These two Stone Pines were and still are, landmarks on the flat swamp plains of Cardinia Shire. Dwarfing all other trees, their mushroom like canopies can be seen for miles. Stone Pine, Umbrella Tree, Pinus Pinea , whatever you like to call it, is a very firm pine, once used as a ship building timber and obviously most noted for producing delicious ( & expensive ) pine nuts. It hand planes beautifully and saws and dovetails equally well. Nice stuff indeed.
2 Poplars with a Pin Oak in the middle of a very large and long tri-axle trailer
Yesterday after picking up 2 massive Poplar logs and a Pin Oak from Woodend ( more on that in another post ), I travelled to the historic Pendleside property in the Yarra Ranges. On this magnificent property, on the outskirts of Woori Yallock, stands some of the most fantastic specimens of european trees in the district. Unfortunately some of these grand old trees have succumbed to the drought just passed and now our hottest summer in recorded history.
Amongst those that have either fallen over or simply died where they stood, was every last specimen of Stone Pine on the property. Very sad indeed. But, the reality is that trees are living things and as 'they' say - The meaning of life is that it stops.
And when these Stone Pines stopped, Dad was called in to mill them for the owner of the property on a fifty fifty basis. The trees are milled free and payment is half of the milled timber. By the time I got over to Woori Yallock in the afternoon, Pendleside's milling was complete and Dad had begun to mill his portion. Amongst his 'lot' was this monster.
At 13 metres ( 42.5 feet for my U.S. friends ) long, 900mm+ ( 35.5inches ) at the butt and 850mm (33.5inches) at the crown, it was immense! Here you can just see Dad in the distance and Pendleside's farm manager Carl with his foot up on the crown end. It's a big twig! Apologies for the poor photo. iPhone with a scratched screen!
Between Dad, Carl and myself we milled half a dozen or so of the smaller Stone Pine logs you can see in the background until about 6pm when we were all well and truly exhausted. The big twig however was docked into 3. Today, Dad had a mate with a crane truck collect it and freight it down to the farm, where we can take our time milling it.
Logs like this don't grow on trees you know!
Here is a short butt section of one of the smaller logs I milled up just before we finished. Just on 600mm across at it's widest, about 1800mm long. Although not perfect, there are some nice sections for smaller chairs, such as fan backs, children's chairs and bar stools. I'm really looking forward to carving it as a seat stock. Having used it before, ( dovetailing it for boxes and drawers ) I'm figuring it should be somewhere between Eastern White Pine and Elm. That's my kind of pine.