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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I mentioned red mulberry in a reply to Norson's post about Osage Orange. Thought it would be worth sharing a pic of some to show its coloration.

One portion of the pic shows a portion of log cut down about 3 1/2 years ago, w. the grain exposed to air for the last year. The other portion shows a younger branch cut last year, and sawn across in the past few days.

The darkness of the older heart wood is obvious, while the mild yellow of the fresher wood contrasts. A few pieces I've carved during the last year, and finished w. layers of oil seem to be retaining their golden hue long than bare wood.

Plant Wood Trunk Ingredient Tree
 

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What a contrast! I don't know if I have got the wrong end of the stick (old English saying "have I made a mistake") here gdenby, but are these two timbers from the same species of tree? They look so different. N.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What a contrast! I don't know if I have got the wrong end of the stick (old English saying "have I made a mistake") here gdenby, but are these two timbers from the same species of tree? They look so different. N.
Yes. The quality of many woods depends on the speed of growth. Mulberry can grow very quickly if there is sufficient moisture and light. When it grows at its fastest, it forms a very pale heartwood. I've seen logs about 8' across that are almost all sapwood. When it grows more slowly, it forms heartwood more like other trees. In the case of the 2 piece I posted, the dark one was from a large old tree that had been growing in the shade for at least 30 years. The paler piece was from a tree that was cut back to near the ground, and was in the open. Having no competition, and a well established root system, It regrew to more than 12" tall in less than 10 years.

With exposure to the air, it will darken more, but I don't expect it to ever become as dark as the wood from the slower grown tree, which was already a deep brown when cut down.

Its distant relative, Osage Orange, has a brilliant yellow heart wood when fresh cut. Very striking. With time, to color becomes ever darker. The piece I have that was cut in the mid-1970s has places that are deep red brown, somewhat like old mahogany.
 

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I have a few chunks of mulberry a friend gave me. I love the yellow of the fresh cut wood but it does darken with age. Mine came from an older tree. Mulberry doesn't grow naturally here. The wood came from a tree on my friend's farm that was planted probably 100 years ago or longer. I'm 50 and I used to climb the tree as a kid. It was big then.

Rodney
 

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A good contrasting timber in the UK is Laburnum, it has a dark heart with a very light coloured outer casing an the grain within the heart is beautiful.
 
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