Canadian Woodworking

A refreshing (wooden) treat and how can a dead tree grow?

Blog by Rob Brown
wooden watermellon

I was out on a bike ride the other day and noticed some mouthwatering slices of watermelon in someone’s garden. I looked closer and eventually realized they were made of wood.

It was a bit of a mirage, as it was very hot out and a slice of watermelon would have been wonderful.

I guess they were cut from one of the fallen trees that came down in the windstorm we had six weeks ago, as there are still a lot of downed trees in Peterborough, Ont., and the surrounding area. Once a few careful slices were cut, they were painted to look like a summer treat.

Do you have any wooden fruit in your yard or house that you’ve made? Send me a photo and I’ll share some in upcoming columns.

Wooden Watermelon

Although I initially considered stopping to quench my thirst, I quickly realized this wooden mirage was a bit too fibrous to eat.

wooden watermellon

My dead lumber is growing!

Also as a result of the storm in late May, I have a few sections of a large willow tree that came down in a local park. Even though it’s been dead for well over a month there are shoots coming out of it in multiple places. All plants just want to grow and stay alive, but this surprised me, as it’s not living anymore.

I guess this is similar to how a cutting works. Even though a piece of cut branch is (at least in my mind) technically dead, it still tries to survive and grow taller, especially if stuck in a bit of soil and watered.. Nature is pretty incredible. I wonder if I cut one of these shoots off and planted it, it would grow. Only one way to find out!

Porch bar

I just finished a project for our front porch. We didn’t have enough space for even a small table, so I made a bar that attaches to the railing. We bought a few bar-height stools to bring it all together and it works wonderfully. It’s a fairly simple project and will run in an upcoming magazine issue.

It has been nice to be able to sit at the front of the house and chat with walkers as they pass by. The house is on a street that’s a natural connector for the Trans Canada Trail and is also a big part of the pedestrian and cycling network in Peterborough. Because our summers are short, it’s great to get outside and write, chat or relax while we can.

Dead, But Living

Although this section of a willow tree was cut six weeks ago shoots are still growing out of it as it tries to survive.

Dead, But Living

Outdoor Bar

I recently built this white oak bar to expand what we could do on our small front porch. I’d say it’s time for a cold beer to celebrate!

Outdoor Bar
Last modified: August 12, 2022

Rob Brown - [email protected]

Rob is a studio furniture maker and the editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement. Instagram at @RobBrownTeaches

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