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tree identification help

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by got wood?, Sep 7, 2006.

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  1. got wood?

    got wood? New Member

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    Along a run through my neighborhood I noticed a tree that I could not for the life of me identify. I poked around the net and did not find an easy way to reference this tree so I thought I'd post the question here as you folks seem to know more about this stuff than anyone I know. I live in Massachusetts and each time I see this species, I cannot help but stop and gaze. It is pretty large (3'+ diameter trunk & over 40' tall). It's most distinguishing characteristic (and what drew me to really wonder) is its long skinny seeds (I think?) that dangle all over the tree. They look almost like vanilla beans except longer. Imagine something the width of a finger except 12" - 16" long. They are green and fibrous. The leaf of the tree is a rather large spade shape, very broad and its bark is a gray rough texture. I'll see if I can get a picture of it if this is not enough to ID this tree. Does this ring a bell with any of you folks?

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  2. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    Let's see...how bout Northern catalpa. Google Catalpa speciosa and see if it looks like the tree in question.

    hth,

    joel
  3. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

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    I've seen it all over as well - I looked it up in my audobon book, but I forget what it is.

    my advice - get an Audobon tree book from the bookstore / library. it's in there.
  4. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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  5. got wood?

    got wood? New Member

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    jabush and Warren, you both nailed it! THanks so much! It's such a strange tree with those long dangly fruit and looks so out of place here in Massachusetts. The $100 question is...how does it burn? :)
  6. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    I have one of those trees. The flowers are nice.
  7. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    Catalpa trees are niec to look at , but in the fall they can be pain in the butt clean up. My dad tried to burn some,he didn't like it. Its not like burning oak or maple.
  8. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    My Mom is from the Buckeye State(Ohio) and they called them the Lady Cigar tree...
  9. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    If it's catalpa, and I think it is, too, it is among the lowest in BTU value. It's ranked with these species:

    Basswood, Buckeye, White pine, Cottonwood, Black willow, Catalpa, Hemlock, Yellow-poplar

    on this site: http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/for/for35/for35.htm

    We had a similar Catalpa tree in Louisiana when I lived there. We pronounced them Cuttobba trees, but we were dumb hicks. Once a year they would get covered with black catapillars (probably sphinx moth larvae). Those worms were the best catfish bait I ever found. Pick them off the tree, put them in corn meal so they don't sticks together, and into the freezer until you need them, I gair-own-tee. There may be better ways to preserve them, but that's all we could come up with.
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Den ya take dem worms outta dat freezer, toss'em in da pot with sum okra and whet ever done been left in the icebox. Den ya call Boudreaux and tell'em da gumbo's gonna be done soon and to grab a twelve pack a Dixie and siddle over dis way.
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