When I saw the maple tree being cut down, I couldn’t believe it.
This was a tree that I pass in my regular driving route, and I had admired the tree. There are not too many maples in this section of Florida, which has many more water oaks and pine trees.
This maple tree was in good health, with branches boasting healthy green leaves, and providing good shade in an otherwise open front yard.
I parked my car and asked the yard worker why he was cutting down the tree. He replied that was what he’d been hired to do.
As you might imagine, my next question was about what was going to be done with the wood. “Mulched,” he said.
I went home, changed into my woodworking clothes, got my saw and drove back.
Together, he and I cut the limbs and trunk into pieces. With each piece of the tree I could see spoons, bowls and knives evolving from the wood. He was glad to have my interest in helping with the wood, as it was an incredibly hot and humid day. I was looking forward to having such wonderful wood to work with.
I’d recently been part of an intense course on carving and creating wood bowls, knives and spoons. This wood was perfect for creating those kitchen items.
While I could readily see the tree was a maple, I had to wait to get home to my tree book to double-check and find out that it was a Red Maple.
I’ve been working on the wood when I have time, prepping it while it is still green. I’ve cut it into pieces. Some sections of the trunk can be split to create six spoon blanks. Other pieces are large enough to become turned or carved bowls. I’ve shaped out a few spoons and bowls with the axe. It’s a real workout in the humidity of a Florida summer.
The grain of this tree is wonderfully straight. The wood, after being debarked, is white and glistens with moisture.
I look forward to returning to the wood — hoping to keep it moist enough to allow me to carve more spoons and bowls.