ancient(?) wood identification please

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by ginsenghamster, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. ginsenghamster

    ginsenghamster Active Member 10 Years

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    Hello All

    We have a wooden find that is a bit of an enigma. Found in the Moscow River (55 36' 27.28'' N and 36 09' 29.20'' E) by a friend of mine snorkeling for crayfish. Partially embedded in the mud underwater was this piece of wood. Saw in hand he bucked this off.

    It has a strong scent. Like 'Golden Star Aromatic Balm', which is something like our Tiger Balm. Obviously its a conifer of some sort, but what?

    Downward direction of the branch stubs and bulbous butt end are rather interesting.

    Tape measure is in metric (10 cm increments in red).

    Wood is drying out and forming cracks compared to its fresh collection during the summer.

    If anything, its a conversation piece!

    Any input will be greatly appreciated.
     

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  2. Lysichiton

    Lysichiton Active Member

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    Check out Balsam fir - Abies balsamea (lovely) & Yellow cedar - Chamaecyparis nootkatensis (a bit sharp & sour to my nose). They are the stongly scented woods that spring to my mind in this neck of the woods. Apart from Red Cedar - Thuja plicata, the scent of which I assume most BCers know! If that's any help.

    Amazing how long these woods remain un-decomposed in our waters. I saw first-growth Red Cedar that was left as shoreline debris made into shakes in the 70s. The outside was soft & the inside as red & clear as the day it was felled. That must have been about 80 years before, by local accounts.

    gb

    ...BTW if you want to stop it splitting as it dries out, try soaking it for a few weeks in anti-freeze & spraying it with the stuff. Let it dry out gradually that way.

    Worth a try

    gb
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2010
  3. ginsenghamster

    ginsenghamster Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Glass Brain

    I haven't delved into the native conifer species to Russia (past and present), but I'm sure those species are there. I fowarded this thread to my friend in Russia, so hopefuly Durnabe/Peter will be able to contribute to the discussions when he has time.

    I suggested that he use a clear varathane to seal the wood a week or so ago so it would be preserved for prosperity.

    ~Hammie
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    A pine (it would be Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris in that area), with a whorl of branch knots at one end.

    It would have been used by a fisherman as a cheap but effective anchor to hold a small boat. Tie a rock to it for weight (which would have come off as any string rotted) and the knots snag onto underwater stuff for anchoring.

    Probably not all that ancient, I'd be surprised if it wasn't still in use just 5 or 10 years ago.

    BTW, no fir (Siberian Fir only occurs further east) or cedars in that area.
     
  5. Lysichiton

    Lysichiton Active Member

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    ...Oh dear. I thought you were referring to Moscow River (Creek) in the Kootenays & was wondering about the crayfish & the snorkelling.

    Just goes to show.

    gb
     

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