Bottlebrush Tree

In October 2021 my neighbor wanted a Bottlebrush tree cut down and I was interested in the wood. So I offered to cut it down.

As you can see, it had quite a lean to it. I was not concerned about hitting the house because it was fully leaning away from the house. I was concerned with it falling as soon as I started the cut and splitting in a barberchair kind of way.

My plan of attack was to use a plunge cut (the saw tip goes through first, like a dagger). Then follow it with a downward back cut.  My concern was that as soon as I started the back cut, she would fall over.

We limbed the tree to reduce the weight and clear out the branches.  I did not know what to expect with bottlebrush wood.  It turns out it is very dense, heavy and red.

Then I proceeded with plunge cut.  Here you can see the tip of the 18″ bar sticking through base of the tree.  So far so good.

Here you can see that the plunge cut is complete. AND the back cut is complete. But the leaning tree still stands.

Here is the other side of the tree.  The thing is 95% cut clean through,  and only that 5% or less on the edge is holding up the tree.  I was dumbfounded.  It seemed physically impossible.

I kept cutting out from the plunge cut toward the little bit remaining.  She finally fell and you can see that only that little bit on the left was holding her up.

A few weeks later, I slabbed up some of the bottlebrush.  I was amazed at the beautiful red color.  It was vibrant.  I could see that the color would quickly fade as the wood dried but had hoped the color might come back when the wood was finished.

A pretty cool limb inclusion appeared.

The little slabs gave me hope for the bigger ones.

The results were pretty awesome.  Very small amounts of the lighter sap wood and a lot of that red heartwood.

I got several decent sized slabs.   A few years of drying and we’ll see what we get.

Update at about 1.5 years into drying:  The wood is turning color to a very rich brown.  It is a beautiful hardwood.  I am a bit sad it is losing the red, but the brown is pretty awesome. It does not seem to be twisting or checking too heavily, so what I got should be pretty use-able in another year or two.  I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more that need to be taken down in the neighborhood.


Tags: , ,