#63: Redbud

Bird number: 96
Date: August 28, 2012
Wood: Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
Source: Neighbor’s tree

The people up the street had a Redbud tree that I always used as my indicator of Spring. When that Redbud tree started blooming, Spring had arrived. I even got a picture of the tree a few years ago, with Charlie looking happy in front of it.

The tree didn’t bloom this past Spring, which kind of threw me for a loop. Spring had arrived, but the tree was barren. It turns out that, like so many others, this tree didn’t survive the drought.

I saw my neighbor outside earlier this summer, so I stopped to introduce myself and ask if I could have the tree trunk. He was more than happy to let me come by and remove the tree, which I took back to the garage and proceeded to cut it up into smaller pieces.

The trunk of the tree was so rotten that I couldn’t use most of it. From all that tree trunk, I got enough wood for perhaps three birds. The rest of the trunk had been chewed up by bugs, and the limbs were too small to be usable. Even the “usable” pieces have rotted sections. It’s better than the last Redbud tree I got, though. That one was completely unusable, again due to rot.

Redbud trees are too small for the wood to be of any commercial value. I know of some people who carve it, but again, due to its small size it’s not typically available commercially. People who carve Redbud usually get it in much the same way that I did: they know somebody who’s taking out a tree.

I didn’t particularly enjoy carving this wood. The wood is unusually dry and the uneven hardness made it very difficult to work with. I wonder if the rot is common with Redbud everywhere, or just here in Texas.

I do have to carve one more bird from Redbud, to give to the neighbor who owned the tree. After that, I’ll have one more chunk from this tree. I’m thinking it’s going into the burn pile. I have too many good woods to carve to spend time with this stuff.