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Thread: Hazelnut tree wood

  1. #1
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    Default Hazelnut tree wood

    I live in Oregon where they grow the best Hazelnuts in the world. Here the nuts grow on trees. I salvaged a trunk piece from a 70 year old Church Yard Hazelnut tree about 10" in diameter and am slabbing boards for a mandolin build. The first two quarter sawn boards have dried and have a wonderful ring tone. The wood is dense without pours hardly any grain a wonderful cream color saws easy. Should be a one of a kind mandolin when done hopefully by end of summer. I let you know when done.
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  2. #2
    Registered User bbcee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    @Richard G, I'm far from an expert (in anything, really), but aren't you going to want to season that wood before using, either by kiln or air-drying?

    It's no doubt going to be an amazing looker!

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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    As a dendrofreak of 45+ years I would be interested in which species it is --- I do doubt that is native, but maybe Turkish Hazel ? Corylus colurna worldwide cultivated- also as a ornemental-- but maybe you can enlighten me.
    In general Corylis sps.should have a high silica content and expected to dull tools quickly.. But what do I know.
    But It is an interesting project, I hope you will post your progress --- Best wishes for a succesfull project
    Jens

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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    Another interested tree geek here; I did a quick search and suspect, since it seems to have been planted in a church yard, it is most likely a landscape variety as opposed to the hybrid Corylus that produces nuts. Corylus colurna is a pretty good guess, I think. I tried in vain to find C. colurna in local nurseries during my career as a municipal arborist. I really wanted to try it as a street tree, to see if it was suited to upstate South Carolina.

    Here on the East Coast, we have a shrub species, Corylus americana, however to my knowledge it never grows large enough to make 10" diameter trunks.
    Clark Beavans

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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    Hey Clark
    my writing was of the head. Corylus c. is a very "symmetrical" tree and performs well as a street tree around here .and I am pretty certain that I also will in the Carolinas... Ive been municipal arborist too decades ago.and today I have the pleasure to see that most of my plantings are (still) succesful-----
    Corylus c. is the only trunkforming species I know. I have quite a library. I will look into that when Ill be home
    by the way my user name are derived from that delightfull little rock fern Ceterach officinarum ( but I do have a sore back)
    Jens

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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    Years ago I would collect and eat the Hazelnuts from the trees in the Church yard here in Albany Oregon where I was born and now live.

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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    Here's a picture of a Hazelnut orchard a few miles from where I liveClick image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    https://hazelnuts.com/hazelnut-history/

    Hello Richard..
    I am south of you in Williams at the south western end of Applegate Valley

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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    Definitely not Corylis c. -- however that link won`t satisfy any botanist
    Jens

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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    The origins of Oregon’s hazelnut legacy started in the little town of Scottsburg in 1856, when English sailor Sam Strickland retired from the Hudson’s Bay Company and settled in a small Douglas County community where he planted the first known hazelnut tree in the Pacific Northwest, of the European stock Corylus avellana.

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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    The origins of Oregon’s hazelnut legacy started in the little town of Scottsburg in 1856, when English sailor Sam Strickland retired from the Hudson’s Bay Company and settled in a small Douglas County community where he planted the first known hazelnut tree in the Pacific Northwest, of the European stock Corylus avellana.

    Corylus avellana
    Common name:
    Hazelnut
    European Filbert
    European Hazel
    Pronunciation:
    KO-ril-us a-ve-LAH-na
    Family:
    Betulaceae
    Genus:
    Corylus
    Type:
    Broadleaf
    Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
    No
    Deciduous shrub/tree, 12-20 ft (3.7-6 m), rounded crown, erect shoots, and produces many suckers. Leaves alternate, simple, broad, roundish, 7.5-10 cm long. Greenish yellow male flowers (catkins) hang on all winter, are yellowish as they release pollen in early winter.

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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    So, the churchyard tree that yielded those boards - did it look more like the trees in the hazelnut orchard photo, or did it have a single trunk and look more like a typical shade tree? The reason I ask is that trees in landscapes can be from almost anywhere - I have seen some that astounded me. However, if it branched really low like the ones in the photo then I suspect you're correct about the species being C. avellana or a hybrid thereof.

    I'm no instrument builder but I do some primitive woodworking (meaning I can start with a tree or piece of a tree and work it from there using mostly hand tools to suit my purposes). I love using different species that are not commercially available; in fact I don't think I have a single piece of wood in my shop that I purchased from a big box store. I'll be interested to hear how that hazelnut wood is to work.
    Clark Beavans

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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    It can be fun to experiment with new materials. I have put up pieces of non-lumber species, like dogwood, hornbeam and (extinct) chestnut, because I collect and use primitive tools and study how woods were used for very specific purposes, like wear, hardness, lubricity, resistance to splitting, etc. Even the best reference materials on trees tend to omit how the non-lumber woods are used, or were once used. And there’s the marquetry community, picking stuff for color. I haven’t made any wonderful things, like say, an instrument, but I usually will put anything new in the lathe, try to carve it, see if it polishes. Enormous variety.
    Hoping to see a report on hazelnut!

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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    Well back home to my trusty " Dictionary of Garderning " ( The Royal Hortocultural Society 1951 ) a 4000 pages listing of species.
    Ill agree that the picture shown could be (hardpruned) C.avellana) or maybe selected clone. --- Filbert = C. maxima--- hybrids between C. a. and C. colurna. are reported .
    To make it short more than 15 species reported -- add hybrids , subspecies. nothosubspecies !!!!( I am dizzy too)--- well nomenclature is everchanging and the chromosome counters may have different findings ---- -- some of my best reference books hails from the 19th century. .... well this is a mandolin forum-- so happy easter to all --- Jens
    Last edited by Rustyback; Apr-11-2020 at 2:20am.

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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    Wow... interesting stuff... I'm a wood-geek... wifey is a plant geek (AVID gardener). Very cool topic IMO. I saved some big hunks of a 50+ yr old Redbud from our yard. They don't typically live that long or grow as big as that one was (it was a beautiful tree) and I love how beautiful the wood is. A dark orange-red and striped with dark streaks and white sap-wood.... now I'm wondering if it might be suitable for an instrument, may be too soft... I have a couple of logs that have seasoned for a couple years now... hmmmm

    See post #708: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...d+wood+armrest
    aka: Spencer
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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    Redbud wood is fairly heavy and hard, in my experience. I'll be interested to hear your experience when you cut those logs . . .
    Clark Beavans

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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    Quote Originally Posted by tree View Post
    Redbud wood is fairly heavy and hard, in my experience. I'll be interested to hear your experience when you cut those logs . . .
    The original pieces I had were smaller; from a larger branch (maybe 5-6" diameter). They weren't particularly dense and worked fairly easily. Probably not quite as hard as hard as maple or walnut. Perhaps equivalent to soft maple. We burned a good deal of it to avoid paying for firewood over the winter, but I did save some of the larger logs.

    The larger pieces I saved when we cut down the tree have been drying for over a year now. They are big enough that they will be hard for me to mill. We shall see!!!
    Last edited by soliver; Apr-12-2020 at 6:47pm.
    aka: Spencer
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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard G View Post
    1856 … Hudson’s Bay Company
    Not a tree geek, but this caught my eye. There was a Hudson Bay Company in 1856? I thought they were gone long before.
    belbein

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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    Quote Originally Posted by soliver View Post
    Redbud … post #708
    That is BEAUTIFUL wood.
    belbein

    The bad news is that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. The good news is that what kills us makes it no longer our problem

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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    Quote Originally Posted by belbein View Post
    That is BEAUTIFUL wood.
    Thanks!... I think I found a piece that may be big enough to make a back for a small flattop out of. Maybe I'll run it through the bandsaw and get some boards that I can start drying.
    aka: Spencer
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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    I got excited about the possibilities, so I grabbed a decent sized redbud log and busted out the chainsaw, a splitting axe, a draw knife, electric planer, band saw and a cup of coffee and ended up with 4 nice boards approximately 6"w by 18" long and about 1"+ thick.... and the small ant colony that had begun to occupy said log gave me a good quantity of love bites for the fortuitous remodel of their home. (It's now an "open concept").

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    I figure I can let them dry For a while and re-save them into something useable for a flattop (as I said above)
    aka: Spencer
    Silverangel Econo A #429
    Jacobson Nautilus Oval Hole Prototype

    Hand Crafted Mandolin Armrests
    Check them out here

    "You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage
    to lose sight of the shore, ...and also a boat with no holes in it.
    -anonymous

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    Default Re: Hazelnut tree wood

    Richard:

    I lived about ten miles from you over in Corvallis for about 15 years; I might even know that old church tree from hundreds and hundreds of afternoons spent riding my bicycle all over the area. I was always amazed at the diversity of trees in the Willamette valley; I built most of my instruments out of local trees during those years, especially when I was teaching at OSU. Beautiful, strong small trees for my first mandolins and huge giants so large that I thought nothing of building double basses. I'd go down to the local mill confident that I could find spruce beams 20+ inches wide and soft curly maple equal to that or more without ever needing to call beforehand to check before I drove over.

    My family has had filbert orchards for 3/4 a century near Halsey. Most of the nut trees and fruit trees work quite well for instruments. A bonus for us is that the commercial groves have a finite growing span, so they get cut down with regularity and are easy to find around there. You are also blessed with abundant giant conifers. Cut it up and give a try at a few instruments. A novice builder can potentially make wet cardboard out of the finest tonewoods available while a seasoned builder can often achieve greatness with mediocre materials but the knowledge gained from decades of building.

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