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Timber identification

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Tazmaniandevil

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No photos I'm afraid, will try this evening if it stops raining.

A friend dropped off some timber logs 3"-4" in diameter. He picked it up at the side of the road and brought it to me because it was pretty straight. The bark is quite rough, with a spongy layer underneath. The heartwood when freshly cut is a dark puple colour. This extends to around 2/3 of the log, with a pale yellow wood surrounding it.
The grain seems to be quite straight, and fairly close. The spongy layer is very wet, and clogs the chainsaw a bit - and the yellow-ish stuff is very soft. I can't detect much of a smell from it, other than a mustiness from the bark, and spongy sub layer.

Any ideas?
 

CHJ

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Sounds like it might be laburnum that has been exposed to the wet too long and the sap wood has rotted.
 

Neil Farrer

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My vote would not be for Yew or Laburnum! Hows about Macrocarpa, the barks rough, the heartwood deep red, sapwood yellow, all straight as its a relative fast grower.
 

Tazmaniandevil

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This is the outer bark

A bit hard to see 'cos it's quite blurry.

This is a fresh cut across the grain

On second glance, it's less purple and more pink than I first thought.

And this is it with some of the rough edges knocked off


I hope it keeps the colour when it finishes drying.
 

Chrispy

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Just a shot on the wild side, how about wide plum or Damson? looks like a fruit wood to me anyway.
 

Neil Farrer

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On photographic evidence I withdraw the Macrocarpa suggestion!!

I agree it looks like a fruit, bearing in mind it was found beside the road, I think it is probably a wild cherry of some description. Can't see someone planting a cultivated species by the roadside? Bark's a bit different though - I blame the focus!
 

dickm

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The only thing I've turned with that degree of purple colour is lilac, but it looks too big and the wrong bark for that. Wild plum usually has some pink/purple coloration, and if that's what it is, it's a superb specimen.
 

CHJ

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Certainly not Laburnum as I intimated from the original description of soft sapwood.
 

Mark Hancock

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I don't think Purple heart is native to the British Isles? Looking at the bark, sapwood and heartwood and from experience I would suggest that the Plum/Damson option is a good bet.
 

Tazmaniandevil

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Could well be a fruit wood. My mate is a delivery driver and picks stuff up at random if he sees it. Looking forward to trying to dry it now without it splitting.
 
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