Where do we get our wood inventory? Anywhere and everywhere. Waiting in line at ‘What a Burger’ I noticed that the lot across the street was being cleared. At first I did not think there was much there, mostly small brush. Then I saw the sweet gum trees. One was already fallen by the heavy machine operator and the other was next on his list.
The man clearing the lot was very friendly and said I could take any of the trunks I wanted. Since he had the equipment I needed to take advantage of the situation. I grabbed my logging trailer and chain monkey wife and headed back over there. Within 20 minutes he had loaded two trunks on the trailer. I thought about getting a third but was concerned about the weight behind my truck and being able to stop in a safe manner.
Sweet Gum is native to warm temperature areas of eastern North America. You may not recognize the tree itself. The leaves are close in shape to a sugar maple. Fall color is variable but can be quite dramatic, with a combination of yellows, reds, and purples. Best way to identify a sweet gum is by the spiny brown balls of fruit it produces that drop off the tree over an extended period. The spines help protect the seeds from being eaten. If you step on them in bare feet you will not be happy.
Sweet Gum is considered a hardwood and can be used in all types of projects. I have no idea what I will do with this tree. Once I slab it up I can see the amount of variation in the wood grain and color. For now I will add it to my other sweet gum collection at the mill in Lometa, Texas.