OK. I confess. I’m cheating and taking this month off. It’s a Merry Christmas to me. I must admit that I am astounded with the number of newsletters I have crafted since October 2005, and I am incredibly humbled by the number of followers... a number that continues to grow daily.
Thank you people!
In my last newsletter, I tendered a request for stories: Have a Species that Excites………tell us why?!
In response, I received this email from Fred.
I like Black Locust. It's an Acacia, I don't know the Latin name.
When Bob Wyche and I started the first class at Silva Bay Shipyard School on Gabriola Island (boatschool.com), Bob had some Black Locust in his shed. We used it for frames in the two Whitehall boats we built that year. I should say they used it. I was the office and paper guy. Bob and the students built the boats.
Black Locust is not native to BC. It was planted for shade and as a decorative tree by early settlers. It grows well and quickly here. It is as durable as Teak, and steam bends a well as Yew. It's dense and hold fastenings very well. Acacia is also a very decorative wood, both in colour and in grain pattern. Smaller branches and crooks make decorative/structural knees to brace corners and shelves.
When I discussed the possibility to plant and grow Black Locust with Merv Wilkinson at Wildwood years ago, Merv said the root structure spreads and interferes with other nearby trees, so it's best planted as single trees or rows in open spaces.
I would like to see this useful species planted and used here to supplement the supply of exotic hardwoods that West Wind brings us.