Rare ancient tree #816960

Asked November 27, 2022, 7:02 PM EST

I was given a wood slab supposedly from an ancient tree. Apparently this tree the grain runs longitudinally up and down the tree rather than in rings around the tree. Moreover, this tree has a less than substantial root system. To store moisture, this tree actually sewlls up soaking up moisture and expanding to store the moisture for dry times. Did or does such a tree exist? If not what kind of wood do I have a slab from?

Douglas County Oregon

Expert Response

Hello, I would suggest contacting the Oregon Wood Innovation Center, as they know how to identify a tree from the wood.

Scott Leavengood email:

I hope they can id the wood.
David Shaw Replied November 29, 2022, 4:50 PM EST
Hi, I have routed your question to Scott Leavengood. Please stay tuned.
Elza Records Replied November 29, 2022, 5:55 PM EST

Hey Scott:


Thank you for your assistance. I have contacted the Oregon Wood Innovation Center as you suggested. I am interested in solving this puzzle.


Thanks again!




From: <> On Behalf Of Ask Extension
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2022 1:51 PM
To: CJ Bryant <>
Subject: Re: Rare ancient tree (#0086889)


The Question Asker Replied November 29, 2022, 10:37 PM EST

Hello CJ:

We will likely need to have a piece of the slab to be able to do a definitive identification of the species.

For what it’s worth, longitudinal grain is the typical orientation for wood. The cells/fibers are aligned with the long axis of the stem. And as the tree grows in diameter and circumference, those fibers produce annual increments that we see as growth rings. I’m not entirely sure I understand the moisture issue you’re describing, however I can tell you that all wood species shrink and swell with changes in moisture content. That’s a fact that can drive woodworkers mad in fact as they try to control dimensions of furniture parts, for example.

I saw the picture and it does look unique. What more about the wood can you tell me? Any idea where it is from? Is there any aroma to the wood?

If you’d like to send a small piece (could be as small as a ½” cube), our anatomist may be able to give a firm identification.

Scott Leavengood Replied November 29, 2022, 11:43 PM EST

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