Tree Identification

Tree cut up on the side of a road by my work. Thinking of taking the trunk pieces for bowl turning.

I’m horrible at species identification, can anyone tell me what kind of tree this is and if it would be good for bowl turning?

The bark and wood color/coarseness looks like cedar elm to me. If you can get a look at the grain, it is rather distinctive since it is cross-grained.


I will try and go check out the grain in a minute. Do you know if it is any good for turning?

Read the wood database page for info:

FWIW, that site is a valuable resource for reviewing wood species in general.

Interlinked or cross-grained wood is hard to split - this is a good feature for mallets and blacksmithing stumps. On the other hand, it can make turning challenging. Doable, but challenging. Makes for more interesting figure in the wood, though, so it might be worth it.

Bois d’arc (aka Osage Orange) and several elms have this feature.


I think you nailed the identification, looks cross grained to me.

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I don’t know much about wood so I looked it up to learn more. I think this stuff is cool. Pecan leaves look like a different shape (going off of the leaves behind the trunk in the photo).

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I’d like to make cookies out of these. Are there any left?

It’s Elm no doubt, not quite as red as the cedar elm I’m use to seeing but could be.

There is an app called Leafsnap, that might be able to help with the identification. I’ve had the app for years and I forgot I had it until Luke said something about the leaves.

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What diameter cookie are you looking for? I can see if there are any left today.

All sizes. I can pick them up too, I got a work truck

@indytruks138 - Elm turns beautifully but…because it will tend to split if you rough turn…and wait…I suspect, but am not sure, that it has to do with the shrinkage ratios…Going back to the wood database,, and scroll down to the comment by the guy named Efram.

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I have only turned elm once and its one of my favorite bowls. I turned it thin when the wood was very green and just let it warp as it dried. It went in like 3 directions. Plus it turns like butter.

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There is also an app called Vtree from Virginia Tech. Leafsnap is excellent also.

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