#36: Apple

Bird number: 58
Date: April 5, 2012
Wood: Apple (Malus domestica)
Source: Trade

I don’t know for certain that this wood is from Malus domestica, as it was labeled simply “apple” when I got it. But typically people will write “wild apple” or “crab apple” if the wood came from something other than a domestic apple tree. In any case, my understanding is that the wood from all of the Malus species is quite similar.

Like many other fruit woods, apple is very hard and difficult to carve by hand. To me, it seemed quite similar to apricot and pear. It’s beautiful stuff, though. The only other thing I’ve carved from apple is a small spoon about five inches long.

I like all the figuring in this piece. I’m not sure what caused all the different colors, but the result is striking. It reminds me a lot of the Apricot bird.

Apples are among the most widely cultivated fruits in the world, and almost all commercial production is from M. domestica. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of this single species, resulting in a dizzying variety of characteristics. But almost all of them come from trees of the same species that have been selected for particular traits. It’s kind of like dog breeds. The miniature poodle and the Great Dane are the same species but have much different traits due to centuries of selective breeding.

I really do like the appearance of fruit woods, and typically will take whatever somebody will give me. They’re a little tough to carve, but they hold detail well and look just beautiful.