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arbutus About Arbutus Wood


We use Arbutus wood for many of our products. Here's some information about beautiful and useful wood product:


sArbutus, genus of small trees and shrubs of the heath family, including the madrona tree (Arbutus menziesii) of California and Oregon, and the strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) of Europe. In the eastern United States a closely related genus is called trailing arbutus. Arbutus menziesii is broadleaf evergreen tree, up to 30 metres tall, usually with a crooked or leaning trunk that divides into several twisting upright branches and an irregularly rounded crown.

Leaves: Dark and glossy but pale underneath, 7 to 12 centimetres long, thick, with a leathery texture.
Flowers: Dense clusters of urn-shaped white, waxy flowers drooping at the ends of twigs in April or May. Fruit: The fruit is berry-like, 7 millimetres across, and bright reddish-orange, with a peel-like surface texture.

Bark: The bark is thin, smooth, and reddish-brown, peeling in thin flakes or strips to expose younger, smooth, greenish to cinnamon-red bark underneath.

arbutusWhere Arbutus Grows: Arbutus is restricted to a narrow band along the south coast and generally occurs within 8 kilometres of the ocean. It is often found on exposed rocky bluffs overlooking the ocean.
Habitat: Arbutus is found on sites that lack moisture, such as those with rocky or rapidly drained soils. Because it does not like shade, it generally occurs in clearings or on open rocky bluffs with other species such as Garry oak or Douglas-fir, oceanspray, Oregon-grape, baldhip rose, and several herbs and grasses. The flowers have a strong honey smell and are very attractive to bees. Fruit-eating birds such as waxwings and robins frequently eat the berries.

Uses: Arbutus bark is very rich in a substance used for tanning hides. The wood is heavy and hard, tends to be brittle, and cracks when drying. It is used only for woodworking in British Columbia.
Arbutus is the only native broadleaf evergreen tree in Canada. Another common name is madrone, a Spanish word for the strawberry tree, of which arbutus is a close relative. The Scottish botanist Archibald Menzies first collected specimens in 1792 and described it as the oriental strawberry tree.

arbutusAlso known as the Strawberry-tree, Arbousier. This tree, of the Erica family, is normally found on acid soils. Planted in gardens (even limestone) it can reach massive size! The typical heather-like bell-flowers are often on the tree at the same time as the ripening fruit. Although the (edible) fruit looks a bit like a strawberry it is rather gritty and tasteless.

 

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