True in California maybe, not in the south. The southern live oaks are
quite large particularly in spread. I have 30+ on my property...the largest
is more than 5' in diameter at 4' from the ground; it is maybe 50' high,
more then twice that in spread.
Very messy trees too. If they aren't dropping leaves, blossoms or acorns
they are dropping twigs. Thousands and thousands of twigs, all year long.
Sometimes a house crusher branch as well.
Those in CA were maybe 30' at the most, and I don't recall one more
than that wide.
A huge old black oak fell in a local yard recently. Looking at it
from 1/2 a block away, it was probably 6' in diameter. Luckily, it
fell onto the pasture fences, not the house. It must have yielded 20
cords of wood from the trunk alone. Another, maybe 3' in diameter,
fell in the pasture next to me and looks like about twelve cords of
wood as they cut it up and stacked it. Both broke at the ground
level, in the trunk near the roots. The odd thing is that both broke
within a month of each other less than 2 blocks apart. Each was a
Truth loves to go naked.
--Dr. Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732
Every thing is bigger in Texas. ;~)
The Big Tree at Goose Island State Park, a Live Oak, is believed to be
over 1,000 years old. It has a circumference of 35 feet (11 m), is 44
feet (13 m) in height and has a crown spread of 90 feet (27 m). And
that measurement was taken 46 years ago.
That was an interesting page.
I've always wondered how old ours are. One would guess a couple of hundred
years but the growth rate varies very much. We have a new one that was half
knee high in the summer of 2000; it is now about a foot in diameter and
maybe 20' high. There is another one that was half knee high in 2001; it is
only 3-4" in diameter. The two get the same rain, about the same sun and
are only 60-70 yards away from each other.
Many years ago my old aunt asked me to cut down two giant dead oaks out
of her yard. She had 18 giant oak trees, about 4 foot trunks, 60-80'
tall. I needed the fire wood so was happy to do it for her. Cut the
first one down, chopped it and hauled it away, told her I be back the
next weekend for the 2nd tree. Before the weekend, she called to tell
me the 2nd tree came down on it's own, all I had to do was cut the
sucker up. When I got there, the damned thing was hollow about the
first 15 feet with only a bit of sap wood holding up that giant tree.
DAMN was I glad I picked the other one to cut first...
Not sure what would have happened if I started cutting that hollow
sucker, but I'm pretty sure it would not have been good. To this day I
don't understand how that little bit of wood kept that giant tree up for
so long. From that day on, I always do a test cut on the big ones to
make sure the thing ain't holler!
Add Life to your Days not Days to your Life.
I'd bet money that was some variety of red oak, probably a "black oak". My
father has a bunch of oaks on his property (he lives in central Missouri on
about 10 acres) and every year he has at least one black oak tree coming down
of its own accord due to rot going up the center of the trunk, and he has
preemptively taken down many more to avoid dangerous surprises. Meanwhile, he
has nearly as many white oaks and not a single one of those has had the same
Free bad advice available here.
To reply, eat the taco.
I think they were some sort of red oak, the wood was, as I recall, quite
red, redder than any red oak I've seen. It was beautiful wood though.
I now have two 70' pin oaks in my front yard, close to the house. I
guess they are around 50 years old, and pin oak I believe are one of the
zillion (20?) species of red oak, and they grow fast, die fast I guess.
I worry occasionally about them falling on my house, but as long as
they don't kill anyone, I reckon my insurance company should worry more.:-)
Add Life to your Days not Days to your Life.
No, nothing magic, but "better living through chemistry" .... :)
It's a solution of sodium nitrite--see about halfways down the following
Well I'll be damned ... my maternal grandfather was a hardware store
owner, sawmill owner/operator, and a woodworker. He cut and milled the
wood, off his land, to both build his house, and to furnish it. I spent
many summers on his farm with him as youngster, some of it on one end of
a two man crosscut saw. I learned how to use a handsaw to saw straight;
recognize different trees; how to fell one where you wanted it to fall;
and "helped" him make furniture in his shop.
I also learned where, and in which tree stump in the woods, he hid is
bottles of wine. :)
I distinctly remember him using a paint brush to dab something, out of a
used cane syrup can, on the butt end of a tree prior to milling it to
"tell if it was white oak", which he used for furniture.
Out of that experience, came this story I posted here almost ten years back:
The old man was pretty damn smart, read a lot, and had a lot of tricks
up his sleeve.
The ol' timers generally were...took a lot more self-doing back then
than generally needed these days. I (along w/ probably almost all of at
least the regulars here) undoubtedly could tell similar tales of
Unfortunately, your link goes to a login page so I'm unaware of the
particulars of which you tell...
Hmmmm ... found it by a google groups search and you have to login??
Since G+, there ain't no telling what Google has up their sleeve these
days, except a marked propensity to screw up the Internet at their whim.
Here, in toto:
A Gloat of Magical Proportions
Written on Mother's Day 2003
I have always known that my grandfather made furniture, one of his hand
saws hangs in my shop today, and I remember my times with him well. I
distinctly remember him showing me how to guide, with precision, the
initial backstroke cut of a hand saw with my six year old thumb some 54
years ago - possibly the same saw that hangs on the wall. I also vividly
recall emulating his every move in the shop, including the unconscious,
but somehow manly to me in those young years, act of wiping the beads of
perspiration off his brow with the blade of a carpenter's folding rule,
kept handy in a front top pocket of his overalls.
Considering my enduring passion for making things of wood, those are
indeed treasured memories. But, as of this very afternoon, they are much
more than just a past .. they have a present meaning, and hopefully a
I have always had a decided liking for the Arts and Crafts style of
furniture and, here lately, a strong, almost puzzling on retrospect,
desire to make as many pieces, with the very species of wood that
defined the style, that I can. I currently have an end table, a lamp, a
coffee table, and two hall tables in various stages of construction and
planning, all in the A & C style, and all with quartersawn white oak as
the primary wood, causing my wife to raise her eyebrows in question more
than a time or two.
I may now be a bit closer to understanding this strange itch, and the
scratching that has resulted in the sudden proliferation of A & C shaped
bits and pieces of quarter sawn white oak in the shop.
Today, while visiting one of my sisters in honor of Mother's Day, a
sister whom I rarely see, I remarked on a beautiful, Arts & Crafts
settee (much like a Morris chair in appearance, but made for seating
two) in her bedroom. Our 81 year old mother, the honoree of the
occasion, who just happened to be within ear shot, responded with the
astounding, to me, remark:
"Your grandfather made that before I was born, and I first learned to
stand up holding onto it as a baby."
You could have knocked me over with the proverbial feather. I had not
the slightest idea there was any of my grandfather's furniture left on
the face of the earth (save one old bookcase I have made of pecan that
was not notable for its style) for he died some 43 years ago, and the
old farm house, which he built with logs he sawmilled himself off his
own land, was long ago moved to the city and remodeled by one of my
cousins who was closer to the action when it counted than her
Lo and behold, in addition to the settee, my sister also has an end
table and a desk chair, all of quarter sawn white oak, and all in the A
& C style, made by my grandfather almost 100 years ago.
The gloat? It is impossible to describe the feeling of handling these
pieces and inspecting the tool marks, the joinery, the workmanship, and
the obvious care that went into each of these pieces made by the hands
of a being that was also responsible for mine. The old wood is
beautifully quarter sawn and milled by hand, with the medullary flecks
as prominent under the finish as the pieces in my shop today. The old
man knew his stuff ... some of the joints are a bit loose with age, but
all the pieces are serviceable and still hold up to daily use.
Some might see it as more gloatworthy to be in current possession of
these items, but, strange as it may seem, I have no desire whatsoever to
own these pieces, likely much to my sister's relief. It was a treat
beyond understanding to just touch them and to know that they exist. I
did tell her that I would be glad to repair any future damage, and maybe
re-glue a joint or two ... an honor, and homage of sorts, paid from one
woodworker to another.
I left this afternoon with the understanding that I will make no claim
on them, but will photograph, measure, make note of the design elements
and attempt to reproduce them in faithful detail.
For it seems, and for sometime now, all I've really wanted to do was to
make them all again myself, just like my grandfather did.
Well, it's never going to look "like" the red because of the difference
in ray characteristics and the more porous grain structure of red vis a
vis white (unless you use something on it that just essentially hides
the grain/pattern entirely, anyway).
As Swing says, take some representative samples and starting working on
finding coloring that at least comes close is about the only choice;
particularly since you've already finished one so can't adjust both
towards a common.
Why, may I ask, didn't you just get some red oak to start with if the
idea was to match--it's far more commonly available in flooring anyway...
On 7/7/2012 11:08 AM, Steve Barker wrote:
VERY long day, so very long story short:
Spoke to the gal in the flooring dept at HD, she assured me they do NOT
sell white oak flooring. Sooooooooo, Got the managers name, went up in
person with the unused portion (16 out of 27 bundles) and he not only
agreed, they should never have had a pallet of white oak in the store,
but he gave me credit for all 27 bundles, PLUS a 30% discount on a nice
new Bostitch floor stapler. Took a while to jump through all the hoops,
as they only had 9 bundles of red in stock as opposed to the 94 they
showed on the computer. Had to stop by the other store on the way home
for the balance. Good news: No more money spent 'cept the nail gun,
and Bad news: I have to rip up a 12x15 room full of 2 1/4" flooring. <G>
But it'll be the way we want it in the end. We've only been working
on this house 6 years as it is. By the time we got headed for the
store, my wife and I had already agreed we'd tear it out even if we had
to buy it again. Live and learn. Read labels, double and triple check
what they bring to the door.
Thanks for all the input.
remove the "not" from my address to email
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