Author Topic: dutch elm  (Read 1179 times)

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Offline bushboy

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dutch elm
« on: September 17, 2016, 11:03:46 am »
I was gifted a piece of land with a good number of white elm.last time I went out it looked like D/E has taken I firm grip,dead leaves and such. I cut what looked like a healthy tree and under the bark looked this?is the wood still bow worthy?this land is quite remote and surprise me with the blight.
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Offline bjrogg

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Re: dutch elm
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2016, 11:12:48 am »
I don't know but have often wondered the same. I asked Marc. once about trees standing with bark off. When you cut them with chainsaw they are so hard it's like glass. He said that powder post Beatles would probably have ruin them that they really like the dead elm. It seems like around here they get about the right size to make a few bows and the Dutch elm gets them.
Bjrogg
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Offline Frodolf

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Re: dutch elm
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2016, 02:16:21 pm »
I've made a few bows from infected/dead elm. Works fine depending on how far along the disease has come. If it's early on, it works. Then it's just the outermost 2-3 rings that are affected. Remove those infected rings and you've got healthy wood underneath. I'm not sure, but I would even guess that the infected outer rings are good as they are, given, again, that it's early in the process and no real rot has begun. That's just a guess, but the infected wood still feels quite strong when you cut it off. Probably differs from tree to tree though. 

So the answer is, you probably got some decent bow wood right there. A little more work than what elm usually needs, but good nonetheless.

Offline FilipT

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Re: dutch elm
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2016, 03:22:15 pm »
There is no healthy elm around me and I was always wondering if I should use them. They are hard as steel, difficult to split with axe but their bark is destroyed and they are pretty much dead man walking.

Offline Marc St Louis

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Re: dutch elm
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2016, 05:10:36 pm »
It does depend on how long they have been dead because it's  not just the powder post beetle, who's larvae loves the wood, it's also bacteria and Elm rots fairly quickly.  If the tree has just died in the last month or less then I would cut and split it right away and be fairly confident the wood would make a bow. 

I did cut an Elm many years ago, one of the best I have ever cut, that was live and it made some excellent bows but one bow, a recurve, had the handle pop right off at an early ring, Elm is ring porous.  I suspected at the time that the tree was infected and that's why the ring let go but it may have been something else.
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Offline FilipT

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Re: dutch elm
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2016, 05:15:57 pm »
Impossible to know how long they have been dead here, probably for years and they are still standing. Since I heard about this wretched disease (few years ago) elms didn't change, so I think it have been years.
Although I think I saw a half dead elm month ago, not sure.

Offline bjrogg

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Re: dutch elm
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2016, 08:31:29 pm »
Around here they still grow till about 8 or 9" diameter then the Dutch elm gets them. I don't know if it's true but someone told me they grow till they are old enough to make seed then the Dutch elm infects them. I would guess through blossoms. Many diseases that effect our crops enter plants through blossoms
Bjrogg
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Offline PatM

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Re: dutch elm
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2016, 08:38:51 pm »
You can get a pretty good idea of how long the tree has been winding down or actually dead by the general condition of the whole tree.

   The blight also affects the trees differently according to where they are. Apparently the blight came over to North America from Europe via Asia, became more virulent here and then was brought back to Europe and had an even more devastating effect than it did initially.

  It is far from overall lethal here. Some parts of Europe essentially have trees that are clones so there is no opportunity for resistant trees in that scenario.

  The blight is actually borne by a bark tunnelling beetle carrying the fungus.