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Northern Catalpa Wood

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Northern catalpa is known for its beauty and utilitycatalpas durable wood is often used for posts and railway ties. The wood mostly used for fence posts also has been used for railroad ties cheap furniture and interior finish.

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Northern Catalpa

I have cut up several hundred board feet of city catalpa over the past couple years.

Northern catalpa wood. Like with any other wood burning it green can possibly produce an unpleasant smell or cause creosote buildup in your chimney. The catalpa tree is found in forests from southern illinois and indiana to western tennessee and arkansas. Northern catalpa is very adaptable to adverse conditions but has weak wood and branch structure.

Catalpa is native to the central eastern united states but is naturalized throughout the united states and canada. It is a softer wood similar hardness to chestnut. The latter of which lead some to refer to the trees as the indian bean tree or the cigar tree.

The latin specific epithet speciosa means showy. Catalpa is a midwest native tree grows 40 to 60 feet tall with a narrow open irregularly rounded crown and spreading branches. People also have planted the northern catalpa as an ornamental tree for its showy spring flowers.

First cultivated in 1754 the wood was used for fence posts and railroad ties because of its resistance to rot and the trees fast growth rate. Catalpa speciosa commonly known as the northern catalpa hardy catalpa western catalpa cigar tree catawba tree or bois chavanon is a species of catalpa native to the midwestern united states. I find the grain is kind of ash like although the wood is darker and does not have any other characteristics of ash.

I love slabbing it its easy on the chains and it smells nice. Catalpa is a somewhat underrated hardwood not seen too often in lumber form. It has large heart shaped leaves and large clusters of fragrant white flowers.

The long interesting seed pods persist through the winter. Northern catalpa wood is fine to burn for campfires and in fire pits. Catalpa is a popular ornamental tree with showy flowers broad leaves and large characteristic bean like fruit.

As for burning it in a wood stove its best to season it first. Catalpa can be confused with sassafras due to its similarity in weight and color of the kiln dried lumbercatalpa much like sassafras is used as a substitute for american chestnut due to color and grain pattern similarities. In the landscape northern catalpa is very ornamental with large attractive leaves showy panicles of spring flowers and decorative hanging pods in the winter.

This is the favored food plant of the catalpa sphinx moth which sometimes strips a tree of its leaves.

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Catalpa Wood
Catalpa Wood
They can grow upwards of 70 feet
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