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Has anyone used eastern cotton wood for stick making or carving? I read in the wood data base it is in the poplar family. I have used aspen for carving and have heard members of this forum say it makes a decent walking stick.

A developer is building a new subdivision close to us and is bulldozing through large stands of it. I have access to boatloads of arrow straight saplings. My only experience with it was 20 years ago cutting down several large cottonwoods when I was clearing my lots. As I recall it made fair firewood but was stringy, making it hard to split.
 

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At first, I wanted to use really strong woods. Along the way, I read that even mullien and yucca stalks make good looking sticks, as long as nothing hits them from the side. Now, I'll consider any wood, but I have one test I think is crucial. If the stick will flex when thrust down into the ground, even if it doesn't break, I won't use it. It may be that the wood will spring back, but my creaky old bones might not. I need something reliably rigid.

I've never carved cottonwood, but a few years ago a big storm ripped several huge ones apart. The wood did not so much snap, as shred apart. One tree produced splinters that started at 3' long. I suppose carving it would both be difficult, and greatly reduce the strength by breaking the long fibers.
 
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