Help Identifying a Wood - Pecan?

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Forum topic by Sheb posted 07-20-2021 01:42 PM 460 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 62 days

07-20-2021 01:42 PM

I was hoping some of you might be able to help me with a wood ID question. I had a small tree I cut down from my yard a while ago, since it was dying and entangled in a healthy hackberry tree. I was pretty sure it was pecan, but when I finally milled it up and planed one piece, it seems so much yellower and shinier than what I can find for pictures of pecan. I’m in Hillsborough, NC, and we have a lot of black walnut, hackberry, and pecan trees around here. Unfortunately I don’t have much first hand experience with it in person and this is the first time I’ve milled what I thought to be pecan.

(this pic shows the color well)

Here’s a closup of the wood, though the the color doesn’t really convey in the photo:

What do y’all think – is this Pecan, or am I missing something?

Thanks in advance for your help!

14 replies so far

View Ocelot's profile


3341 posts in 3850 days

#1 posted 07-20-2021 01:56 PM

I don’t think so.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View Lazyman's profile


7792 posts in 2599 days

#2 posted 07-20-2021 02:26 PM

Mulberry perhaps? They tend to be “deposited” by birds in similar places to hackberry. Pecan is not usually that yellow. Mulberry heartwood starts off yellow like that and turns brown as it ages. Set a piece out in the sun for an hour and if it turns brown, it is probably mulberry. Leaves of pecan are pretty distinctive as are mulberry so if you remember the shape of the leaves, that will be the best way to tell.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Woodchuckswife's profile


112 posts in 2522 days

#3 posted 07-20-2021 03:11 PM

It looks like yellow hart. or osage orange,

View HokieKen's profile


19082 posts in 2350 days

#4 posted 07-20-2021 03:37 PM

Not Pecan. My vote is for Osage Orange. Mulberry is a good possibility too. I lean to Osage though because of the very narrow and clearly demarcated sapwood.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View ddockstader's profile


225 posts in 4473 days

#5 posted 07-20-2021 04:47 PM

If the color of that first picture is close, it is mulberry. Osage orange can be pretty yellow, but just after it is cut, mulberry is that yellow ranging down to shades of Mountain Dew.

View Sheb's profile


2 posts in 62 days

#6 posted 07-20-2021 06:08 PM

I really appreciate the responses. Honestly, I didn’t even guess mulberry, but it does look like the bark matches the rougher versions of the bark that I see online, like the pic below. When I took down the tree, it was mostly dead, so there were not many leaves left and I didn’t take a look. I’ll do the sun test tomorrow and see if it turns brown. It’s stayed golden yellow so far, but it has been kept out of the sun. Also, I’ll re-check the density. When I checked it last, I got 56-lb/ft3, at a moisture reading of ~50%, but my moisture reading may not have been accurate.

View therealSteveN's profile


8632 posts in 1786 days

#7 posted 07-20-2021 06:26 PM

I’m going to say Cherry. The pic clearly has bee’s wings (Ray flecks, or flakes) on the face grain, like you would see with QS Cherry, or Sycamore. It’s wrong for Sycamore, but Cherry has a huge color spectrum, and unless exposed to sunlight, it can stay light to yellow for a while. As Nathan mentioned about the Mulberry sun will darken it quickly.

It could be Mulberry also has bee’s wings, but if so Hobbit House doesn’t have a pic of them. But they do have some listed as QS, Looks pretty generic. I have zero experience with Mulberry, so I can’t positively say.

Now for American Black Cherry you see the bee’s wings right from the start.,%20american%20black.htm

-- Think safe, be safe

View HokieKen's profile


19082 posts in 2350 days

#8 posted 07-20-2021 06:38 PM

Looking just at the second photo, I would have said Bradford Pear due to the color and the bee’s wings. But I’ve had lots of it and never any with anywhere near the color shown in the first picture.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View Ocelot's profile


3341 posts in 3850 days

#9 posted 07-20-2021 09:29 PM

Cherry is what I have the most of. If you were cutting it and not smelling… CHERRY, like a cherry pie in the oven dripping down on the bottom and burning a bit, then it’s probably not cherry. But I agree that some of the quarter-sawn figure looks like cherry.

Small cherry trees (and branches) have smooth silvery bark with darker rough patches. As it gets bigger, the bark get’s rougher.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View TravisH's profile


781 posts in 3147 days

#10 posted 07-21-2021 11:15 AM

Definitely looks like mulberry. All the mulberry I have worked with has that chatoyance to it, as shown in you image and you mention as shiny. It does seam to brown rather quickly in the sun and lose the yellow colors.

View bigblockyeti's profile


7557 posts in 2932 days

#11 posted 07-21-2021 11:26 AM

Looks like cherry that I’ve milled up before but I’ve never milled mulberry or pecan so not sure about those.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17502 posts in 3830 days

#12 posted 07-21-2021 12:56 PM

Not pecan (which has a look of hickory, a tree it’s closely related to).

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


7882 posts in 2032 days

#13 posted 07-25-2021 05:19 AM

I’d say its a BOOMBY... Branch Out Of My Back Yard!

Welcome to LJ…

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Kirk650's profile


741 posts in 1960 days

#14 posted 07-26-2021 01:57 AM

Osage Orange. Put it in the sun and see if it darkens quickly. If it holds the bright yellow for long, then it might not be Osage Orange.

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