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Forum topic by Axis39 posted 09-20-2019 01:11 PM 533 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Axis39

53 posts in 110 days


09-20-2019 01:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

So, was staying with my daughter and her family for a while in La Quinta, Ca. The neighborhood decided to re-do the landscaping at the entrance to said neighborhood. They cut down a number of trees, looked like several varieties. I know they had some citrus trees. Well, I was a little behind the power curve, and could only snag a couple of smaller logs.

I was born and rasied on the East Coast, so almost everything out here is new to me!

I was really intrigued because the ends of the logs were a really strong burnt orange color. The leaves are long and more oval on the ends… A willow maybe? I dunno. The bark is rough and a pretty medium brown.

But, the other day, I cut into one of the logs… and found a bright pink, flesh colored wood. It seems to get a little gray as it air dries. In a fit of experimentation, I decided to throw one of the less useable pieces out into the sun today to see what would happen…

It seems, it got sunburnt.

I have zero idea what kind of wood this is, but am really interested and curious. Does anybody have any guesses? My first guess was acacia, but I cannot find any reference to it turning orange when hit with UV.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood


16 replies so far

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile

wildwoodbybrianjohns

328 posts in 60 days


#1 posted 09-20-2019 02:02 PM

Only guessing here, but this photo is of almond wood. Almond wood checks similarly to what youve got there, and is also similar in that its not reddish when cut from a living tree. I cant see the bark on your wood so well, but from what I can see, it doesnt rule out almond wood. The leaves are narrow and pointy.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: It is wiser to find out, than to suppose (S. Clemens)

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1461 posts in 1737 days


#2 posted 09-20-2019 02:25 PM

I’m from the desert in Arizona and my sister lives near La Quinta. There is a lot of Acacia there. There is also a desert willow but it’s rare to find one with a trunk that can make some usable lumber.

Acacia wood is also pretty light. I never have set a cut piece in the sun but the ones you have really do look like it.
When you plane it, it can also smooth out the colors a lot and in general, it’s a pretty light wood in weight.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1898 posts in 2007 days


#3 posted 09-20-2019 09:08 PM

+1 AZWOODY comments:

There are hundreds of different species of acacia, eucalyptus, or ‘wattle’ used as landscape trees.
Examples:
https://www.wood-database.com/hardwoods/fabaceae/acacia/

http://hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/acacia.htm

If you have pic of leaves and bark, best identification method is urban forestry or landscape tree sites.
If it had thorns, or seed pods; whose pictures are often trick to finding exact species.

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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Axis39

53 posts in 110 days


#4 posted 09-21-2019 01:14 AM

I think I’m leaning towards a kind of Acacia…

I will snap pics of bark and leaves on the other log tomorrow.

And, yes, Newbie1518, I will use it. I don’t know what for yet… Will depend on what actual wood I can get from these two little logs. Maybe a box or two? Maybe carve something? I will know when it’s dry and I can really look at it. But, whatever I do, I will try to take advantage fo the sunburn aspect for sure.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

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Axis39

53 posts in 110 days


#5 posted 09-21-2019 10:53 PM

This is probably the best pic, showing leaves and bark:

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View SMP's profile

SMP

1401 posts in 418 days


#6 posted 09-22-2019 12:01 AM

Leaves and bark remind me of pepper trees they use alot here in so cal as they can handle the climate. (The community next to ours is actually called “Pepperwood“)

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Axis39

53 posts in 110 days


#7 posted 09-22-2019 02:59 PM



Leaves and bark remind me of pepper trees they use alot here in so cal as they can handle the climate. (The community next to ours is actually called “Pepperwood“)

- SMP

Well, see that’s the funny thing, my daughter’s neighborhood is called Acacia something-or-other. And, they cut down any acacia trees (to replace them with palms and natural desert landscaping). I now live a little further west in a neighborhood called Aspen Creek… There are no aspens within miles and I haven’t seen ac reek locally, either! LOL

But, like I said, they had citrus trees growing in this space as well. But, I think this might be ‘golden wattle’, after looking at five or six different websites about wood. But, still nothing about UV/light sensitivity mentioned. I’d think as strongly as this stuff changes, it would be mentioned somewhere.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1898 posts in 2007 days


#8 posted 09-22-2019 06:42 PM

Comments:

1) Color change: Koa is actually Acacia Koa, sometimes called Hawaiian mahogany. Just like mahagany, it gets darker when exposed to UV? Your leaves are not like Koa tree, but there could be other Acacia species that darken as well.

2) Majority of acacia species are not good landscaping trees to use around pools, as they drop horrendous amounts of litter. Some species it is flowers, others seed pods; many it’s both. My point is: IF the tree was type of acacia, the spring/fall litter would be obvious to land owners. Ask about flower color, and seed pod type. If your flowers were white, might be earpod wattle instead of golden wattle?
If this was a pepper tree, the owners would know about tons of pepper seeds on ground too.

3) I can’t answer all the questions on this tree indentification site from your leaf pictures, maybe this can help?
https://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?guide=Trees

Cheers!

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile

wildwoodbybrianjohns

328 posts in 60 days


#9 posted 09-22-2019 07:28 PM

Apologies if I am being annoying or whatever, but those leaves look exactly like almond tree leaves. The bark im not sure about. I will post a photo or two tomorrow…

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: It is wiser to find out, than to suppose (S. Clemens)

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2497 posts in 2311 days


#10 posted 09-22-2019 07:33 PM

The narrow leaves reminds me of a willow tree.
There’s a zillion different types of willow I just don’t know what type.
I’ve never seen the wood from a willow tree.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile

wildwoodbybrianjohns

328 posts in 60 days


#11 posted 09-22-2019 09:32 PM

almond, fresh cut

Almond after some sun

Surefire way to tell is by burning it, the smell is very sweet and pleasant.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: It is wiser to find out, than to suppose (S. Clemens)

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Axis39

53 posts in 110 days


#12 posted 09-22-2019 10:40 PM

AJ, the narrow leaves reminded me of a willow as well. There is a ‘desert willow’ which is not an actual willow, but has similar leaves (from what i’ve read online).

Brian, do you think they’d grow almond trees as ornamentals in the desert? I have no idea, myself.

This whole SoCal/desert thing is so new to this old East Coast dog!

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile

wildwoodbybrianjohns

328 posts in 60 days


#13 posted 09-22-2019 11:50 PM

Brian, do you think they’d grow almond trees as ornamentals in the desert? I have no idea, myself.

- Axis39

Cant say for certain. Possibly. It is food afterall, and its common in Spain to have them along with citrus. Almond trees dont need large amounts of water like other fruit trees do, and they can take considerable heat. Drought is not a problem for this tree. You do have large almond plantations in Cali, right?

They are not a long-living tree unless they are pruned often, like yearly, otherwise 60-70 years max. Its quite amazing to see how the farmers here chop all the branches off and in the spring its an entirely new tree. Those slabs you have are from a fairly old tree, I think, like maybe 30-40yrs. I will get a photo of the leaves tomorrow, and the bark.

It is very uncommon here to see it used in building anything, mostly used for firewood. Ive done some bowls and other small pieces, but the wood checks terribly as it dries out. This photo is of a floor lamp I did awhile back, you can see the big old check I stitched up; and the difference between the sapwood and heartwood after shellac. This piece is roughly 1.5 meters high, and totally hollow. It had been dead for quite some time before I cut it down, and thats why the heartwood is such a dark red color.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: It is wiser to find out, than to suppose (S. Clemens)

View SMP's profile

SMP

1401 posts in 418 days


#14 posted 09-23-2019 03:22 AM

I often drive from San Diego to Sacramento/San Francisco and there are literally hundreds of miles of freeway lined with Almond plantations. I actuall have family memebers that own an almond orchard, they send me boxes of raw almonds but i’ve never seen the trees up close, only whizzing past them on the freeway, lol.

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile

wildwoodbybrianjohns

328 posts in 60 days


#15 posted 09-23-2019 05:48 PM

After looking closely at my almond trees, I can definitively say your wood is NOT almond.

Leaves are broader at center, and bark is very dark brown.

Good hunting

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: It is wiser to find out, than to suppose (S. Clemens)

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