Well wadda y Know ?

Timbuck

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I know you are wondering how many ukes you could make with them
 
Ha. Just saw this on the news. Widely known as Wellingtonia here. I have several soundboards of uk grown stuff I’ve not built with yet. Very pink in colour and the stuff I have is very stiff and rings like a bell
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Please be aware that the trees mentioned in that original article are not the redwood that ones sees in commerce, or as instrument tops. The tress mentioned are more properly knows as giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum). The redwood used for instrument tops is from the coastal redwood, Sequoia sempervirens. The giant sequoias were not cut much as wood because the trees tend to shatter when they are cut down and hit the ground. The coastal redwood was harvested extensively and is still harvested to some extent. It grows much more quickly than the giant sequoia so these days there is even some second growth redwood.

I found a wonderful source of old growth redwood, old planks that used to be water tanks on top on New York City apartment buildings. Every now an then one found a plank that was perfectly quartersawn. The tanks were up in the air and water for 50 years or more, and who knows how long ago the wood was actually cut. The top wood can be very fine grained redwood. For example I counted (under a microscope) 351 growth rings across a 5″ board. Picture is of a .5mm pencil point.

I read a very interesting book about using tree rings to date things. "Tree Story: The History of the World Written in Rings" by Valerie Trouet, I highly recommend it. Dendrochronology uses the changes in the width of tree rings (wide in good years, narrow in bad years) to place a tree exactly in historical dates, given a database of tree rings that starts at the present. I wrote to her regarding getting the redwood dated. I had one plank that was 11 inches wide, with very narrow growth rings so there were 755 growth rings across the plank. I sent Ms. Trouet a sample and she was good enough to date it. The wood grew from 979-1734 AD and she added that these dates were 'solid' meaning that the tree ring patterns matched up with the historical database very well. This means I am building instruments with wood that grew 1043 - 288 years ago. Pretty humbling.
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I live in the county of Shropshire, England and enjoy walking in parkland and woodland where there is public access. There are many examples of Giant Redwoods to be seen having been planted about 160 years ago, as mentioned in the article to which Ken gave a link. At this age, they are mere saplings.

I knew that these trees are fairly common in this country but had no idea there were so many.

This is a photo of the trunk of one which grows just a couple of miles from where I live. Even though it is just a youngster, it is already taller than all the trees around it. Whenever I pass , I give it a nod of acknowledgement. It is not alone; there are several others in the same patch of woodland.
Giant Redwood specimen at Badger Dingle, Shropshire.JPG
 
Please be aware that the trees mentioned in that original article are not the redwood that ones sees in commerce, or as instrument tops. The tress mentioned are more properly knows as giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum). The redwood used for instrument tops is from the coastal redwood, Sequoia sempervirens. The giant sequoias were not cut much as wood because the trees tend to shatter when they are cut down and hit the ground. The coastal redwood was harvested extensively and is still harvested to some extent. It grows much more quickly than the giant sequoia so these days there is even some second growth redwood.

I found a wonderful source of old growth redwood, old planks that used to be water tanks on top on New York City apartment buildings. Every now an then one found a plank that was perfectly quartersawn. The tanks were up in the air and water for 50 years or more, and who knows how long ago the wood was actually cut. The top wood can be very fine grained redwood. For example I counted (under a microscope) 351 growth rings across a 5″ board. Picture is of a .5mm pencil point.

I read a very interesting book about using tree rings to date things. "Tree Story: The History of the World Written in Rings" by Valerie Trouet, I highly recommend it. Dendrochronology uses the changes in the width of tree rings (wide in good years, narrow in bad years) to place a tree exactly in historical dates, given a database of tree rings that starts at the present. I wrote to her regarding getting the redwood dated. I had one plank that was 11 inches wide, with very narrow growth rings so there were 755 growth rings across the plank. I sent Ms. Trouet a sample and she was good enough to date it. The wood grew from 979-1734 AD and she added that these dates were 'solid' meaning that the tree ring patterns matched up with the historical database very well. This means I am building instruments with wood that grew 1043 - 288 years ago. Pretty humbling.
View attachment 168501
That’s absolutely astonishing!
 
Please be aware that the trees mentioned in that original article are not the redwood that ones sees in commerce, or as instrument tops. The tress mentioned are more properly knows as giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum). The redwood used for instrument tops is from the coastal redwood, Sequoia sempervirens. The giant sequoias were not cut much as wood because the trees tend to shatter when they are cut down and hit the ground. The coastal redwood was harvested extensively and is still harvested to some extent. It grows much more quickly than the giant sequoia so these days there is even some second growth redwood.

Since we are on the subject of redwoods: The British call Sequoiadendron giganteum Sequoia wellingtonia in honor Wellington and his defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. Same tree. Americans, not being very fond of Wellington (you know that war thing and all), dropped the Wellington name and just went with sequoia.

The above says that they ( Sequoia sempervirens) are still harvested to some extent which is not really true: They are still heavily harvested (I have to dodge the logging trucks all the time) and are a big part of our coastal northern California economy. Also, there is a lot of second growth available true, but there is also 3rd, 4th and even 5th growth available because these trees grow like weeds and fast and it is impossible to kill them thus the name sempervirens meaning always living. The thing that kills them is drought and heat.

I know a lot of people like to use redwood for their tops and it works and I've done it successfully, but I just think that stiff spruce is hard to beat for tone and volume.
 
These are giant sequoia. The coastal redwood are the tallest... the giant redwood are the most massive. They are giant!!!!! In California, they are found at Sequoia National Park as a main feature and the Mariposa Grove at Yosemite Park.

Here is a photo (from the internet, not mine):

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Wow! Cool stuff...

FYI: There is also a third type of redwood that was discovered in China not that long ago called the Dawn redwood. The school by where I work planted one they the opened in 1974 and it's over 100' tall now. Dawns are the slowest growing of the three types. If they ever cut it down I will pounce!

My (not yet) wife and I planted a coastal variety in my parents front yard in 1980. A knee high thing in a coffee can that her dad dug it up in Guernville, it stands 100 tall today. It terrifies the neighbors...

BTW: Gurenville CA if home to one of the largest and most accessible coastal redwood groves anywhere (You can ride up in a wheel chair to a 3000 year old tree). And it's way less crowded that the more famous neighbor Muir Woods. Bring a jacket with you if you visit.
 
Just up the road from my house here in Mendocino county stood the tallest tree in the world at 371 feet tall. Then the top blew off and they found one in Humboldt county which is even taller at 380 feet. So the second tallest tree in the world is just up the road from my house in a place they call Montgomery Woods. It is a very tall tree. Also nearby are hot springs where people get naked and look at tall trees. Better than Sonoma county.
 
Speaking of whine, just up the road from me here in Santa Cruz county is California's oldest state park, Big Basin, and it has many many coast redwoods that survived the major fire that burned down all the historical buildings. And just up the hill from me is Henry Cowell Redwoods state park that has the prettiest redwood trees.

p.s. we have the best surfing too
 
Please be aware that the trees mentioned in that original article are not the redwood that ones sees in commerce, or as instrument tops. The tress mentioned are more properly knows as giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum). The redwood used for instrument tops is from the coastal redwood, Sequoia sempervirens. The giant sequoias were not cut much as wood because the trees tend to shatter when they are cut down and hit the ground. The coastal redwood was harvested extensively and is still harvested to some extent. It grows much more quickly than the giant sequoia so these days there is even some second growth redwood.

I found a wonderful source of old growth redwood, old planks that used to be water tanks on top on New York City apartment buildings. Every now an then one found a plank that was perfectly quartersawn. The tanks were up in the air and water for 50 years or more, and who knows how long ago the wood was actually cut. The top wood can be very fine grained redwood. For example I counted (under a microscope) 351 growth rings across a 5″ board. Picture is of a .5mm pencil point.

I read a very interesting book about using tree rings to date things. "Tree Story: The History of the World Written in Rings" by Valerie Trouet, I highly recommend it. Dendrochronology uses the changes in the width of tree rings (wide in good years, narrow in bad years) to place a tree exactly in historical dates, given a database of tree rings that starts at the present. I wrote to her regarding getting the redwood dated. I had one plank that was 11 inches wide, with very narrow growth rings so there were 755 growth rings across the plank. I sent Ms. Trouet a sample and she was good enough to date it. The wood grew from 979-1734 AD and she added that these dates were 'solid' meaning that the tree ring patterns matched up with the historical database very well. This means I am building instruments with wood that grew 1043 - 288 years ago. Pretty humbling.
View attachment 168501
That is absolutely fascinating. If the tree died 288 years ago, do you think it stood for another couple hundred years before it was harvested?
 
I have had wood from several watertanks and furos here in Hawaii. It has always seemed too brittle to use. I think, with no scientific evidence, that the years of soaking changes the nature of the beast. The high priced wood cut from logs submerged in Northwest rivers for years seems brittle to me too.
 
The high priced wood cut from logs submerged in Northwest rivers for years seems brittle to me too.
I really think you are onto something here Bob. All I've ever used is "sinker" redwood and it does seem a little brittle to me too. Maybe this is why I never cottoned to the tone. It would also chip pretty bad sometimes.
 
I really think you are onto something here Bob. All I've ever used is "sinker" redwood and it does seem a little brittle to me too. Maybe this is why I never cottoned to the tone. It would also chip pretty bad sometimes.
It may be a little more brittle though I have no sense of comparison as the only redwood I have used is the water tank redwood, what I call 'sinker redwood from up in the sky'. One does need to handle it gently but it is my favorite top wood because I like a deeper, rounder, low-G sound. It is very light in weight which I think allows it to resonate well.
 
Wellingtonia top, yew body ,alder neck- all sourced in the UK, & Shri Lankan ebony. Collaborations test piece.432477028_10161447226971031_9214362908756153244_n.jpg
 
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