Stiff Denhamia

    (Denhamia oleaster)


Also known as: Denhamia

  This tree looks quite out of place on the Highlands but is found all over the region on just about every soil type, almost always as a single tree. The leaves of the juvenile plants have spiked margins for protection from browsing animals. Stiff Denhamia grows to about 5 metres high and the trunks can grow to 300mm or more in diameter but are deeply fluted and knotted making it very difficult to mill useable pieces from them.
   Flowering around September/October, Denhamia develops masses of 3-valved fruits from 10mm to around 40mm long which ripen in January/February and open to reveal several seeds.
When first cut, the timber can have an orange tinge to it but this disappears as it dries. There is minimal movement in the flutes as it dries and minor cracking to the pith if the log is left whole. 
This close grained but not heavy timber turns brilliantly, holding fine detail easily with little or no tear-out. It sands really easily and takes any finish very well.
This bowl was roughed out green from the log pictured above, then allowed to dry in the open air for a couple of months before finishing.


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