Preparing a tree for milling.

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Established Member
4 Dec 2019
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Good evening.

In complete contrast to my previous post, a rather magnificent Cherry tree in our front garden is coming down in a couple of weeks. Looking for the silver lining, I would like to save the lumber so that I can make something special with it when my skills are more developed.

What would the process be for storing the tree until I am ready to work with it? Can I seal up the ends and leave it as it is, or do I need to get it milled in to planks within a particular time frame?

Thank you
If you intend waiting then as you say seal the ends as a first step. As soon as it is felled. Having it propped up off the ground and covered with good ventilation will prevent rot and fungus setting in. Kept dry and out of the weather logs should last a long time. That said milling sooner than later is best as the slabs still need time to dry for use.
LoveMonkey":v1hkhwd4 said:
.........What would the process be for storing the tree until I am ready to work with it?......

Seal the ends, and get it milled as soon as practical. Then store it "in stick" for a couple of years or more in a dry but ventilated place, with some heavy weights on the top. Then make furniture.
Mill as soon as you can as Mike says, otherwise you will get splits to the centre of the log. Cut the planks oversize to allow for wood shrinkage over the couple of years air drying. Plank as long sections as possible as you get wastage from each end of a plank, sometimes up to a foot. Avoid direct sun on the timber. It is a palaver but worth it.
You’ve picked the worse possible time of year to fell a tree you want to convert into timber, add to that that Cherry is awful for splitting certainly the one species I’ve had most failures with.
Personally I’d get it planked immediately, I’d cut the planks oversized as it a devil for twisting & shrinking, seal the ends really well, put it in stick, strap band it (cheap ratchet straps also work) & place it undercover in a shady spot.
Are you able to get it planked?

Mills are often reluctant to cut garden trees and/or one off trees, and it may be very expensive to get a chainsaw mill out to it. You may also have the issue of having to move a heavy log to get it to the mill.

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