Holly wood

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Roy G

Roy
Senior User
No, not in California. Cut down a holly in my backyard. Maybe up to 6" in diameter with some pieces 5' or 6' long. Any interest? Located over by east side of Jordan Lake.

Roy G
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
It'll be interesting to watch the discussion and responses. I played with some holly several years ago just for fun, but it ended up being an absolute bust. They were 4-6" d "trunks/stems" cut about 24" l. Left the bark on and coated the ends with Anchor Seal.

The wood cracked in a spiral just about the entire length and looked like a barber's pole. It was a fun experiment overall.
 

Matt Furjanic

Matt
Senior User
Next time, wait until winter. Holly cut when the sap is flowing will probably not stay white. The sap ferments and turns the holly gray, greenish, or bluish mostly gray. Holly should be harvested in the dead of winter, and immediately put in a kiln to dry before the sap ferments. You may get lucky - so good luck and let us know how it goes...
 

Jerry C

Jerry
Senior User
I processed and dried a 13 inch diameter holly log last winter. The wood was not processed as soon as cut so the color is not ivory. The color on a board or two I have processed is a mottled white with some streaks. The holly wood is silky smooth when planed. Holly is so knotty and twisty it is hard to find a piece over a few feet long and 3 to 4 inches wide that is clear. I estimate the clear yield will be less than 20% and that will be short narrow boards. I think the wood I have will be a good wood to experiment with dyes. I have read that holly is a good wood for dyeing. I estimate I have 20 board feet of clear wood and 80 board feet of knots. That is why clear, white holly is so expensive...low yield and difficult to process.
 

Roy G

Roy
Senior User
Ken has it right. All the holly I have ever gotten was in small pieces. I figure there are pieces maybe 2 or 3" wide by several feet long that will come out of the tree. Also, SWMBO decreed the tree must come down.

Roy G
 

sawman101

Bruce Swanson
Corporate Member
I like using holly for pen blanks, it comes out looking like ivory! I cut some holly 2 years ago that I ended up chucking in the stove. Next time I'll try cutting it when the temps are at the coldest for the year.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Guess I have my todo for January, I'll try for a mix of turning blanks and some small pieces
What about that all important rapid kiln drying to prevent the widely reported discoloration of holly? Maybe just take a chance with air drying and not worry about it. It'll be what it is and still not a wasted effort/experiment.
 

scsmith42

New User
Scott Smith
What about that all important rapid kiln drying to prevent the widely reported discoloration of holly? Maybe just take a chance with air drying and not worry about it. It'll be what it is and still not a wasted effort/experiment.
Jeff, it's a tricky kiln schedule to prevent holly from staining. The most successful methods involve felling the trees in a very cold portion of winter, milling them immediately, treating them with a fungicide (dip tank) immediately after milling, and then placing in a kiln asap.

Initial kiln schedules are ripe for mold development, so the dip is critical. Alternatively air dry for 60 days in the coldest portion of winter and then go into a kiln.
 
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