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Thread: Osage Orange trees

  1. #16
    I sawed some osage for a friend here in Kansas. He wanted some 4x10's for a porch beam. The logs I sawed were hard in spots, like they were dry, but had moisture and sawed fine in other spots. Really tough.

  2. When I moved to central PA there were Osage orange trees along many fence rows, but in the last 20 years, every such tree that I knew about has been cut as farmers get rid of fence rows and roads get widened. In fact, I have not seen a single tree in ten years. A arborist buddy has a standing order for ANY osage orange he can get his hands on, And that order is from a guy in Pittsburgh. We were just talking Friday about how some wood has no real commercial value as lumber but a huge hobbyist value for the person who can get it. Also how some woods have risen and fallen in price. But even in his business, no single or even small number of trees is worth so much that he can afford to cut them for free. We also discussed the fact that most large holly trees in the area have been cut down. People just do not want them in their yards like years ago. He does have a deal with a near by saw mill for some logs, but even at that all he gets is a plank or two in exchange.

  3. #18
    Just had a chance to snap a few pics. I also did a little trig and came up with 49 feet for the overall height of the tree. So not quite as tall as I thought. The main trunk is about 21 feet in length though before it splits off into the tree canopy/smaller branches. There are 2 other smaller trunks about 14-18" in diameter that go up about 17-18 feet but have a few branches coming off them and are not nearly as straight as the main trunk. Its definitely Osage. I had cut a few branches off a while back and they were bright yellow with the white sap wood. You can see the big green fruit balls on the ground in the pics.




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    Last edited by Wes Mansfield; 10-01-2017 at 5:53 PM.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    North Virginia
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    110
    You might give Rick Herbine at Herbine Hardwoods a call. He's in Lucketts VA, north of Leesburg.

    herbinehardwood.com
    (703) 771-3067

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Hatfield, AR
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    If you decide to fall that tree for primary use of making bows: Cherokee anthropologist and bowyer Dr. Al Herrin recommends calling the tree in the winter while dormant and as close to a new moon as possible. Be sure to mark what part of the tree is the top. Upside down how’s dont shoot properly. “Cherokee Bows and Arrows” by Al Herrin, 1989 page 56

    ”I deliberately cut a tree during the full moon and made the bow upside down. The results reestablished my belief in the wisdom of the old bowyers. The only way I could hit anything with that damned bow was to shoot it while hanging upside down in a tree on a dark night. Since the bow was useless for anything but hunting bats, I gave it to a man I don’t like.”

    I met Al in 2005 because I lived in his town and bugged him about bow making. Phenomenal man!
    -Lud

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    4,766
    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Ludwig View Post
    Cherokee anthropologist and bowyer Dr. Al Herrin recommends calling the tree in the winter while dormant and as close to a new moon as possible. ...
    I can understand the winter and dormant part, a good time to fell trees for several reasons. But the phase of the moon suggestion is new to me. Is there science behind that?

    JKJ

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Hatfield, AR
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    Nothing that I know of other than his approach I already posted about.

    I cut my tree in Oct and it was WET. I didn’t pay attention to the moon phase as I read his book and met him 2 weeks after I cut it. I did adhere to the rule of keeping the top of tree for the top of the bow. My bow is as crooked as a politician and shoots straight as an arrow.

    regarding phases: my dad has diliberately ignored the farmers almanac regarding moon phases and had plants that wouldn’t grow right next to plants that were thriving and planted within days of each other but according to phase.
    -Lud

  8. #23
    Well, I do not see how the phase of the moon has anything to do with the wood in an osage orange tree that was laid down by the cambium years ago. Oh, and when you fell the tree, be sure that a black cat does not cross in front of you.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    I was quoting a book that was written with Cherokee heritage and lore in mind. He didn't elaborate on testing the theory of moon phases, but more on the bow being "upside down." Without applying the scientific method, we're pretty much stuck with allegorical conjecture.

    I also think a study in this regard would be for not because each tree is highly unique.
    -Lud

  10. #25
    I have about 325bf of Osage orange. My brother cut down a few and had it sawn and dried. He gave it to me for my birthday. It is super hard. I've made a few things. Here is a few things I made and sold quickly.
    20170615_200330.jpg
    20170615_201330.jpg

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    N.E. coastal, U.S.
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    149
    Of course there's valid science behind the lunar phase as applied to harvesting timber during the tree's most dormant season. Well into winter and "As close as possible to a new moon" places the gravitational vectors of both sun and moon in close alignment. Tidal forces would have the sap and water content of a live tree at its lowest about five hours prior to when a new moon could be said to "rise" in the East. Consult an Almanac for the local time of day corresponding to low tide, then fire up the chainsaw . If one could be especially patient over the years, getting the greatest number of gravitational bodies, particularly Mars, Saturn & Jupiter, in superior planetary "conjunction" would be a further minute benefit. It's sometimes referred to as applied biodynamics in agronomy; well established in viticulture & winemaking, the French call it "La Biodynamie", practiced by a goodly number of adherents to notable effect.

    I on the other hand, am rather unclear about how orienting the top of a longbow with the tree it was taken from might make a measurable difference in performance or accuracy. Naturally, not being unintentionally "upside down" would seem to be in better keeping with optimal celestial harmony.
    Last edited by Morey St. Denis; 11-21-2017 at 9:46 AM.

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