Jewel-like boards take effort to prepare but are worth the trouble
Synopsis: Jon Arno has worked with orchard wood for decades, and he shares his affection for them here. It does require effort to prepare the wood, but he offers tips on using the wood so you can benefit from the lovely figure, too. Most fruit and nut trees actually come from just three botanical families. Growing trees for fruit gives the wood a beautiful marbled appearance, though heavy pruning can lead to the formation of reaction wood, which is prone to shrinkage. Arno also offers side information on drying orchard wood.
We were driving along a rural road near Traverse City, Mich., four teen-age boys in a new, 1957 Pontiac station wagon, on our way home from a camping trip. Cherry trees peppered the rolling landscape, and along the side of the road were scattered piles of orchard trimmings. Cut to firewood length, the wood was being thrown into the…