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Russian Olive Wood

      Russian Olive is considered a weed tree with few useful lumber characteristics. January 25, 2010

I am looking for opinions on use of Russian olive as building material for both furniture and cabinets. Also, does anyone know where to get it?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor A:
There was a guy on another forum that said he was in a deal in Montana where they were to clear 10,000 acres of it. Seems it got out of control there.

From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
It is more of a shrub than a tree... very branchy and not too tall for the most part. This means warp is all directions. I have no other info in my files. The roots use a lot of water, so they like to use water out of the irrigation ditches. It is no longer planted on the eastern slope of Colorado. I believe it is illegal to plant it now.

From contributor J:
It can no longer be sold in our area of Wyoming as it is considered a noxious weed. Most Russian olive at most will be 12 inch diameter at 5 feet, with all kinds of branching above that. I have turned many smaller bowls from it, but getting from green rough turning to final turning after a kind of controlled air drying without checks is problematic. It has a strong cat urine odor when turned green and I'm sure any lumber would have a lot of warp. What does come out is attractive.

In our area there have been several eradication projects, so you could come to the Big Horn Basin area of Wyoming (NW) and eradicate to your heart's content. Most landowners would welcome it.

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