Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


Bow stave / tree ID please

Messages posted to thread:
Tom McCool 08-Oct-17
fishin coyote 08-Oct-17
Michael Schwister 08-Oct-17
Tom McCool 08-Oct-17
BobG 08-Oct-17
BOX CALL 08-Oct-17
woodshavins 08-Oct-17
Dutch oven 08-Oct-17
mgerard 08-Oct-17
Bowsage 09-Oct-17
The Lost Mohican 09-Oct-17
BOX CALL 09-Oct-17
Tom McCool 09-Oct-17
BOX CALL 09-Oct-17
BOX CALL 09-Oct-17
PEARL DRUMS 09-Oct-17
Lowcountry 09-Oct-17
Jeff Durnell 09-Oct-17
nowheels 09-Oct-17
nowheels 09-Oct-17
2 bears 09-Oct-17
PEARL DRUMS 09-Oct-17
BOX CALL 09-Oct-17
BOX CALL 09-Oct-17
Jeff Durnell 09-Oct-17
BOX CALL 09-Oct-17
Tom McCool 09-Oct-17
fishin coyote 09-Oct-17
Bowsage 09-Oct-17
WV Mountaineer 09-Oct-17
IslandSnapShooter 10-Oct-17
Liquid Amber 10-Oct-17
Liquid Amber 10-Oct-17
Liquid Amber 10-Oct-17
Tom McCool 10-Oct-17
Jeff Durnell 10-Oct-17
handle 10-Oct-17
Liquid Amber 10-Oct-17
nomo 10-Oct-17
Liquid Amber 10-Oct-17
Liquid Amber 10-Oct-17
Liquid Amber 10-Oct-17
Liquid Amber 10-Oct-17
Onehair 11-Oct-17
Jeff Durnell 11-Oct-17
Fiero Furry 11-Oct-17
Fiero Furry 11-Oct-17
Fiero Furry 11-Oct-17
Liquid Amber 12-Oct-17
Liquid Amber 12-Oct-17
Liquid Amber 12-Oct-17
BOX CALL 12-Oct-17
limbwalker 12-Oct-17
WV Mountaineer 12-Oct-17
Tom McCool 12-Oct-17
jrstegner 12-Oct-17
zwickey2bl 12-Oct-17
reddogge 13-Oct-17
Jeff Durnell 13-Oct-17
Bob Rowlands 13-Oct-17
Tom McCool 13-Oct-17
Tom McCool 13-Oct-17
Tom McCool 13-Oct-17
Linecutter 13-Oct-17
mgerard 13-Oct-17
Tom McCool 13-Oct-17
PEARL DRUMS 13-Oct-17
BOX CALL 13-Oct-17
From: Tom McCool
Date: 08-Oct-17

Tom McCool's embedded Photo



I have the opertunity to take down this tree for future bow stave. I have a guess what it may be ...but don't want to make an "ash" out of myself and waste my time and the tree if I'm wrong. Help please (northeast Pa)

From: fishin coyote
Date: 08-Oct-17




Looks like a cucumber magnolia. I’d have to walk out back to compare to one of the ones in my yard. How big are the leaves? Mike

From: Michael Schwister Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 08-Oct-17




mockernut hickory me thinks

From: Tom McCool
Date: 08-Oct-17




Fishin, that trunk is about 8" across and l leaves are 3" x 1 1/2

From: BobG
Date: 08-Oct-17




The bark looks like a persimmon tree but I don't know if they grow as far north as north east Pa. BobG.

From: BOX CALL Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Oct-17

BOX CALL's embedded Photo



Got the north american school of conservation tree book.I took the correspondence course.when graduated got 8000 s&h green stamps.

From: woodshavins
Date: 08-Oct-17




Not Ash for sure!

From: Dutch oven
Date: 08-Oct-17




No for an ash. It's possibly a persimmon, but the bark doesn't look "alligator-like" enough for a persimmon. My wife is strongly suggesting a black gum (Nyssa sylvatica) because of the angle the terminal leaves. Do other branches have terminal leaves (not leaflets) with maybe 5 leaves instead of just 2?

From: mgerard Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Oct-17




SOURWOOD OR BASSWOOD?

From: Bowsage
Date: 09-Oct-17




As for the Black Gum idea, I have a planted one in my yard. My tree is about 4 inches in diameter, bark still smooth and yes they become furrowed with age. At 8 inches and furrowed like that doesn't convince me. I've got a gazillion persimmon trees, my first vote. I'll try to verify after this rain.

From: The Lost Mohican
Date: 09-Oct-17




If it is a persimmon, and they are native to Pa. now is the time it would be bearing fruit that would become edible right after the first frost. TLM

From: BOX CALL Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 09-Oct-17

BOX CALL's embedded Photo



The leaves look like a black gum.

From: Tom McCool
Date: 09-Oct-17




Thanks for helping out here.

No fruit or nuts are on the them, most of the leaves are groups of 3s very few 5s and my neighbor cut one down for firewood and it was very hard wood.

From: BOX CALL Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 09-Oct-17




Persimmon wood is used for golf club heads.its a tuff wood.

From: BOX CALL Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 09-Oct-17




Persimmon wood is used for golf club heads.its a tuff wood.

From: PEARL DRUMS
Date: 09-Oct-17




Persimmon will make a good bow. Build it with typical whitewood dimensions.

From: Lowcountry
Date: 09-Oct-17




I think it is Black Gum.

From: Jeff Durnell Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 09-Oct-17




I don't know about over there Tom, but there aren't many persimmon or black gum trees on this side of Pa. My guess is for mockernut or pignut hickory. Any nuts around? Any others like it nearby? An 8" hickory tree may or may not be ready to produce nuts. I'd like to see pictures of an outer branch with ALL of its leaves still on it. How they're arranged can help with the i.d.

From: nowheels
Date: 09-Oct-17




Looks like black gum to me. Definitely not persimmon, hickory or ash. I don't know about the wood properties, but if it's like sweetgum, it would be considered a "soft hardwood", and probably not suitable for bows. Sweetgum grain is very twisted; not sure about the grain in black gum.

From: nowheels
Date: 09-Oct-17




Forgot to add, but Hickory, pecan and ash have compound leaves.

From: 2 bears
Date: 09-Oct-17




Well we are still confused and I understand not wanting to waste time on an inferior wood. More leave pictures and perhaps one of the whole tree might help. >>>----> Ken

From: PEARL DRUMS
Date: 09-Oct-17




The bark has a sassafras look, but the leaves don't.

From: BOX CALL Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 09-Oct-17




Sassafras has three kinds of leaves.one looks like a mitten,some are one shield shape,and some have two lobes.the stick makes a neat hiking stick.

From: BOX CALL Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 09-Oct-17




Sassafras has three kinds of leaves.one looks like a mitten,some are one shield shape,and some have two lobes.the stick makes a neat hiking stick.

From: Jeff Durnell Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 09-Oct-17




I went through the identification process on the Arborday site and it determined it was either a Black Gum or Persimmon, but I was making a few assumptions from what I saw, or didn't, in the picture you posted.

To me, the leaves seem to be simple rather than compound because they appear to be attached to a branch rather than a rachis, or compound leaf stem. This would also eliminate both hickory and ash since they have compound leaves.

The reason I'm leaning toward Black Gum rather than Persimmon is because of the bark pattern, the shape of the leaves, and the branch appears to have a terminal bud at it's end, which persimmons don't have.

https://www.arborday.org/trees/whattree/

http://www.ncwildflower.org/plant_galleries/details/nyssa-sylvatica

http://treebarkid.com/index.php/blackgum

"If you think you are looking at a Blackgum, stand at the base of the tree and look up. The branches should be coming out perpendicular from the main trunk of the tree. They should also form a "pinwheel" pattern, with the branches coming out of every side of the trunk.

The bark is thick and blocky, and often resembling an alligator skin on older trees.

Persimmon bark is the closest to this species. The square plates of Blackgum tend to line up more vertically than with persimmon."

From: BOX CALL Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 09-Oct-17




Are the leaves turning red yet.any little black fruits on it yet.it looks an awful lot like a black gum.

From: Tom McCool
Date: 09-Oct-17




No fruits, nuts or berries.

Most leaves are off.

It's hard to get a good photo cause it all tangled with some maples.

Yes Jeff it does seem to have that "pinwheel " pattern.

Are Black Gums very hard? Neighbor said very very hard to split.

Thanks so much for the interest.

From: fishin coyote
Date: 09-Oct-17




Well I looked at the trees in my yard and I’m gonna say it’s not a cucumber magnolia because the leaves are to small. Even on my saplings the leaves are 5- 9”. I looked at the black gum in my front yard and it didn’t look right either although it’s only 6” in diameter . As stated a picture of the entire tree would help the identification process.

From: Bowsage
Date: 09-Oct-17




I searched in my manual (Dirr) leaves are spot on the description of leaf although very similar to Persimmon. The bark matches the description as well. What puzzles me is the furrowed bark on a 8" diameter tree .Maybe it is growing amidst a lot of other trees. Mine is about 4 inches and still pretty smooth. I'm going with Black Gum.

From: WV Mountaineer
Date: 09-Oct-17




Your local Leatherwall foresters say it is a Black Gum. For confirmation on that, the limbs on a black gum tend to grow nearly at a 90degree angle to the tree. If it's not a gum, it's a sassafras. Sassafras has leaves like that too. Bark as well. If it's a sassafras, you'll smell it when you peel a bit of the bark back. But, I'm certain it is a gum. Tell us about the limb orientation to the trunk. God Bless

From: IslandSnapShooter
Date: 10-Oct-17




Looks like what we call "sour gum" or "Tupelo" in Rhode Island

From: Liquid Amber Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 10-Oct-17

Liquid Amber's embedded Photo



Looks like black gum but I wouldn't rule out persimmon until I looked at the tree in person or a photo of the tree. I learned a long time ago not to bet a streak dinner on photos. :) Rub the top of a leaf and see if it is smooth and shiny. If it has a light fuzzy feeling it would be persimmon, smooth black gum. Tupelo is one of the first trees to turn in late summer, a pretty red color. Black gum is a bear to split. I doubt you will split it with an ax or maul. I once won $25 off an ex-stepson who was a weight lifter. I had a green block I was using to split fat-lighter pine with an ax. Bet him he couldn't split it in 10 minutes with the ax. After hitting it a mighty swing, he was still attempting to get the ax back from the wood at the 10 minute mark.

Black gum or Tupelo gum is quite easy to ID and it shouldn't be a problem telling the difference between it and persimmon. They don't resemble each other in person.

Persimmon bark, 6" tree.

From: Liquid Amber Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 10-Oct-17

Liquid Amber's embedded Photo



Persimmon leaves.

From: Liquid Amber Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 10-Oct-17

Liquid Amber's embedded Photo



Three and a half persimmon trees[the dark ones] taken from one of my stands. I missed a 10 yd slam duck on an old doe here Friday evening. Made the mistake of glancing at the limb covering her spine just before dropping the sting and hit right where I was looking. You can see the Flo. yellow fletching if you look close in a limb of the tree on the right.

From: Tom McCool
Date: 10-Oct-17




I enjoy this site for folks sharing their knowledge and willingness to help.

I am out out town and can't take more pictures right now.

Will have to get ladder out as trunk is very straight and branches don't start until the 9ish ft mark.

Leaves were smooth not fuzzy.

Sounds like Gum is winning; is that good for bow stave?

From: Jeff Durnell Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 10-Oct-17




I have a stave here somewhere I got many years ago. I can't remember it's exact name, though I believe I was told it was some type of Gum tree. It is white-ish, but the grain interlocks like nothing I've ever seen. Black gum maybe? It seems light in weight for its size.

From: handle
Date: 10-Oct-17




Liquid Amber: I'm still laughing about the ten minutes to get the axe back from the tree! I know a guy once stranded three chainsaws in the same tree and was looking around for a forth! Not naming any names.

From: Liquid Amber Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 10-Oct-17




Black gum or tupelo gum is light weight and the wood a favorite of wood carvers for a variety of applications. Classic bread dough bowls are traditionally carved from this wood.

From: nomo
Date: 10-Oct-17




I'm thinking Persimmon. Note the single "tooth" on one leaf and not the other. The gum leaves are all smooth. No fruit may mean a male tree. My father in law had a tree exactly like the one in the pic. Never had any fruit, but he always said it was a Persimmon. I think he had another that had fruit, but it died.

From: Liquid Amber Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 10-Oct-17

Liquid Amber's embedded Photo



Black gum bark taken at the same distance I took the persimmon bark.

From: Liquid Amber Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 10-Oct-17

Liquid Amber's embedded Photo



Black gum leaves.

From: Liquid Amber Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 10-Oct-17




The photos of persimmon and black gum I posted are from trees in my yard.

There is one distinguishing feature of the persimmon bark I posted that the black gum bark I posted and the bark McCool posted lack. If you look at the persimmon bark I posted, you will notice an orange color in the bottom of the grooves. It is lacking in McCool's bark photo and the black gum bark photo I posted and is a characteristic of persimmon bark.

Bark says black gum.

The surface of persimmon leaves feel sort of leathery and slightly fuzzy like swede leather.

Black gum leaves are smooth and shiny on top. Black gum leaves have considerable more variety in leaves, while persimmon leaves are more consistent in form.

McCool said his leaves were smooth.

Leaf says black gum.

I'd say the tree McCool posted is more than likely black gum.

From: Liquid Amber Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 10-Oct-17




I would say we can eliminate persimmon. That leaves black gum and the ashes for me. I think McCool knows what the tree is anyway.

From: Onehair
Date: 11-Oct-17




The Tupelo will have a very large base like a cypress. In fact they like the wet ground also

From: Jeff Durnell Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 11-Oct-17




Cliff, the reason I turned from ashes, hickories, or anything with a compound leaf is all of the buds and/or scales, and apparent bark on the branch to which the leaves are attached. If instead it were a compound leaf, missing some leaflets, that branch/stem would be more the color of the visible leaf stems, and missing all the above.

From: Fiero Furry
Date: 11-Oct-17

Fiero Furry's embedded Photo



Stopped by the persimmons today when leaving my stand (only one tree has a dozen in it so they did not produce much this year) and snapped a pic for ya's. We call em' gator trees-lol

From: Fiero Furry
Date: 11-Oct-17

Fiero Furry's embedded Photo



pic above with bow to show size, this pic is closer.

From: Fiero Furry
Date: 11-Oct-17

Fiero Furry's embedded Photo



and this is a pic standing at base and shooting up.

From: Liquid Amber Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 12-Oct-17

Liquid Amber's embedded Photo



Great shot with the lighting showing a couple of the orange streaks in the grooves.

I came out to our country place this morning to work on the pond and took 6 inch close ups of a green ash and the dogwood next to it.

Green ash.

From: Liquid Amber Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 12-Oct-17

Liquid Amber's embedded Photo



Dogwood.

From: Liquid Amber Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 12-Oct-17

Liquid Amber's embedded Photo



Just using bark photos taken at close range makes them all look more alike than they are. The only one that can be identified normally is persimmon because of the orange coloring in the bark grooves. I could walk up the hill into our woods and find a hophornbeam and take a closeup of it and toss it in as well. :)

If one was to walk by each of the species here attached to these photos, "all" are easily identified by the bark pattern. Ash is "easily" identified by simply looking at the limbs for opposite branching.

With all the bark photos we have of "known" species, the green ash most resembles the bark at the beginning of this thread. The ridges appear to be longer than the others which, which indicates less blockiness when viewed from a distance.

I cannot hunt this evening and tomorrow as our youngest granddaughter is coming in, so I'm going to grab my 2wt and walk down to the pond and catch a couple of these before heading back to town :)

I'm just going to wait for McCool to tell what it is.

From: BOX CALL Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 12-Oct-17




Sometimes hedgeapple has orange showing in bark grooves too.I'm still thinking black gum.final answer.

From: limbwalker
Date: 12-Oct-17




My first instinct was persimmon.

From: WV Mountaineer
Date: 12-Oct-17




Species also vary in looks based on region. As Amber said, it is really hard to be exactly right based on photo's of just the bark. Heck, I was cruising timber Monday and, I called a tree a white oak from the center of the plot. When I looked up to get the height, I noticed it was no white oak but, a RED MAPLE. When I went to D-tape it I realized that had a I not had to get heights, that tree would have forever been a white oak in the cruise. As the bark was identical to white oak. That is twice in 20 years I have done that with Red Maple and White Oak. So, in all cases some species can fool you if you don't take everything into account to determine what it is.

Back to the OP, tell us about the limb orientation on that tree. That will end the speculation. God Bless

From: Tom McCool
Date: 12-Oct-17




On my way home tonight from being out of town. At the rest stop 2 hours out...more photos in the morning...not ignoreing anyone!! LOL!

From: jrstegner Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 12-Oct-17




If it's a black gum, and I suspect it is, the leaves should be bright red right now.

From: zwickey2bl
Date: 12-Oct-17




Important distinction, because the persimmon will make a decent bow, I doubt the gum or tupelo would. I have a persimmon in my side yard ditch and it does resemble that bark pattern. Don't have a tupelo handy to compare. Old-timers favored black gum (tupelo) for making toothbrushes. Chew on the end of a small twig to fray it then use it for a toothbrush.

From: reddogge Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 13-Oct-17




"Persimmon wood is used for golf club heads.its a tuff wood. "

Well make that WAS used for golf club heads 40 some years ago.

The heads made a satisfying "crack" when hit on the screws (another old golf term not heard much anymore). My first set of Wilson woods from the 60s were persimmons.

From: Jeff Durnell Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 13-Oct-17




THAT's a handsome bluegill.

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 13-Oct-17




I don't know crap about the tree id but that is a niiice bluegill. That scrappy mother would put a HUGE bend in my 2 weight glass twinkie stick.

From: Tom McCool
Date: 13-Oct-17

Tom McCool's embedded Photo



Leafs went from green to some yellow, some reddish and other a mix of both.

From: Tom McCool
Date: 13-Oct-17

Tom McCool's embedded Photo



Another

From: Tom McCool
Date: 13-Oct-17

Tom McCool's embedded Photo



Hard to get good pictures of the top

From: Linecutter
Date: 13-Oct-17




If you look, the leaves are not identical and have different shapes. The leaf with yellow and red looks like Sassafras or possibly Dogwood. DANNY

From: mgerard Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 13-Oct-17




I still say sourwood.

From: Tom McCool
Date: 13-Oct-17




Both leave off the same tree; I plucked them for pictures. The OP picture leaves are connected and look a little different too.

From: PEARL DRUMS
Date: 13-Oct-17




This is the longest self bow thread ever, and its still on the stump!

From: BOX CALL Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 13-Oct-17




That bluegills picture weighs a pound at least.





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