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Can growth zones Help us keep bark on NE bowls?

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by hockenbery, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Many turners recommend using trees cut while dormant for Natural edge bowls to keep the bark.
    It seems to me these folks mostly live In the north or higher elevations - Growth zones 3-5 and maybe 6
    It may be that they live where maple syrup can be made.

    In growth zone 9 (central Florida where I live) trees don’t go dormant and bark stays on whenever the trees are cut.
    When I lived in Maryland (growth 7) turners made natural edge bowl all year round with success in keeping the bark.

    I have a theory that the “dormant harvesting is best“ Only applies in some growth zones.

    What is your experience based on growth zone shown in the burpee’s map below?

    If you only do new bowls on late fall and winter harvested trees - what growth zone do
    you live in?
    If you turn NE Bowls with bark on all year what growth zone do you live in?


    93BAA288-0EA2-4543-8A7F-8D5D9055DA1B.png
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
    charlie knighton likes this.
  2. stu senator

    stu senator

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    I live in zone 10, s FL and most wood keep the bark if I turn with the wood fresh or wet. As it dries the bark tends to come off in turning.

    It stays on the turned bowl but that may be partially due to the ca adhesive i add at the the turning or the finish .

    Stu
     
    hockenbery likes this.
  3. charlie knighton

    charlie knighton

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    what about the buyer that gets tired of the piece and somehow the bark comes off and wants a refund.....ie re fun d
     
  4. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

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    I live in the south west edge of zone 3, which is about 85 miles due east of Fargo ND in the Minnesota lakes area so if I harvest a tree in the fall I have a storage facility for my turning stock right outside of my shop that is good until about late March. The maples do start to produce sap about the end of March.
     
    hockenbery likes this.
  5. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

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    Your theory discounts wood species and the difference between ring porous and diffuse porous trees.In diffuse-porous woods the vessels or pores are even-sized, so that the water conducting capability is scattered throughout the ring instead of collected in the earlywood. Not sure how to correlate that information to zones, because I'm not sure if deep south trees are more of one type than northern trees.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
  6. Tim Connell

    Tim Connell

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    I'm in the middle of zone 5 and most of my tree cutting takes place in fall/winter as that is when I have time.

    No problems keeping bark on, but everything gets CA to make sure.

    Two anecdotes and an amendment to Hockenbery's hypothesis.

    A year ago, lost a large Apple tree in a June storm. Had no time to process it then, so cut into lengths approx 4 ft long, sealed ends and stacked in machine shed. When I got around to making some live edge (No bark) bowls in March, I had a heck of a time getting the bark off.

    This March, cut down a couple of trees that were in my way. Cut during a warmer period and sap had started to run. Couldnt have kept any bark on if i wanted too. Cut another one of the same species in May after tree had leaves, and removing bark was a chore.

    My amendment is easiest to keep bark on when trees are dormant, but not hard as long as sap isn't running at maximum in early spring.
     
    hockenbery likes this.
  7. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    I live in zone 8 and have not had a problem with NE , not that I have done a lot. I just last month turned a thin Live Oak NE and had no problem with bark. The strange thing was that the tree had been down maybe 3 months. Of Coarse used CA on cambium . By like circumstance I have cut some trees in the early spring and the bark practically jumps off. To me the big problem is when part falls off and then to finish getting theww bark off is a real job. I know not as scientific as Al wanted it to be,:)
     
  8. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

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    I've just chalked it up to luck. I've had it stay on old punky stuff and had it fly off green stuff. Stay on secure on one half of the log and fly off the other half. Maybe bad technique on my part. I'm sure there is something to the science of it but beyond me. I've also had a big piece fly off and then have a heck of a time getting the rest of it off. I save the cutoff pieces and often do bark repair after I'm done and before sanding. I'm almost always surprised at how well you can find a piece that matches, oriented the right way, trim with a razor knife and put it on with CA. It's not uncommon for me to have a hard time finding it once done and sometimes I can't. I keep a box of cutoff pieces with bark and write what they are on them. I can sometimes find a piece in my box that matches perfectly. I am doing the upside down CA on them if I think it's a risk.
     
  9. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    As everyone knows, if you're going to cut new tipi poles, you need to cut them in May or early June, as the bark comes off easiest then. The lazy people who procrastinate have a heck of a time peeling their poles.

    The horticultural zone maps of the kind shown above are based on lowest winter temperature and do not distinguish areas that have earlier springs/later first frosts, from shorter growing season/longer dormant season areas. We don't get quite as cold as where Don lives, but our dormant season is probably 2 months longer.

    Almost all tree work is done in summer here, or when a heavy wet snowstorm in spring prunes the trees for us (think hurricane season, Al). We don't get trees during the dormant season very often.
     
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  10. Leo Van Der Loo

    Leo Van Der Loo

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    My take on this is that in areas where there is a dormant time there s also a spring surge of growth, the early new growth where the cambium then is extra thick and weak, you would try to avoid this time to turn natural edge pieces to keep the bark on as there is a good chance the bark will come off.

    In areas where there is no dormant period the problem of the early growth spurt with the weak cambium would not be present and turning with the bark on would therefor be the same all year round, just IMO.
     
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  11. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

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    It has been many years since we had temps down to -35 so referencing your comment in a another thread we often have trouble keeping the riff raff out.
     
  12. Fred Belknap

    Fred Belknap

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    I have noticed that bark on hard maple(the kind that maple syrup is made from) almost always loses it's bark when it dries. The wood seems to shrink more than the bark. I do a lot of walnut NE and if the log lays on the ground for a couple of weeks the bark on the ground side wants to come loose. A very light cut with a sharp gouge helps too.
     
  13. Dave Bunge

    Dave Bunge

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    I'm in Zone 5. I've had similar experience with wood cut in early spring where I could pull of the bark with my fingers, no way it was going to stick. Wood cut in the summer will work ok, usually no problem, especially if I make the bowl soon after the tree is cut.

    For me, trees cut in the dormant season (Nov-Jan) work best. I think the bark is more firmly attached than in this summer. Also, since it's cold outside where the wood is stored, it ages better after it's cut. For example, sapwood stays whiter longer in cherry, maple, walnut.

    The tree services around here work almost up to Christmas time, so I've managed to get plenty of wood cut from dormant trees. There is even more wood available in the summer months and it will work ok too.
     
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  14. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    "35 below keeps out the riff raff" is the state motto of North Dakota. I just borrowed it.
     

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