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Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 11964

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 20 8:01 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

I assumed it wouldn't be Western hemlock as natural to your part. Is there much difference between the woods do you know?

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 6784
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 20 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for that MR, I'll see if I can find any of your recommendations, locally.

Larch I've seen used on TV, turns a lovely colour after a while.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 11964

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 20 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Most of them will go a silvery grey, just some darker than others.

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 5729
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 20 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mistress Rose wrote:
I assumed it wouldn't be Western hemlock as natural to your part. Is there much difference between the woods do you know?


No clue, didn't even know the western species existed!

Ty Gwyn



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 4340
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 20 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Western Hemlock native of your West Coast,apparently a better construction timber than the Eastern which being mainly pulp timber.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 11964

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 20 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks Ty Gwyn. I knew it was from the west coast of the US, but not that it was a better construction timber. Of course in the US the eastern hemlock may be better, as it may grow better in native habitat. Birch is a case in point; in Scandinavia, northern US and Canada it is very strong, solid wood, in the UK it is regarded as pretty soft and useless for any job where strength is required. Not bad carving wood here, and quite soft, although for some reason makes solid charcoal.

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 5729
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 20 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There are several Birch species here. Yellow Birch is fairly dense, paper Birch is quite light (good firewood for shoulder season burning, no rot resistance).

My father's house has curly yellow Birch paneling from what must have been one massive tree. (It was a wedding present to the cabinet maker who made the house over 100 years ago from his father in law)

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 37976
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 20 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

iirc paper birch is one of the better trees to use for canoe skins, the bark comes off in big sheets, i cant remember if the timber is used for canoes but it would keep you warm while you work, tis more usual to use spruce or similar for the ribs.

as far as firewood goes some birches are better than others, dry helps a lot

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 11964

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 20 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We only have downy and silver birch. The bark would certainly not make a canoe, as when they get to a reasonable size, the bark gets fissured and broken. It is usual to either split or blaze them to remove a segment of bark before trying to season as otherwise they tend to rot from the inside. The tops are good for besom brooms, which for some reason don't seem to be a part of US culture. I have had people from the US trying to buy mine, and looking to find a US source for them instead, I haven't been able to find one. Are your birch twigs unsuitable, or did the tradition somehow not get to you?

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 5729
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 20 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We may have something similar, but probably made with broomcorn. That's my best guess

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 37976
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 20 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

iirc paper birch can get quite big and often have a decent length of branch free trunk to peel from as well as giving hole free sheets.
it is a rather different beast to silver and downy, quite rare in the uk unless in a park or arboretum that had a fan of them in the last 100 yrs or so. they only live to about a 100 at most and i do not recall anything looking like a native/naturalised community of them.
a few uk nurseries sell whips so i spose if you plant twenty or so in a close stand, let them pencil and rub out the side buds for a few decades, then thin them to the 5 best and then wait another 50 yrs or so there would be enough bark for a big porterage canoe.

it turns out cedar was favourite for ribs etc.

the HBC had some huge ones but the smaller ones were the means of travel of the first nation peoples of the chilly wooded bits of the north both sides of the atlantic.
float it on the wet bits and carry it over the dryer bits is practical with a light boat and it can be mended with stuff easily found along the way.

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 5729
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 20 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Paper Birch shoots up pretty quick, you don't need much in the way of branch thinning unless open field grown. I'm surrounded by it if you want any seeds!

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 11964

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 20 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It may not grow as well for us as for you Slim. I can see why cedar would have been popular for canoe ribs as it is quite light.

Yes, broomcorn seems to be favoured in the US. It could be more convenient to use than birch, as that does need several months before it is really suitable for use, and several years to get to a suitable size. I have never seen it growing as it isn't native to the UK, and if it is grown at all, I haven't knowingly seen it.

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 6784
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 20 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

How big do my leeks need to be before I plant them out please?

Thank you.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 37976
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 20 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

big enough to handle safely, 6" was what i saw from "mr leek" when he planted out.

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