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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Default Salt Cedar wood.

A significant invasive species in the Soutwest U.S. is the Salt Cedar, Tamarix aphylla also known as tamarisk. It is a major draw on scarce water resources and secretes salt, killing off other plants.

What is the quality of the wood of this tree? Is it suitable for woodworking? What is known about the toxicity of the sawdust?

My thought is that the trees could be harvested to extinction, and provide wood for woodworkers, creating an economic incentive and profit for the tree harvesters.

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Last edited by TWheels; 01-28-2010 at 05:00 PM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 05:11 PM
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From Wikipedia-

"There are several ways to deal with pest populations of tamarisk in the United States. The National Park Service has used physically removing the plants, spraying them with herbicides, and introducing the "tamarisk beetle" in the National Park System. This has been done in the Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and Colorado along the Green and Yampa Rivers, during the summers of 2006 and 2007. After decades of study, the National Park Service has found that the tamarisk beetles eat only the tamarisk, and starve when there is no more tamarisk available. No other native North American plants have been found to be eaten by the introduced tamarisk beetle. Progress is slow, but proves that containment of the tamarisk is possible in the long term"

This kind of scares me.... what if the beetle finds something else it likes?

The salt cedar looks more like a firewood tree than a lumber tree, I don't know if it could be used for anything other than small projects.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 06:15 PM
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I had friend send me some for pen blanks they turned just like regular cedar. Don't know if it is toxic just has salt in it. Unless the guy had other plans for me I think it safe I didn't get any side affects.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kp91 View Post
From Wikipedia-

"There are several ways to deal with pest populations of tamarisk in the United States. The National Park Service has used physically removing the plants, spraying them with herbicides, and introducing the "tamarisk beetle" in the National Park System. This has been done in the Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and Colorado along the Green and Yampa Rivers, during the summers of 2006 and 2007. After decades of study, the National Park Service has found that the tamarisk beetles eat only the tamarisk, and starve when there is no more tamarisk available. No other native North American plants have been found to be eaten by the introduced tamarisk beetle. Progress is slow, but proves that containment of the tamarisk is possible in the long term"

This kind of scares me.... what if the beetle finds something else it likes?
Doug, You raise EXACTLY the concern with introducing new species to control introduced invasive species. The "tamarisk beetle" will evolve to expand their food sources, and the last thing we need is more beetles destroying trees.

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-attributed to Chief Seattle of the Native American Suquamish Tribe
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  • see MEBCWD's signature line; be certain brain is properly powered up and engaged
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-21-2012, 07:39 PM
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Default salt cedar

I am also curious if salt cedar is suitable for turning or routering... any one have an answer?
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-21-2012, 07:41 PM
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Glenmore:
How did they turn? On a scale of 1 - 10 with 10 being "very difficult" how would you rate it?
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-21-2012, 11:23 PM
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This is from the AgroForestryTree Database

"Functional uses
Products
Fodder: Tender branches and leaves provide high value forage, particularly during the dry period. However, a high salt content necessitates additional watering of livestock. Apiculture: Honey is dark brown with a minty aroma. Fuel: Burns reasonably well though slow to catch fire. Used for firewood and charcoal (calorific value, 4835 kcal/kg). Leaf litter and small branches burn poorly, perhaps because of their high salt content. It gives an offensive odour if burnt green. Fibre: The wood chips easily with little dust being produced. Chips are of good quality and colour, suitable for manufacture of particleboard. Twigs are used for basket making. Timber: Wood, close-grained, light-coloured, fibrous, fairly hard, heavy (specific gravity 0.6-0.7.5) strong, density of about 700 kg/m≥, high shock resistance, splits readily when first cut and polishes well. Useful for making ploughs, wheels, carts, construction, tool handles, brush-backs, ornaments, carpentry, furniture, turnery and fruit boxes. Tannin or dyestuff: Galls, mainly from flowers are used for tanning leather. The bark is also a rich source of tannin and mordant for dyeing. Medicine: Flower galls are used as an astringent and gargle, bark for treating eczema and other skin diseases. Other products: The tribe of Tuaregs in Niger sweeten the water with branches which carry manna."

So lets all make something from it to do our part!

Work safe, Have fun, Cut some wood.

Mike
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEBCWD View Post
So lets all make something from it to do our part!

Work safe, Have fun, Cut some wood.
And post up your results here!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 01:22 PM
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Cedars and other pines contain resins that make them resistant to microorganisms, fungi and other decomposers. They will take much longer to break down. Because they break down more slowly than a hard wood though, they should (in theory) deplete less nitrogen from the soil if you use as a mulch.

Thanks and Regards,
Tramond
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 02:02 PM
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I hope the tamarisk containment will be sooner than later.
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