Everything’s bigger in Texas, so the saying goes — and the mesquite tree harvested earlier this year near Floresville certainly fits the bill. While it’s impossible to say whether it’s the biggest mesquite tree ever harvested, according to Bob Brown of the Mesquite Burl company, “we think it’s one of the largest.”
“It took two forklifts, struggling and grunting, an hour just to get it off the truck,” Bob said — not surprising when its estimated weight is around 9,000 pounds.
Measurements of the log put it at 15'6" long, with a top diameter ranging from 23" to 42". A typical mesquite log, Bob said, would get to about eight or 10 feet long before “burling out, branching out.”
This big one does have many burls but, unlike in other wood species, the large rounded outgrowths are actually a desirable aspect of mesquite. “A lot of woodworkers and furniture makers, like on the East Coast, strive to find lumber that doesn’t have voids or knots,” Bob said. “With mesquite, you’re looking for the voids and knots.”
Mesquite Burl fills those divots with a black epoxy — occasionally with turquoise mixed in — “which makes a beautiful pattern,” Bob said. “When we cut into it,” the big log “will probably become some of the most gorgeous boards made from mesquite,” he said.
The company has not yet cut the large log because they’re waiting for a customer, who might have a specific vision for a project that would affect how the boards are cut. Bob expects the wood to be suitable for fine furniture, rather than the flooring, mantels or basic lumber many of the mesquite trees they process become. When it’s cut, it’ll either go into the hot-air kiln, where the moisture content of 40 to 60 percent will get reduced to nine or 10 percent in a couple of months, or the vacuum kiln, where the moisture content reduction takes place in about 10 days.
For more information on the big mesquite log, call 512-930-2875 or visit www.mesquiteburl.com.