Full Chisel Blog

November 11, 2010

I Saved a Pine Tree

Filed under: Of Interest,Trees,Wood — Stephen Shepherd @ 6:35 am


On a recent trip to Reno, Nevada, while staying with my niece and nephew I noticed that a large pine tree [not a fir, spruce or larch] in their front yard was being girdled by a chain.  The chain had been put around the tree a couple years back and it is where they secured the dogs when they were out in the front yard.  I pulled on the chain and it was stuck solid.  My nephew and great nephew wheeled out the compressor and with an angle grinder cut a link then managed to remove the chain from around the tree with considerable effort.  The tree will survive.

And it got me thinking about my tree deficit.   How many trees have I used up in my career compared to how many trees I have planted?  Being a woodworker, I use wood and that does grow on trees, so how many have I used?

If I count the wood that I ‘worked’ while working for other people, during my apprenticeship as well as the other ‘cabinet shops’ where I have worked, the amount of wood I have ‘used’ would be nearly impossible to calculate.  Tens of thousands of board feet I am sure, but because I was working for someone else, they can have the lumber deficit; it will be on their ledger not mine.

In the late 1990’s, I planted 50 redwood trees and about 30 other trees on Orcas Island in Puget Sound in Washington state.  I assume most of them will grow to maturity.  I have also planted about 2 dozen trees of various sorts on my own in various places around Utah.  So if they all grow to maturity I am sure that my tree/lumber deficit will be augmented and my ledger should be on the positive side.

I calculate that I have used up about two very large pine trees in my personal woodworking as much of my work is repair work requiring insignificant amounts of wood.

How many have you used and what is your tree:lumber number?


1 Comment »

  1. This is a good topic for woodworkers. My wife and I made a big investment in land, 46 acres, back in 1979. We built a house on it (are still building, and now repairing!). The owner/builder aspect was my beginning as a woodworker. But, managing the land has brought me into another realm of woodworking, that is, forest stewardship. The land was about 75% agricultural. I reforested (black locust, white and red pine, black walnut, white oak, white and blue spruce) about 14 acres, planting over 8,000 trees, as well as working on the existing woodland, which is in the second growth stage.

    This “work” is really satisfying and, hopefully, will be remunerative to some extent, but I think the biggest motivation behind the effort is the perception that we Americans have a huge tree/lumber deficit.

    Comment by Tico Vogt — November 11, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

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