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I am a Missouri farmer for 39 years. The winter killed most all of my beautiful 35-40' crepe myrtle. What apparently hard wood! I wonder if anyone has any experience with it? How does it work? Does it have value? Suggestions?
 

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Welcome to the forum, Lester.

I understand it was a very severe winter....

A friend of my wife lives in the "Boot Heel" of Missouri....
 

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Hello Lester , Hope you like and enjoy the router forums make yourself at Home. :) Please participate by asking and answering questions, that is what makes this forum work!
Again welcome.
 

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welcome aboard..
 

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If its anything like the Myrtlewood in Oregon it is sought after for turning quality and making furniture. I thought it was quite rare only growing in Oregon and Israel so this must be a similar species.
Dennis
 

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Lester, Welcome to the Router Forums! I have done a good bit of work with Crepe Myrtle. It is an amazingly hard wood! I have worked with many species and of the ones I have worked with, it is undoubtably the hardest. I live in Auburn, GA, which for us was an 18 mile move from Lawrenceville, GA - which is called "Crepe Myrtle City".

Crepe Myrtle's are an amazingly drought-tolerant tree and many parts of Georgia are decorated with them - and many also "volunteer" as a result of the ornamental plantings. Because of their drought resistance - they are especially popular in and around parking lots - where there is often minimal rain-runoff. They bloom (here) in several colors - usually a color unique to a specific tree, but occasionally one will have blooms of two colors on the same tree.

I see Crepe Myrtle grown in two manners:
(#1) is my favorite. Just leave it alone and let it grow into a beautiful and magnificent tree. Eventually some of the extremely thin bark will begin falling-away and this simply adds to the character. These are the trees where the best "lumber" will be found.
(#2) is very common, but "tacky" in my opinion! Many people and landscapers cannot leave them alone and cut them back annually - this causes a "concentration of blooms" closer to ground level. It also causes the tree to appear like an arthritic spider.

The only way I have been able to work the wood is when it is green. "Green" crepe myrtle is still quite dry and still extremely dense and hard wood. Once it has air-dried for a few months - it is next-to-impossible to work with.

Predrilling holes is necessary for screws, nails or bolts. I imagine glues would work, because there is zero oily feel to the dried wood. MicroPlane makes a rotary cutter that works when chucked into a drill press - for smoothing edges. Without the very best of drill bits - it burns when drilled. Rip cuts and crosscuts must be done with a good safety plan because it will stall most saws. It dulls blades very quickly!

If you will cut it with a very sharp chainsaw into 4- foot pieces. Stack it somewhere standing on ends for a few months - you will have some beautiful logs for rustic furniture, or in my case - I use it in reptile cages.

Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia
 

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Ross
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Welcome to the forum Lester.
 
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