Saturday, 9 February 2013

For all those who don't know their ash from their elbow...

Just a quick one, really, to admit how woefully poor I am at identifying trees. "So what?" you might well ask. Well,it's really difficult being into wood turning and carving when you haven't got a clue what wood it is you're turning or carving. And if not difficult, then embarrassing at least.

I am slightly in awe, if not entirely jealous of those who can look at a tree or turn over a piece of wood in their hands and know exactly what it is. I'm not entirely useless - I'd be a pretty poor Englishman if I couldn't spot a common English oak, and I even know it's called Quercus robur. I can generally identify oak limbs and logs too. I can identify Horse chestnut, Sycamore, good old weeping willow, birch and generally know when a tree's a fruit tree, though until the fruit's on it I couldn't tell you what sort. I know hawthorn and Rhododendron, but that's about it - and then only with leaves on. Once a tree has shed its leaves, well, I'm pretty much lost!

Not really worth the trees that were cut down to make the paper it's written on!?

I have a couple of books that I take out with me, but they don't really help that much - I guess there's a limit to what you can learn from a book. I think what I need is a friend in the know, someone who can go out with me and teach me the ropes, a la "...that one with the broad leaves is a....and the one over there with catkins is a....."

Any suggestions?


  1. Be pleased to help you out but really depends on where you are located?

  2. Hi Mark, a really kind offer, but with me being in Leicester, with the exception of Northumberland, I think Sussex is about the furthest county away. Now that really would be a walk! Shame really as I'd love to see some of your spoons, sticks and other crafts. I'll perhaps have to head down your way during the summer hols. Thanks for following our blog. All the best, Richard

    1. Yup, that's a bit far really isn't it?, if you do find yourself down this way, let me know and i'll put the kettle on and get a fresh supply of wood in for carving.