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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter and I went stick collecting today at one of my favorite places.

Overall it was a good day but this was a little disappointing. I thought I found gold when I first saw it.

Plant Bedrock Grass Groundcover Slope Bedrock Wood Grass Groundcover Natural landscape

It's a big chunk of maple about 3 ft diameter and 3 ft long that's just loaded with burls. I had my chainsaw with me so I made a test cut. It's way too rotten to be usable. A lot of it is just spongy. It might be why it was cut off and left there to begin with.

We did end up with a good load of sticks. I think there are 37 or 38 total.

Wood Door House Twig Flooring

The group on the left are hazel shanks. There are 18 or 19 of them. The 4 on the far right are vine maple, including one that should make a good 1 piece cane, the rest in the middle are alder.

I'm not sure about a couple of the sticks. They were interesting and I like them but they may not end up as shanks.

I think one more good haul like this and I should have enough for next year. I plan to go back soon and stock up on more of the alder while I can.

Rodney
 

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Great stick harvest Rodney. And a fun family outing.
 

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The stick harvesting season (here in Ireland November to February) is proving difficult this year because of very wet weather. Underfoot conditions are bad and make the search tiring. Nonetheless, I have had a few very good days and attach some pictures of the 'haul' so far.

 

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Nice batch of sticks, Rodney. Now that hunting season is over I need to get back out there myself. Been collecting mostly exposed roots for handles, lately.

Shame about the burl being so punky. Something that size would have kept you in handle material for a while. I have a few more cherry burls which I think have unfortunately turned to dust with the bugs chewing them. I suppose it could be worth a try to stabilize them with resin and see what happens. If they're solid enough to cut, that is.
 

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Thanks, dww2,

As all of my sticks are exclusively one piece, the burl is always shaped to form the handle on the finished stick. Hence my motto for my sticks... 'created by nature - finished by hand'.
 

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That is a nice bunch of sticks, Paddy, but I was responding to Rodney's post about his stick collecting trip, and comparing notes, as it were.

And your " 'haul' so far" has an upload date of Dec 2013, so not really sure what's up with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's a nice bunch of sticks Paddy. That would be several years supply for me.

I think conditions are a little different for harvesting here. We don't coppice. The sticks I get the most of -alder- are saplings that grow in disturbed soil like the edges of logging roads. I got lucky on my hazel. While they're not great by British standards it's not that easy to get good straight hazel here. This variety grows wild and isn't a commercial species so it's mostly ignored.

I like one piece sticks but so far they've been a tough sell for me. I still make a few because I enjoy it but they're not my main items.

Is what you're referring to as the burl actually the root ball on your sticks? I know many times there is a burl at the roots. This particular piece I showed was on the trunk of the tree. The whole section was wrapped in them. If it was sound it would have kept me in burl wood for a long time.

Dana it's a shame about your cherry burls too. If they're sound enough you might be able to save them. It depends on the bugs. Some are more artistic than others. The ones around here are mostly hungry. A 6 inch trunk is big for the variety of cherry we have around here. I did find a few at a different spot that were cut and left by the road. I plan to go back and get them soon. There might be some good turned shanks there.

I've been getting handle material mostly from maple. I've been cutting crotch sections for the flame grain. Sometimes I get lucky and get some good curl too. I've also got oak and holly drying plus a few other random woods.

If I need to I can buy a couple planks but I enjoy getting my own.

Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We just went out to the same area this morning and got more. Mostly alder this time with a handful of maple thrown in. We didn't work very hard getting them and ended up with a total of 30 alder sticks and 7 maple this trip. Cold (23*F) and clear this morning and we were the only people up there. It was a good morning. I'm pretty well set for sticks for this coming year though I would like to get at least another 20 or so to start the year after.

Rodney
 

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Congrats on another nice haul, Rodney.

I went out for about 3.5 hours today too. Came back with 2 sticks and a couple of roots with handle potential. Perfect late fall day here: right around 30 degrees and sunny. Came across a huge old ash tree about 3.5-4 ft in diameter.
 
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