A tree with black thorns, what is it...???

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robutacion

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Aug 6, 2009
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6,514
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Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Hi peoples,

I have been trying to get the time to show these pics of mine from a large tree piece that was left by the tree people as it was too big for their wood chipper and they didn't wanted to spend the time chopping it with the chainsaw, lucky me...!

I didn't realise in the beginning from where it come from but looking a few meters away to the right of it, I saw a large tree that was cut high and had lots of long water shoots coming out, everywhere.

When I got closer, I realise that, the chunk on the ground a few meters away did come from that butt, it was the main trunk right up to where the big branches come out, on that low tree.

I didn't recognise the leafs nor the nasty thorns (rose type) that were all around the new water shoots, unfortunately for me, when I walked with the camera to take some pics of the trunk, I grabbed a hand full of the shorter shoots that were in the way and ripped them off, when I quickly felt the thorns sharpness and painful sting in my left hand, ouch...!

While the left hand was bleeding with some thorns still embedded on it, I quickly took the picks with the right hand, already holding the camera and went to the vehicle where the wife Merissa was there watching the whole thing. She didn't realise that I was bleeding until I got closer and show her the hand so a quick dash to the first aid kit, always in the vehicle, well one of them anyway, and the got the thorns out that were actually broken inside the flash, from my "grab and pull" motion...!

This happened next to a well known Chinese restaurant in McLaren Vale, the town next door to me so, this was their back yard and one of the car parking areas so, I went and looked for the restaurant's new owner to ask a few questions.

I obviously wanted to know if I could have it and secondly, if they knew the name of this thing but, after the owner's wife was found, she came outside so that I could show her what I was talking about and ask all the questions I have.

When they purchase the place, in May 2012 (when the tree was cut), they had lots of improvements and outside work done (landscaping) and that tree was a big mess and over the shed next door so they decided to have it cut down but, they weren't aware that the tree people that done the job, left that big chunk behind, as it was pushed underneath and in between 3 monstrous Red Gum logs, that have been carved with all sort of faces and other stuff, 20 odd years ago when the restaurant was built, that big Red Gum tree was living there so it had to be cut but, the owner got it cut (the main trunk) in 3 pieces (2 as base/feet and 1 as the horizontal piece) and placed at the front part of the restaurant and the building/restaurant was name "Red Gum Restaurant".

When the new owners moved in, they moved this 3 piece ornament to the back (carp park) and turn the carvings side the other way around as, some of the more recent "carvings" done to it, weren't that nice so, the symbol still there but with its clean face showing...!

OK, were was I...??? Oh yeah, that big log was quite disguised under those large Red Gum logs and obviously a place the restaurant owners rarely go as they all park their vehicles on the other car-park, on the other side of the building so, she was quite surprise when I walked with her, next to the big logs.
She asked me, "how did you find out about it...???" I replied saying that, when we go to town for our shopping day, the 1 1/2 hours that Merissa takes to complete the shopping while I get the other stuff needed, the 2 pet dogs need to get out and have a "doggy time", the place where we/I have been going to let them go for a bit, has been fenced off very recently so, I need to find a shady spot to park with a large area away from the road and this restaurant's rear car-park (on the other side of the road to the original spot I was stooping at), was the best place around so, I parked under a large Kurrajong tree, next to the big logs and the tree that was cut.

When I saw it, I knew that had to be some sort on introduced weed, why..? because only these type of weed tree (pests) are capable to grow new shoots after the tree/logs was/were cut. Before I find out where it came from, I got a small axe from the vehicle and broke off a piece of that wood so that I could take it home and see if the wood was worth the trouble, as I didn't need to carry any more firewood home so when I cut it that's when I realise that the wood was not that colourful, very light weight and with a very "strange" grain...!

Finding the stump it came from, didn't really answer any questions, as I never saw one of those before so, I was puzzled...!
I was by myself then, the decision to make a trip back the next day was made only after I got home and ripped the bit of wood on the bandsaw and make a pen sample out of it, I though, I don't know what it is but, I want it...!

The next day, I took the trailer and everything I needed to cut it a little smaller and bring it home, after permission was giving, as was very certain/confident that, I was going to bring it home...!:wink::biggrin:

So, that tree was cut about May this year, that explained the amount of spalting the wood had, and plenty of moisture from rain so, the wood being light weight, was not so light to get it up into the trailer, believe me...!
Spalting on this wood (well, not sure if I can call it wood, as it looks and feels like Palm stuff, maybe a little more dense...!) is not what we normally see on most woods, this one develops a stain that has many colours in some spots (like a rainbow), I'm not sure it that will stay after the wood is completely dry, that we will see...!

That large piece is now all cut into pieces, half of it has been processed into pens blanks with a few round and square blanks in the mix, the rest is cut into small slabs and store under cover...!

The natural colour is actually a pretty yellow and from what I can see of the cell structure of this "wood", it will be a great candidate for dying with various colours and then stabilised, or maybe not, will see...!

I have also now, permission to cut that trunk/butt at ground level, the only thing I need to do as an exchange is to poison the cut/stump so that will stop shooting and messing the place ever again...! That I'm OK with...!

So, the million dollar question is, what species tree, this one is...????

If any of you, recognises it or finds out what it is, I would be most thankful in knowing about it...!

Cheers
George
 

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Chrisjan

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Mar 23, 2012
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111
Location
Pretoria, South Africa
George, my guess is that you have some coral tree there boet!

By the looks of the leaves and the thorns I guess it to be one of the Erythrina species. We have two or more native species in South Africa which caused a big uproar at the beginning of our democracy (1994) - but that's a story for later.

Very soft wood almost like succulents... beautiful red/orange flowers in abundance early spring. And now ( for all the castors on the forum) tiny, hard, red beads sometimes called lucky beads with a black spot on it! I'll see if I can find a picture - they will beat cherry pips hands down in a clear casting! Save a nice water-shoot to plant at your house! They grow easily from cuttings!
coral1b.gif

P4274405.jpg

can-stock-photo_csp9301619.jpg
 

Chrisjan

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Joined
Mar 23, 2012
Messages
111
Location
Pretoria, South Africa
Now for the story - I hope I don't offend anybody - and if I do, it was not intentional!

see this link Coral Tree Pollination

The coral tree was known in South Africa as a Kafferboom (Kaffir tree) whith the word "kaffir" being used as a derogatory word for black people - somewhat like nigger in the states. It refred to native black people using the beads in their traditional dress and decor as decorations - no bad intentions, actually very complementary to their traditions!

But "that" word being so BAD in South Africa - it had to bee changed and was substituted with coral tree... the jokes which follows it around are based on a three legged black cast iron pot used for cooking on an open fire and gas for the traditional Afrikaans dish "potjiekos" or pot food directly translated... it used to be called a kafferpot! Does the fact that the tree changed to a coral tree now mean that we cook potjiekos in a koraalpot (coral pot)?

As I said - not to offend anyone or sound derogatory - just some tales that we grew up with! Enjoy your find, George!
 

Dai Sensei

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Jan 14, 2009
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482
Location
Gold Coast Queensland Australia
I'd say Coral tree too, but there are 2 that grow in Aus, the red and yellow. Neither have a good reputation for turning timber- fibris, cracks as it dries, and apart from some spalting as it rots, relatively boring timber.

All I can say is good luck with it :redface:

Cheers
 

robutacion

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Aug 6, 2009
Messages
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Location
Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
George, my guess is that you have some coral tree there boet!

By the looks of the leaves and the thorns I guess it to be one of the Erythrina species. We have two or more native species in South Africa which caused a big uproar at the beginning of our democracy (1994) - but that's a story for later.

Very soft wood almost like succulents... beautiful red/orange flowers in abundance early spring. And now ( for all the castors on the forum) tiny, hard, red beads sometimes called lucky beads with a black spot on it! I'll see if I can find a picture - they will beat cherry pips hands down in a clear casting! Save a nice water-shoot to plant at your house! They grow easily from cuttings!

Chrisjan,

Thank you, I believe you are correct, everything you said/shown seems to indicate that is one of those Kaffir trees, I hate political correctness bull$!%t...!:mad: I was dodging bullets and machetes strikes in Mozambique in 1994, right up to 24 April so, I know all about the black/white situation. Interestingly, I come to Australia, only to find the same thing, this time with Aborigines...! damn :eek:

I have no pods/seeds to compare with and I doubt those water shoots will provide flowers again however, being a nasty weed, nothing would surprise me as these invasive species are the most resilient specimens there are in nature...!

You may have missed it when I said that, I knew that was a weed type tree when I saw new shoots growing on the cut log so, the pic bellow has highlighted what I meant...!
009f.jpg

I'm annoyed that I never notice this tree before and its beautiful seeds that I would love to have for casting, too late now so no point in "cry over an ocean" however, after Dai Sensei's observation of the root possible colourations, I wonder if I should get permission to dig it out and pay for someone to do the job, as I'm not going to hand dig it, no way Jose..!
The problem is, will be a $500 expensed to have someone to dig it out and bring it to me, would it be worth it..??? maybe not, but I would like to know, though...!:rolleyes::redface:

Well, we will see what I come up with...!

It pays off to take that little extra time and effort to make a good selection of pics when you need something identified, not always work but, it did marvellously this time so, thank you very much, this will be my wood species #70 on my timbers list...!:biggrin:

Cheers
George
 

Haynie

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Joined
May 20, 2011
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Location
Page Arizona
That would be the don't **** with me tree. There are a lot of those in Tucson. Don't look like that but nasty thorns waiting to catch the poor passerby who trips and grabs the trunk for support.
 

robutacion

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Aug 6, 2009
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Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Sorry Neil (Dai Sensei), I miss read your post and made a comment on my previous post that is not correct. You said that the wood apart from the colour as it "rots", doesn't have have much to go for (something of that nature...!), while I read "colour on its roots...!", sorry...!

There is however, the question still, what would the root be...???

Got to think about it, why am I always looking for extra work, damn it...!

Cheers
George
 

Bob Wemm

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Mar 9, 2012
Messages
1,994
Location
Kalbarri, Western Australia
Hi George,

Erythrina vespertilio, tree 3 - 15m flowers Red or orange (yellow) native to Australia and grows almost over the entire state, but particularly in the North. Common name here is "Yulbah".

Erythrina sykesii tree 8m flowers red. Grows in the South West. INTRODUCED.

Bob.
 

robutacion

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Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Hi George,

Erythrina vespertilio, tree 3 - 15m flowers Red or orange (yellow) native to Australia and grows almost over the entire state, but particularly in the North. Common name here is "Yulbah".

Erythrina sykesii tree 8m flowers red. Grows in the South West. INTRODUCED.

Bob.

G'day Bob,

I was wondering why took you so long to find this thread as I knew you would have something to say, mate...!

I'm convinced that you may be very right about the Erythrina sykesii, looking at its information and pics, it looks it however, no wonder why the Raffir species was also a good fit and they are identical and related.

I had no problems with the tree being introduced from South Africa, we have here trees from every corner on Earth however, knowing that is a Australian native variety, makes a little more sense in this case...!

So #70 Coral tree (Erythrina sykesii) , will be on my timbers list...!

Have you ever turned this stuff, Bob...??? because you will, in the near future...!!!:eek::wink::biggrin:

Cheers
George
 

robutacion

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Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Got to think about it, why am I always looking for extra work, damn it...!

Probably because some of your trials end up being amazing :cool:

Thanks Neil, words of encouragement are always appreciated...!

Yes, you are in fact correct, some of my hardest finds have also been, some of my best, the very reason that keeps me taking the challenges however, there are times where I would prefer not seeing "stuff", cause if I do, that's the end of it, I just can let go, even in my sleep, I have to have it/look inside...!:eek::wink::biggrin: Ces la vie...!

Cheers
George
 

robutacion

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Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Hi peoples,

Sometimes, a tree species offers things that are not always the most wanted or looked after however, each tree has unique characteristics that can be worked on. This is the case with this tree wood species in its natural (un-spalted) form where colour is a uniform light yellow but the grain is an interesting one.

It may be from the cell structure and the "resins" that hold it together that makes it an extremely light weight "wood" but still with a fair strength.

The wood offer many possibilities, the first one that come to mind from day one was, dying and stabilisation, these 2 processes would definitely change considerably, how much...??? well, I got some samples done already and I don't think that I will stop here, as I have a few other tests I would like done and see what happens.

So far, I used some of the bits that looked/felt the drier ones, most have some spalting or signs of cell break down however, I also realise that any of the blanks that had all yellow and looked dry, they were not therefore the dying and stabilisation did not produce the results it should, I should have put them in the microwave, just in case, oh well...!

All the attached samples are double dyed, using 5 basic colours (green, red, black, yellow and blue) together with the Cactus Juice so, the blanks are stabilised. Each pic has the colours names and the order they were applied (first colour is the one on the left), for what I can see, they come out quite nice, the grain is certainly enhanced this way...!

What do you're reckon...???

Cheers
George
 

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robutacion

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Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Thanks guys...!

Yes, I can agreed that the first tests did come out OK, the grain did enhance as I predicted and they are no longer soft (well, the blanks batches done so far).

I want to see the wood drying a little more, that isn't going to be a problem for the next few months as we have just started our Summer, the fact that I processed half of the wood into pen blanks and tie them up in my drying towers system, they should loose that extra moisture in no time, I will then be more comfortable in getting whatever works best in my tests, make into quantities...!

The very first sample I made with the bit that I chopped off from the log when I found it, is attached here, it is from a piece from the logs' top that was quite dry and showing some stain/spalting...!
Was this very sample that made me want to get the log, I knew the interesting grain structure would produce interesting results, I was right...!

Cheers
George
 

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