Peach Bush

    (Ehretia membranifolia)


Fairly common on the Highlands, I believe Peach bush gets it's name from the texture of the leaves which feel just like those of a Peach tree. Growing to about 6-8 metres, the trunk is usually very fluted and twisted in a vine-like manner.  Where there is insect or other damage to the pith, the heartwood is prone to 'ebonize' as some plants here do. 
It would be difficult to find specimens suitable for cutting planks from and I have not tried this yet. The few small pieces I have gathered shrank and distorted quite badly.  If you had the time, Peach bush might be worth chasing for the ebonized sections for pen-making but I doubt I'll go chasing much more than that. 
When freshly cut, the timber is a curry yellow but quickly changes to a pinkish-grey. You can see the difference in the photo where the near log was just cut, whilst the far one has been exposed to the air for a couple of minutes. 
The timber was great to turn while green but this piece I rough-turned lost so much shape while drying that I could not finish it on the lathe. What you see in the photo was just hand sanded and polished. In summary - really not worth the trouble!


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