The Giant Holly Tree


Last week my dad called and said he was going to look at a Holly tree in a guys yard.  The outer limbs had already been cut off and all that remained was the trunk.  He sent me a picture of the still erect trunk but it was hard to tell the size and the picture just reminded me of The Giving Tree.  On the phone he said that it was a really big Holly but in my mind I kept thinking just how big can a Holly really be?



Friday night my family and I all drove up to dad’s place and the next morning I went to take a look at the trunk he had cut down and brought back to his place.  My first thought was WOW…now that is a big Holly!



The tree had been around 30′ tall and almost 2′ in diameter for most of the first half.  Based on what we were told and a quick count of the rings the tree was somewhere around 100 years old.  One interesting aspect is that the base appears to be made up of 4 trunks that have merged into one, there is no bark or discoloration but 4 distinct center points.



I am still not completely sure as to what I am going to do with the log but will most likely cut most of it into planks and keep a few blocks for turnings.  Anxious to get started we cut two cross grain slices off of the base to start drying.  The slabs were beautiful super white wood with very little grain of discoloration and measured almost 2′ x 4′ at there widest parts.  We then sealed the slabs with hot wax to hold in the moisture and slow the drying process.  Hopefully this will help with the cracking but it is to early to tell.  As the slabs are around 3″ think it will probably take a few years to dry enough to make the table that they will eventually become.  So now to wait…and wait…and wait.



As always be safe, learn something, and have fun!


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5 Responses to “The Giant Holly Tree”

  1. October 1, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    I agree with Bill Akins, this would make a gorgeous table. I can see it as a great coffee table. You got lucky – that is a great piece of tree!

  2. July 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    Chris- if you’re not into inlay/stringing, you need to jump in…..that would make enough holly stringing for a couple of lifetimes! Rusty

    • highrockww
      July 17, 2012 at 1:28 am #

      Rusty, I have only done a little inlay and no stringing with holly but already in the process of sketching a project to give it a try.

  3. June 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    Chris, that will make some beautiful table. I can’t wait to see how they turn out. You mentioned turnings. I want to see your lathe work.

    • highrockww
      June 30, 2012 at 11:18 am #

      Thanks Bill. We have a lathe in my dad’s shop up in NC. I typically only turn if I need something specifically. I thought it would be fun to play around with this Holly though with the wood being so white. I will bring you a piece to the next time I am up there.

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