Dunno about weather differences. Where I live in Virginia, it seldom gets below
10 deg. F. though I have seen it as low as 5 below zip (again, F.). That
happened about 18 years ago, and it hasn't come within 10 degrees of that
I dry my own walnut, with no borer problems. What version is yours? Ours is J.
nigra. Durability may well differ. My references list only J. cinerea in the
family: that's butternut, and it is non-durable to a fare thee well.
I've got little info on English oak. I know I had some one time, and it was at
least as hard as white oak, but a much deeper tan. I see that Q. robur is
susceptible to beetle damage. Q. petraea isn't in any of my references. Durn.
Thought I might learn a bit more.
"Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without
integrity is dangerous and dreadful."
On 18 Sep 2003 18:03:42 GMT, email@example.com (Charlie Self)
England is all an Atlantic coastal climate - you can't get more than
100 miles from the sea, whatever you do. We probably see similar
temperatures to that, but a cold snap like that is a one or two day
occurrence every few years, not a couple of month's predictable
There's no native English walnut; ours are mainly J. regia (the
European walnut) or American Black. There's a guy near Oxford
collecting a large world seed-source for walnuts and trying to find
the best English cultivars. I'd love to grow some, but it's a
sobering thought that you don't plant walnuts for your kids, but for
Q. robur is the pedunculate oak; acorns on stalks, leaves have
"earlobes" either side of the stalk. Q. petraea is the sessile oak;
acorns sat right down, no auricles on the leaves. Both are native
throughout Europe, right out to the Caucasus, but Q. petraea doesn't
extend north-eastwards into the cold of Finland and Russia.
You can't tell the timber apart, but the trees grow differently.
Sessile oak has less trouble with epicormics (branches budding from
low-down on an already mature trunk). Most existing trees are
pedunculate, but new planting has to be sessile, if you want the
As timber, all my oak is locally felled. There's a lot of French oak
imported in recent years - don't know why, but they seem to be felling
everything they can get. There's also plenty of American white (and a
little red). Most of this is low-grade though, no-one seems to import
the good stuff. American white oaks are softer than English oaks - our
stuff can be _very_ hard going sometimes.
As to pests, then there's a few of them. but no really serious ones.
Longhorn beetles are extremely common, but not a big problem. They're
rife in freshly felled timber and the larvae may hatch from dried
timber. The tunnels are large (1/4") and the beetles (and their
antennae!) enormous. But they navigate well, so they typically only
eat out a larvae-width layer at the top of the sapwood. Only the more
clueless ones put the occasional tunnel into the heartwood. Apart from
the House Longhorn (SE England (and Europe) only), they don't damage
dried timber. The common furniture and powder-post beetles will
attack dry timber, but make small holes.
Not a couple months. It gets cold in early December, but cold is relative. I
spent a lot of time in upstate NY (Albany area) when I was much younger and
winters there tend to be an experience. Sometimes 25 or more below zero, windy,
lots of snow. Average snowfall in my area of VA is probably 18", with the top
amount 63" (seen close to that much in one Albany storm back in the late '60s).
But, though central VA temps may drop to 10 at 6 a.m., by 2-3 p.m., they'll
almost always be above freezing, often in the low 40s. Which is what helps
create ice problems.
I wouldn't really want to sleep outside without a good sleeping bag from late
November through about late March, but it's possible to readily survive without
it, if you keep your head.
We're maybe 160 miles inland, maybe 170. One day, I'll clock it. But we're
right in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains (Appalachian chain), so we
get some modifying influence there.
And, with luck, in 6-8 weeks I'll have this house sold and be back there!
"Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and
steady dedication of a lifetime. "
Adlai E. Stevenson
I have made a number of porch swings out of Cypress,
which is inexpensive in this area (Atlanta). One has been hanging from an
A-frame in the weather (not sheltered) for six months without any visible
sign of deterioration. Also made a window box which has been weathering for
3 years with no sign of deterioration. Cypress is easy to work with but not
very hard. It is not necessary to put a finish on it, but a coat of Tung
Oil with a UV inhibitor gives it a nice appearance and probably helps
preserve the wood.
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