Housetrends Pittsburgh March / April 2015 - Page 74

This is one conference table made from the Missouri walnut tree. Another from the tree, a 24-foot-long version, awaits the right buyer. This burly grain explodes with color when it’s finished. It’s a very wavy, shimmery grain that’s vibrant with color. When you look at it you’re just in awe. —Ernest Hershberger Setting high standards “It has all of the aspects of what I consider entirely unique,” Ernest explains. First, its age and size made the tree intriguing, at 450 years old and 72 inches across at the stump. Second, its lumber displayed a special marbled pattern of light and dark grains that were created each year. This was an attribute, Ernest explains, he admired immediately when the tree was cut. Third, the tree had a sizeable burl, two feet by three feet wide, produced by the first three branches all located 13-feet up from the base of the tree. Ernest explains this quality is special since it’s not common to have branches with that placement. The beauty of the burl comes to life once the wood is dried and finished. “This burly grain explodes with color when it’s finished,” explains Ernest. “It’s a very wavy, shimmery grain that’s vibrant with color. When you look at it you’re just in awe.” The bark of the tree is an equally spectacular characteristic at three-inches thick, making it ideal for furniture with natural or live edge, where the tree bark is part of the design. All of these various qualities converging in one tree are what make this walnut tree from Missouri such an anomaly. “To have all of these qualities in one structure like this is uncommon,” Ernest says. CONTINUED > SPECIAL SECTION 000-000 tSPE TreasureInTheTree.indd 74 2/26/15 5:09 PM