Out on a Limb: Are We Friend or Foe To the Trees?

By Christopher Schwarz
Page: 12

From the April 2009 issue #175
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Sometimes when I’m on a walk with my children, they’ll look up into the leafy branches and ask: “What kind of tree is that?” To which I’ll reply: “Beats me. Let’s cut it down and find out.”

After a tree has been felled I can show you the difference between red oak and white, beech and birch, soft maple and hard. But when the tree is thriving and shrouded in green, I struggle to tell the difference between a willow and a walnut.

Like me, most woodworkers have an odd relationship with the society of trees. On the one hand, we are their ultimate destroyer.
We prize the carcasses of the oldest trees with the straightest and widest trunks that are unmolested by disease, insects or barbed wire.


From the April 2009 issue #175
Buy this issue now