When I bought a house in Kenai, AK about ten years ago, there was an old birch tree in the back yard. It had been a forest tree, but when the tract was developed for houses in the 1970’s, it lost most of its forest support. It had partially blown over and then rejuvenated itself with a massive bend in the wood and a burl on the side. It was, frankly, ugly – all spalted and misshapen. However, it was a live tree and it wasn’t doing any harm so I left it. Eventually it died after a very hard winter. I chainsawed it into firewood, except for the spalty and burly bend, which I had a friend cut into boards. After a couple of years in my garage, the best of the boards became a little Shaker candle stand, about 25 inches high and about eighteen across. Another one became a gift box I made for my husband one Christmas.
Most of the rest of the boards from this tree are being worked into inset panels in a mahogany bar in the entertainment room of the house I live in now. It’s not done, but when it is, I’ll send a photo.
– Louise Heite, Anchorage, AK