If a tree falls in the woods, will someone make it into a table or a timber frame?
Recently, a large tree was pushed partially over in a wind storm and I was given the opportunity to harvest it. It is a beautiful, double trunked cherry tree that measures approx. 30″ to 36″ at the base. At about 9′ up the tree or so it splits into two separate trunks. Each of those trunks average between 15″ to 18″. At 24′ from the base the two trunks are approx. 60″ outside to outside, and very parallel to one another, considering it is a tree. The wood for this 24′ is essentially clear of knots.
The cherry was leaning on two other trees when I came upon it. It is always a bit tricky felling a tree when it is hung up, but I was game to give it a shot. I made my wedge cut on the side where I wanted the tree to fall towards and started coming in with my felling cut from the back side, (after I moved my truck, trailer and skid loader out of the way). When I was getting close, I drove some plastic wedges in to the saw kerf to make sure that the tree would be urged in the right direction. After the wedges were driven in super tight and the tree started moaning and crackling a bit, I continued my felling cut inside of the wedges. Drive, drive, drive those wedges and cut, cut, cut, (cautiously) with the saw. One of the ways to know the tree is really committed to falling is when you hear progressive cracking accompanied with movement, but it’s hard to hear cracking over the loud scream of a chainsaw while you are wearing ear protection! I would cut, stop, drive and listen many times. Finally I cut all the way through and the tree still did not come down! No problem, I leaned on it hard with my skid loader, that’ll do it, not! The leaves and limbs would bounce and the tree even slid across it’s stump a bit, but was just not ready to leave the perch, at least not this day. I reluctantly packed up and left, knowing it was up to the next good gust for this to come down.
About three days later, one gust of wind came up and knocked this stubborn fighter to the ground. I brought all the equipment back to the sight and positioned my trailer in the receiving position. Now all I had to do was cut the tree into lengths and load it onto the trailer. The largest piece was the long forked piece that measured 24’6″ long and weighed much more than my very capable skid loader could lift. It, the cherry tree, was going to continue to resist my efforts to extract it from it’s home place. After lying four 6″ x 6″ beams on the one edge of my trailer like a ramp, I was ready to try again. Lifting one end at a time onto the ramps was the way that I finally coaxed the tree onto the trailer. It did slide partially off of the opposite side in it’s final act of defiance to my removal plan. After reorienting it on the trailer and loading some of it’s kinfolk on top, we were off to the sawmill.
My original reason for harvesting the tree in this form was for the purpose of using it as a vertical timber (post) with two sawn faces and the other two being “live edges” once I peeled the bark. I trucked the timber to the sawmill and we sawed it flat, creating two parallel faces. Now the beam is 10 3/4″ thick by 30″ at the base, approx. 60″ at the top and 24′ 6″ in length. It was at this point that the sawyer said, “you know what would be really cool Joe”? I bit and asked what; he suggested two cuts that would yield three, 3″ thick table tops that could serve in a conference table sort of a configuration. There are some pretty neat options like filling in between the two trunks with a piece of glass, steel, copper, carbon fiber, etc. You could also just leave them open in the middle and use it that way. Another option would be to cut it into two 5″ thick slabs and flip one so that they could join double end to double end yielding a table that would be 48′ long as a mirror image of half of itself.
The tree is currently for sale, and I have attached the info regarding it in case you, someone or some company you know, might be interested in purchasing it. It is expensive, but it is the only one like it in the world. Thanks for reading my story!
Below is copy from a site where I have the tree advertised. You will find the pricing as well as the description of the tree in this section. Best to contact me here at Wey Timber Frames if you are interested. The copy is redundant to what you just read here but it does address pricing and shipping. Thanks!
This is an awesome tree that I harvested in Maryland just a few years ago. It was pushed over a bit by a severe windstorm that came through. The stump was jacked up out of the ground leaving the tree in a situation where it would die eventually. I felled it and loaded onto my trailer in order to take it to the sawmill to have it sawn flat on 2 sides to use as a vertical timber in a timber frame home. After opening it up and seeing that it is absolutely gorgeous and very unusual in the fact that the two trunks stayed very parallel to one another, the sawyer suggested that it would make a spectacular table or tables for someone who wants something huge and unlike any other slab available. Guaranteed that there is no other slab like this around. There are plenty of beautiful, live edge slabs of wood available but not one like this anywhere. Currently it is 10 3/4″ thick, 24′ 6″ long and goes from 30″ approx. at the base up to 61″ outside to outside of the two trunks at the top end. The lumber is virtually clear and is just a monster. My loader in the pictures in the woods could not pick the tree up; I had to slide it up timber ramps to get it onto my trailer. It was very heavy even for the large forklift to handle at the sawmill. The tree can be purchased as one piece or we will saw it into at least 3 pieces for one or multiple buyers. Personally if I were buying it, I would take the whole thing since that would make the coolest table if you just left it 10 3/4″ thick. The center section between the two trunks where I am standing in the pic could be left open or a piece of glass, carbon fiber, steel, titanium, etc. could be fitted in so to make one large top connecting the two trunks. It would be perfect in a large conference room, as a totally cool dining table in a hunting lodge or in many other interesting applications. I can load the timber onto a trailer here in Maryland for shipping to your location. Shipping is not included in the price. I can send more specific dimensions and a few more pics or possibly a video if you need. The cost will be $33,000 per slab if we cut it into at least 3 sections and $93,000 if it is sold as one piece.