Help please Concerned about species

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Help please Concerned about species

Postby Richtea71 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:09 pm

I have been given some Logs, but before I do anything with it except the log burner, I would like to be able to identify it for safe spoon N bowls etc, Can you help me please, would hate to poison someone with a spoon I have made.... the cut wood has a strange smell a mix between strong spice / Curry and a slightly acrid chemical smell.

If memory serves me right , I think it was in leaf all year round, do you think it is Lime or Laurel...... hope you all don't mind me asking just would the to poison someone or myself....If anyone is near king's Lynn Norfolk I cold show you, and if ok you are welcome to have some.
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Richtea71
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Re: Help please Concerned about species

Postby HughSpencer » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:44 pm

Looks like it might be Laurel. If it is a true Laurel ( Laurelus Nobilus ) this is also known as Bay. Bayleaves are used in cooking. Crushing a leaf, dry or fresh will produce a pungent odour. I'd be happy making spoons out of Bay.

If it is false Laurel it won't have the same smell (you can buy dried bayleaves in the supermaket to compare). The leaves of mountain laurel and cherry laurel are poisonous so it might be best to avoid if you cannot positively identify it as Bay.
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Re: Help please Concerned about species

Postby Richtea71 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:59 pm

Thank you for your help,that's great....I try and get hold of some leaves if any left, the branches when fresh cut smell very spicy.
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Re: Help please Concerned about species

Postby Simon Hartley » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:27 pm

From the first photo, I reckon it is Euonymus japonicus, the Japanese Spindle. It is evergreen and the arrangement of the tiny flowers/fruit is quite distinctive. Not poisonous, but if the wood is as hard as the European species, then good luck carving a spoon out of it.
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Re: Help please Concerned about species

Postby Richtea71 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:15 am

Thanks for your help that's great, carving it so far hasn't been too bad.... but can be a bit tough so you are ore then likely correct with your identification.....thanks again
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Re: Help please Concerned about species

Postby woodness sake » Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:01 pm

Generally, the toxic levels of trees are highest in the most important or vulnerable parts; fruit, flowers, bark, and leaves. then, small growth like stems and twigs. The sap and heartwood of trees is least vulnerable and although important as support for the whole, it is not necessary in the short term function of the tree. As a particular example, Rhododendron toxicity is 15,000 times lower in the woody parts than it is in the greens.
As an aside, I was recently given some hemlock logs. The tree was lost to a lightening strike and the owner was wanting a spoon but thought it would be poison and useless as such. Poison hemlock is a herbaceous biennial (large weed), Conium maculatum. Hemlock tree, tsuga, is not poisonous in any part. A good comparison I found was comparing a rattle snake to a lemur.
In any case, it is a good idea to do some research in well informed and expert sources as to whether the material you are using is safe. Some woods, mostly tropicals, are indeed toxic. Also, everything else aside, almost any wood can become toxic if it is allowed to decay and become infested with fungus.
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