« #The idea of counterinsurgency is deader than Osama Bin Laden - Paul Mulshine | Main | Pakistani Leader Rebuts Criticism Over bin Laden - WSJ »

08 May 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

John Minnerath

Beautiful work.
And fantastic woods.
Osage Orange is one of my favorites, when I was building Bamboo fly rods I used it for reel seats.

The Twisted Genius

Craftsmen like Dennis are treasures. His bird houses have intrigued me since PL first posted a picture of one over a year ago. I'll be looking for him. I encourage everyone to seek out these craftsmen and craftswomen not just for their creations, but to chat them up. They are invariably wonderful people to know. You will not be disappointed.

Charles I

Mmmmmm mushrooms. Never encountered Indian Cigar Tree or Osage Orange. My dad was a lumberman, carpenter and carver of both rustic and fine crafted furniture and cabinetry, as well as occasional object d' art. Sadly, my skills, particularly his astounding fine joinery are not of his calibre, tho he did teach us as well as we would learn, to my eternal benefit.

Today it'll just be a little cedar gate for the cottage garden. I have a massive Tamarack felled last spring I'll be culling slabs from for a couple of tables for one of the docks. The blackflies have just started to appear, so I'd best get offline and out to it!

Especially as yesterday was so fine all I managed was to hang all the bird/hummingbird feeders before succumbing to the chair and the view. . . .

Patrick Lang


"Indian Cigar Tree" is also known as "Catalpa" or "Catawba." pl


I love running my computer plastic junk on real furniture. Guess which one will be around 10 years from now.


Craftsmen. Fantastic.

Charles I

Pat, thanks, Catalpa has pods no?

Patrick Lang


The trees of that kind on my farm had pods. pl


Yes, it is "made in Minnesota" but you should check out the excellent book "Woodworking for Wildlife" (http://www.amazon.com/Woodworking-Wildlife-Homes-Birds-Mammals/dp/078812319X). It isn't just for Minnesota wildlife, and has several revisions to improve the designs for attracting and protecting the desired species. It's even endorsed by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/habitat/habitat-at-home/making-bird-house.asp)....


I didn't know a catalpa tree was known as an Indian Cigar Tree. We had a huge one in the front yard where I grew up.

Osage orange is a hedge tree. It'll dull a saw faster than anything. I've always heard if you have to split it, do it when it is frozen. It makes a roaring, popping fire.

John Minnerath

The Osage Orange/ Hedge Apple can reach stately proportions. After Korea when my Dad returned home he was assigned to Ft. Riley. They had planted Hedge Apple all around there. As shade trees and lining streets and boulevards.
They were huge. One of the things I remember from the time we were there were the battles us kids had with the grapefruit sized fruits.
It's an amazing wood, Extremely heavy and can lie on the ground forever without rotting, great firewood except for the sparks and sure will dull a saw. I believe the fumes coming off a power saw blade are also supposed to be poisonous.
I found out after working with it that the beautiful golden orange color will get darker and darker with exposure to sunlight.

Patrick Lang

John Minnerath

I understan that Osage Orange trees exist in vast numbers in the USA, many of them having been planted in the '30s as barriers against erosion. pl


I love that Dennis doesn't offer a website. "Just call me at home."

John Minnerath

Yes,the tree is native to parts of Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
It was found to be highly adaptable and is fast growing.
During the WPA it was widely planted as shelter belts and wind breaks.
Planted closely it grows into an impregnable hedge.
A few people tried to get them started here, but I guess the high altitude is just too much.
Highest BTU content of any wood in NA.


The hedge tree is amazing. I've never known of one dying. I heard the were used for hedges because you could cut one and stick it in the ground and it will grow.

John: your hedge trees at Ft Riley are about 150 miles west of me. They are one of the last trees to leaf out in this area which leads alot of fools to think they are dead and try to cut them down, much to their sorrow. And yes, that wood is orange colored and I love the smell of hedge balls.

The Twisted Genius

I had to look up the Indian Cigar Tree. Once I saw a picture, I remembered a large one near my old grammar school. As any kid would, we always played with those huge seed pods... had countless sword/knife fights with them. Not far from that tree was a massive choke cherry tree. We would use the many burls as foot and hand holds to climb it. I get feeling that John Minnerath would appreciate the wood from both those trees.

Russ Wagenfeld

Hi Pat,
Just inside a chain link fence there were Indian Cigar Trees surrounding the play ground of the elementary school I attended. Great fun to climb at recess when the teachers weren't looking....

Jim Ticehurst

Thanks for sharing the Wood work pictures Col..I Love natural wood Products like this...There are shops along the Oregon Coast from The Giant Redood Forests down South by California on up the Coast...many have Beautiful Wood Furniture of all kinds..From Beds to Chairs..to beautiful Wood Burl Bowls and Vases..With fantasic colors and finishes..Nice we share this interest in Common Pat...Enjoy your nice new Pieces..

Outdoor Garden Furniture

Thanks for such an informative post. I have come across such a nice blog post on this rare topic after quite a long time now.

John Minnerath

The nice thing about threads like this is we get to see the beautiful workmanship and artistry of folks like Dennis Funck.
And read comments by others who appreciate what grows around us, giving us a break from the constant questions of how to deal with the rest of the dangerous world.
I'd like to be wandering down along the Wind River this morning, but I'm sitting here watching the snow come down and looking over at the Cottonwoods along the river wondering when there will finally be a tint of green.

William R. Cumming

I have felled cherry and persimmon and other woods and anyone is welcome who wishes wood for free. Contact me for directions at [email protected]. Carvers and turners also welcome.

Oh and some chinese chestnut and black walnut.

William R. Cumming

Also smoked many catalpa pods as a youth. And the worms found on them (actually caterpillars) make fantastic trout bait. Where live bait allowed.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad