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Author Topic: trying something different  (Read 738 times)
10framer
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« on: January 31, 2013, 06:41:27 PM »

i sell building materials at my day job.  i'm about to build some hive covers out of a hardwood called paulownia that is supposed to be rot proof.  
has anyone tried this?
the wood i have is an exterior grade primed finger joint product.  does anyone see a reason to sand the primer off of the area that will be exposed to the bees?  or at least paint it with a latex paint?
it's thinner than 1x material but that doesn't really concern me.  i've used 1/4 inch plywood for covers before.
it's expensive but if it's durable enough to stand the weather unpainted it would be a time saver for sure and possibly a money saver in the long run.
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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2013, 05:28:17 PM »

I have never heard of it so I wikied it.  (if that is the right way to write it)  To me, it looks like cottonwood that we have here.  But you know more about it that us.   Let us know how it is to work with. 

Oh ya, for others to look at, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paulownia
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10framer
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2013, 09:12:27 PM »

did you see where it's considered an invasive species in the southeast allen?  i'll let you know. 
my biggest concern right now is the primer.  i'll probbly put a good coat of exterior latex over it.
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10framer
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2013, 11:27:07 PM »

built a top today.  it is as easy on the saw blade as pine.  since it's not really 3/4" thick it may have actually been easier on it.  it's extremely rigid but i'm working with fingerjointed boards so i kind of expected that.
i'm waiting on a vendor to get back to me on pricing on clear 1x12, 1x6 and 1x4.  if it is as rot resistant as it is claimed to be and i can build top and bottom boards for close to the same price as buying cypress i'll probably order some and get started.  i' going to convert a couple of nucs into ten frame hives this week and will use the first tops.
apparently they cross the paulownia with poplar trees and they can grow 60 feet in 5 to 6 years.  i'm trying to find out if the hybrids are a good nectar source.
it would be nice to put a few acres in them and be able to get a nectar source and a relatively quick timber return. 
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BumbbleBee
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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2014, 06:03:07 AM »

What's your experience with Paulownia lumber, mate?

I read about its rate of growth and strength to weight ratio, couldn't stop reading about it. I feel like getting some land and growing it there.
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sc-bee
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2014, 06:24:58 AM »

Sounds like the tree Japan is planting to cut in on the import tree market. Some guys i know that work at plants that crate material that goes to Japan said japan request wood shipping crates. They then re-use the crates since lumber is in shortage. I have heard the above tree you are speaking of has given them a new option.

Some folks in this area planted some with that promise of the quick resale turn around. Don't know how it worked out. I hear growing it looks kinda simialr to a Catalpa.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 08:59:47 AM by sc-bee » Logged

John 3:16
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2014, 06:58:47 AM »

Japan has been importing wood and wood products from around the world for decades, much from the US.  They store 'millions' of cut whole logs under water for future use.  Estimates are in the BILLIONS of board feet (and DOLLARS) for future speculative potential.
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10framer
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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2014, 08:24:56 AM »

japan is a big importer of paulownia.  it's used for everything from cabinetry to guitars.  it's light weight, easy to work and very insect and rot resistant.   
i threw some on the ground a year ago and the termites haven't touched it.  i built some tops and they've worked fine.
 
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dirt road
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2014, 08:39:53 AM »

I wonder why it is insect resistant?
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BlueBee
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2014, 01:58:02 PM »

I planted 50 paulownia tomentosa trees in Michigan in the 1990s.  There used to be folks in the south (Iím thinking GA) promoting Paulownia farming as a great business.  That usually means itís not so great a business. laugh  Anyways, the theory goes they are fast growing trees and in high demand in Asia for cultural reasons.  Iíve seen them growing like weeds in Bama, but the larger nicer looking trees Iíve seen were in VA, WV, and the hill country of NC.  My conclusion was they grow better in milder summer conditions.

In my experience I wouldnít call it hardwood.  I have some Asian furniture made from the stuff and Iíve layed down engineered flooring with this stuff as the substrate under the veneer.  Very soft wood.  Kind of like the new Balsa  Smiley

Sounds like a good material for a bee hive top.  How much was it per board foot?  I wouldnít bother to sand off the primer.     
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Leather Jim
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2014, 04:02:03 PM »

How fast did they grow in Michigan? Have you tried burning it for heat?
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asprince
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2014, 08:11:21 PM »

My friend and mentor has made some hives from paulownia. He has a sawmill and cut his own boards from logs. The wood is very light weight and machines well. Fort Valley State University is located in the town that I live in. They have a large research project for paulownia. It makes some wonderful honey. They let us put bees on their trees. In addition they have spoken to our club about their project.


Steve       
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10framer
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2014, 08:57:10 PM »

bluebee, i'll have to check the price.  it actually does well down here.  it's not very frost tolerant.
steve, i met with them back in november.  i'm probably going to plant a few acres next year.
jim, it puts off a lot of heat.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2014, 02:58:40 PM »

Paulownia is rare in Michigan and is only planted here for ornamental reasons because the trunks usually die back to the ground in our cold.  Iím in plant zone 5 here with 30 year max lows of -20F; we hit that again this year.  The trunks seem to die back at about -10F.  

So why plant Paulownia here?  Because of the remarkable effect Coppicing has on this species up here.  Coppicing is a pruning technique where a tree/bush is pruned to the ground and re-sprouts from dormant buds each spring.  Nature does the coppicing for me here and the result is a fast growing hedge each year with giant leafs since all the root energy explodes into new growth.  

Leather Jim, my guess is the trees would die back in your area too; hence not great for growing firewood.  I donít recall seeing any Paulownia at the Seacrest Arboretum in Wooster.  They look like a catalpa tree with bigger leaves, and purple blooms.
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Leather Jim
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« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2014, 03:52:25 PM »

The hedge row sounds interesting though. Yep you got me pegged I'm only about 30 min out of Wooster. Been to the arboretum several times. Smiley
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amun-ra
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« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2014, 05:31:19 PM »

Paulownia is grown in north queendland but with what success I do not know it does produce a very nice tasting very light in color honey though.

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