Wood Stain – A Colourful Story

Sometimes you come across unusual things in the trade. That was the case this past week during a tree removal job. CLC Tree Services was asked to remove a tulip tree, a 60′ tall liriodendron, which had heavy sapsucker damage. It could not be saved, but was in a difficult spot, so a crane was brought in to assist the crew. Everything went well and the job was completed in a timely manner.

The interesting part was the tree’s wood. After the tree was felled, a purplish stain was noted on it. Normally the wood is yellowish to greenish, and often has darker streaks within the rings. There was some of that, but there were other colours too. Check this out…

wood stain

A cut section of the trunk being moved

A Colourful Story

An eye-catching colour, to be sure. What is with the colour though? That is a great question. And the answer isn’t immediately clear. Sometimes fungi can stain wood. There was some wood rot within the heartwood, and enough wounds in the tissue to cause fungus, so a possibility. Normally though, wounds get compartmentalized, so the damage would be seen in only one area.

Other times a chemical reaction occurs and the wood can become stained, whether by exposure to metal or other extractives. The way you store or dry wood can also create different stains. This tree was just cut though, so the colour had nothing to do with drying or storage. For those wondering if the wood stain was due to chain oil, think again. The stain goes all the way through.

Will the stain last? Time will tell. As the wood dries or decays, other chemical reactions occur due to its exposure to sunlight and oxygen, and those wood stains might fade. They were certainly a bright colour this week though and worthy of a little contemplation and research. If you have any educated guesses, feel free to offer them up. We are always open to learning something new. Trees never fail to  fascinate us.

In the interim, how about admiring a few more pictures of a pretty cool wood stain.

What would you do with wood this colour?

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