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Found this candidate on a scouting ramble through the woods. It's about 4' long gripped just below the big knot and is about one inch in diameter.

Harvest this winter or give it another year or so?

Ideas on an ID? Tried using the Virginia Tech vTech tree key with no success.

Edit: spending more time on vTree, I'm gonna make a guess on elm, possibly American or Slippery Elm

What to do with that knot? Kinda like it. If I let it grow another year or so should I seal the knot to avoid further disease or rot?

Plant Twig Terrestrial plant Wood Trunk

Plant Terrestrial plant Trunk Tree Twig

Plant Terrestrial plant Twig Groundcover Flowering plant
 

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Looks like a winged elm based on your pics of the leaves and your location in W KY. If you think it is big enough in diameter for your needs then harvest it this winter. Another years growth and the twists could be grown over, or another stickie might find it and take it home. Where did you say you found it? :sword:
 

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Note in this photo of an elm leaf how the base of the leaf is uneven; one side is larger than the other. That is always indicative of an elm. My guess is your tree is either a chestnut or one of several different oaks such as Sawtooth Oak or Chinkapin Oak.

elmtree-leaf.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
And... down the Internet wabbit hole I went. But I learned some new words: "Inequilateral
asymmetrical if folded along the petiole, also called oblique" as in Elm leaves. Petiole is the slender stem that attaches the leaf to the branch.

Still dithering over what I found, but I'll take another gander at any buds/leaf scars I can find this weekend.

Botany class was more decades ago than I will admit to here.....

Thanks to all!
 

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Whatever it turns out to be, that is a nice find. I think Lily's Dad's suggestion of chestnut is a strong contender. There is a smallish tree called an Allegheny Chinkapin (Castanea pumila) which I found in my National Audubon Society Field Guide to N. American Trees which looks very similar.

As for the knot, I'd clean out the really loose stuff then stabilize it with epoxy resin or CA glue. You could even epoxy into the hole a small shiny rock or something (seashell maybe or a coin) to add a fancy touch to the stick.
 

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If I could see a clean cross section cut of the branch, I could tell in a second if it was an oak. The rays that make for the shiny plates on quarter sawn red and white oak show up very well.

Oak rays -

Brown Table Natural material Wood Wood stain

The result of milling these rays on a tangent -

Brown Wood Beige Flooring Varnish

P.S. Ash looks similar to oak, but does not have these rays.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks! It's still fairly warm here, so I'll give it a few more weeks before harvesting. I'll try to post a pic of the cut once I get it down.
 

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Hunting trips have taken a new aspect for my wife and I. Over the weekend, we were deer hunting in South Arkansas and cut about a dozen sticks. Most were the normal stuff, sweet gum, sycamore, and hickory. We also cut a few holly that were fairly straight and a witch hazel. A lot of times we cut something we are not sure what it is but eventually find out with a little research. Part of the fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
.... A lot of times we cut something we are not sure what it is but eventually find out with a little research. Part of the fun.
Figuring out the different trees are definitely a large part of the fun. Scouted out a few more this past weekend and managed to get pics of the few remaining leaves, so hopefully have a decent trail to track them down.
 

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Hunting trips have taken a new aspect for my wife and I. Over the weekend, we were deer hunting in South Arkansas and cut about a dozen sticks. Most were the normal stuff, sweet gum, sycamore, and hickory. We also cut a few holly that were fairly straight and a witch hazel. A lot of times we cut something we are not sure what it is but eventually find out with a little research. Part of the fun.
Holly makes a great stick though if it's air dried you won't get the nearly pure white that kiln dried holly has. On the holly I've picked I found that the bark loosens up too much to keep the bark on when it dries. It also dries slowly.

Rodney
 

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The holly that we cut has the bark peeled off. The inner bark has a light green tint. I hope it holds till I begin sanding it. I'm thinking of putting some type of conditioner or absorbent on it to make the inner bark hold a little better. Any thoughts.
 
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