#57: Pecan

Bird number: 89
Date: August 8, 2012
Wood: Pecan (Carya illinoinensis)
Source: Back yard

When we bought the house in 1995, there was this little pecan sapling out behind the garage, surrounded by a couple of mesquite trees and an ashe juniper. The tree couldn’t have been two inches in diameter and we questioned whether it would survive. It survived until last year, when the drought killed it off. When I took out the tree, I saved every bit of it that was more than two inches in diameter. The main trunk is about eight inches thick. It’s all in the garage now, drying.

Except for this piece.

I honestly had no idea that pecan was so beautiful. Most pictures I see show pecan to be a much lighter brown color, often with a reddish hue. This wood is much darker than most pecan I’ve seen. Nonetheless, it’s lovely stuff.

Pecan is a species of hickory. In addition to the nuts, of which the United States produces the vast majority (between 80% and 95% of the world’s annual crop), the wood is used in building furniture, for wood flooring, and for smoking meat. It’s also a fairly popular turning wood. The wood is very hard, typically requiring mallet tools or power for carving.

I have no idea yet what I’m going to do with all the pecan I have from that tree. I have a few years to think about it while the trunk dries.