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Senior Sawdust Sweeper
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I found a dead branch under a tree in the back yard that was beautifully spalted. I've gotten a collection of slabs and one good bowl blank from a crotch with lots of color. Only problem is knowing what the tree is. From my online searching I've narrowed it down to a white elm or a birch tree, but because theres no leaves on the tree, only some dead ones from the ground I can't be sure what I have and the wood being completely spalted I can't use that to id it. Anybody know what details to look at to figure what I have?
 

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All of the birches (Betula sp) have "paper" bark which should peel off in paper-like strips.
The elms (Ulmus sp) have typically furrowed bark.
Reads that you have pieces big enough to see this difference.
 

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How common is birch in your area? As Robson says, the bark is quite different on the two trees. Both will spalt, but birch will spalt or rot much more quickly than elm. How about a photo of the tree that the branch came from?
 

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Senior Sawdust Sweeper
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Discussion Starter #4
All of the birches (Betula sp) have "paper" bark which should peel off in paper-like strips.
The elms (Ulmus sp) have typically furrowed bark.
Reads that you have pieces big enough to see this difference.
This tree has furrowed bark so it must be an elm. Thanks, those details weren't included in the results I got back from my online forays.
The branch had been on the ground for a year or two and is pretty punky but I think it'll make it. Soon as I can get the pics out of my phone I'll post a few. I plan on stabilizing the rough cut bowl and some pen blanks soon.
 
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