May Snow brings December birdhouse ornaments

ScrubbyBirdhouses Late snowstorms have broken lots of branches in the Pikes Peak Region.   Our native Gambel scrub oaks provided the natural edge roofs for a new crop of Christmas ornaments from Dennis.  The storms have kept him in the shop for an early start on the 2017 Christmas season.

The base repeats the pattern of dark heartwood surrounded by the lighter sapwood.  The perches are blackwood, ebony, or walnut.

Gambel oaks are adapted to Colorado’s variable winter temperatures.  The cells in the wood burst when frozen in the live tree, which does not die.  This makes a uniquely unstable wood for the turner for it splits easily.  It is rare, however, to get this oak in diameters over four inches.