Saturday, 21 July 2012

It reminds me.

The other day I was machining up some ash, and some of it had a grain pattern that looks a bit like olive wood. That is the reason some ash is called olive ash.

Now olive tree live a long time. They grow slow. They produce olives.  A couple of months ago I was on holiday in the northern part of Mallorca, and they have loads of olive trees there (as well as loads of orange trees).

The trees there looked very old. Big gnarly trunks. Thick branches.  Ancient trees. But also there were loads of trees that have had major tree surgery performed, just like in the UK when pollarding and coppicing managed the woodlands.

Have a look at this picture of one of the olive trees that has been pruned.

That is some serious cutting.  Now olive trees grow slowly, and those trees don't have many branches left. How long will it take before the tree will produce fruit again?  I dunno, but it could be years.  So if you grew olives for a living, it could be possible that a tree like this wouldn't produce olives in your lifetime. But don't quote me on this.  I am no expert.

I assume that all the tress go through pruning cycles. I guess it helps keep the tree living and producing strong new wood.  I guess that is why the olive tress look gnarly.

This begs a question. Do olive trees live this long because man has learnt how to increase their lifespan and usefulness through pruning?  Dunno.

I have not used any olive wood when making furniture, but I have used olive ash.  Here is a sideboard that is made from olive ash.

To see more of my furniture or find out more about me, then please visit my website.