Black Walnut - Fort Wayne, IN
Milled October 5, 2018
Turf Lane - Aboite Meadows Neighborhood
This tree was a couple of hours from being chopped up when I found it. I spotted a tree service truck down the street from my son’s daycare after dropping him off, and I drove by excited and curious to take a look (typical behavior from me). Things looked promising when I saw a decent sized black walnut in the backyard with a tree climber already topping it. This tree was noticeably healthy and lush. I knocked on the door and spoke with the owner explaining my interest in their tree. They were happy to let me mill the log on site (I lay tarps to collect sawdust, so I usually leave very little to no mess at all).
Upon telling the tree service to leave the log, they explained that the tree had a crack and a tree brace in it - I had no idea what they were talking about….and with a climber up in the tree dropping branches we couldn’t take a closer look at that time. I wasn’t too worried about it. After coming back the next day though, I found a massive crack running down to the halfway point of the trunk, as well as a threaded rod that looked like it was holding that crack together. Crazy!
It quickly became clear why the homeowner was cutting this gorgeous walnut down! Apparently additional tree bracing further up in the tree had given out making the tree a risk to the home it hung over.
A 10 foot log laid on the ground, but about 3 feet from the top was that tree brace - which definitely needed cut out before milling. With the brace section gone offering a peek inside, the wood had preserved itself very well despite exposure to the elements in that massive crack. A 7 foot log @ 26-29” diameter remained. Not bad, except who knows how stable the crack in all of these slabs will hold up through drying. I cut them thick at 2-5/8” in hopes that the extra stability will mitigate any aggressive warping.
The homeowner and I both had a history of working at Best Buy, and he was more than helpful when it came to moving slabs to my trailer - I even left some smaller slabs for him. Thank you, Michael and Courtney!