i have access to alot of it.I was thinking about milling it into lumber and using it for framing. And Tony i like what you said about never turning down free wood.

-- Bender

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2882 posts in 4009 days

#10 posted 04-19-2014 02:08 PM

I find cottonwood to machine well. It is a Poplar and is used locally here in Lubbock for making interior shutters. I got some scraps from the interior shutters manufacturer and used it to make many toys.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

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