I removed what I believe to be a cherry laurel from our yard this year
and would like to attempt to use the wood for woodworking rather than
chunking it into the fireplace. I live in the southeast (GA), and the
tree was about 30' tall and 18" or so at it's base. It became
infested with eastern tent caterpillars every year.
I could be wrong on the species, cherry laurel wood purportedly is
white in color, but this wood is reddish, becoming more so on exposure
to the sun. There is a 3/4" white ring around the tree (sapwood?)
under the bark, but the remainder of the wood is reddish. There are
red pitch pockets and veins scattered in the grain - along with some
black pencil-lining. Characteristics that all make me think "cherry".
I DAGS on the question, and have read many web site pertaining to
drying wood and now have more questions that when I started.
Briefly, the tree was removed a week ago. I cut it into 5' logs that
were barely manageable. I painted the ends with a shellac based
primer. They were moved to the garage. Nothing else has been done.
I cut one of the branches into 2" thick slabs, planed it flat to look
at the grain structure, and exposed it to sunlight. It's actually
quite beautiful! And the more sun exposure, the redder it gets.
Either way, I want to attempt to reclaim this tree. I have only basic
woodworking tools available. 14" bandsaw with riser, chainsaw, 13"
planer and 6" joiner, hand planes. And minimal storage space. ;-)
Any suggestions as to how to proceed? In 100 words or less?
I don't have or want a kiln, air drying is the only possible method.
Should it be slabbed while green or wait until the "free (sap)
moisture has evaporated?
How can I reduce/eliminate the stress cracking that this wood is
obviously prone to? The logs began to crack at the ends within a day
Approximate dry time?
Any other real-world experiences?