Tree stump with worms?

Discussion in 'Monthly Projects' started by joshuap, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. joshuap

    joshuap Tracker

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    Hello everybody. Mods, forgive me if this is the wrong place for this post. I am making a table out of a stump. Very simple, just debarking the stump and going to stain and seal it. Not sure of the wood but it is very hard. My question is if I seal it, will the worms/bugs inside, continue to eat and grow? There are maggot looking worms under bark, and some beetles borough into the wood. I want to salvage this beautiful wood but don't want to waste time if it's pointless. Any advice would be greatly appreciated ImageUploadedByTapatalk1421438611.064980.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1421438619.181776.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1421438627.698579.jpg
  2. the_dude

    the_dude Guide

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    I could be wrong, but my experience has been that once the bark is removed and it is no longer a moist and protected environment, the current larvae will pupate and no future eggs will be laid since it will no longer be a suitable habitat.

    to be safe, i'd dry it up off the ground for a month or two, then treat it liberally with a borax solution. non-toxic, natural, and should keep those buggers away.

    I love worm eaten wood for furniture. it adds a lot of character.
  3. Vanitas

    Vanitas Guide

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    Beetles not worms. Once the tree is dead most species wont attack it as they tend to eat the cambium. You may still have live larva but those will die off or fly off in the spring. IMO the best thing to do is get the stump prepped and SEAL the wood so air cant get in. You will do 2 things with that. 1 kill the beetle larva because they need air and 2 slow down the decay process of the stump because fungi need air too.
    happywanderer likes this.
  4. sixteenacrewood

    sixteenacrewood Scout

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    For the most part The Dude is correct, but, there are several insects that don't mind hatching on dry barkless wood, plus, the grubs will do significant damage before they exit even though it is drying out.

    I work with grub infested logs/wood a lot.

    I would probably rough out the table quickly and, if it will fit in a black plastic garbage, then bag it and pour a whole bottle of rubbing alcahol in the bag all over the wood. Tie the bag closed and place it in a sunny location for a week.

    The alcahol vaporizes and asphixiates the grubs. A lot of them will crawl out trying to find breathable air.

    This also a cool trick for drying your roughed out table, just minus the alcahol.
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  5. sixteenacrewood

    sixteenacrewood Scout

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    If you have a photo of the bark, one of us may be able to identify the species for you.
  6. joshuap

    joshuap Tracker

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    Yall are awesome! Thanks I will post a picture of bark soon
  7. Heatondc

    Heatondc Tracker

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    I've made a bunch if furniture from lodge pole pine, which is a favorite snack for the longhorn bark beetle. I like the skip-bark look, so there were lots of areas that weren't down to bare wood. I made a toddler bed for my daughter and one of the headboard uprights had several grubs still chewing away under the bark. You could actually hear them under there. She was a bit freaked out by the noise, so I dug them out when she wasn't around. Kind of crazy, but a little cool too! I don't think that they burrow too deep so I don't think the damage can go too far, but fumigating them w/ alcohol sounds like a good idea
  8. the_dude

    the_dude Guide

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    i was picking blueberries this past summer, and i could hear grubs chewing wood in a stand of spruce a couple hundred feet away. i couldn't believe how loud they were.
  9. joshuap

    joshuap Tracker

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    Wow that's amazing. Goes to show how hard the wood grain can be and how much strength those little guys have
  10. The Stumpy One

    The Stumpy One Guide

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    Wrap it in plastic and put it in the freezer for a few days.

    No more grubs or beetles.
  11. joshuap

    joshuap Tracker

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    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1421513965.077934.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1421513989.195883.jpg stripping bark now. It's so infested it kind of fun killing all the larvae
  12. joshuap

    joshuap Tracker

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    Got it marinating In a bag with alcohol
  13. joshuap

    joshuap Tracker

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    Just a quick update. Made one stump and working on another. Tried some stain I had, turned out ok for me ImageUploadedByTapatalk1422364492.824033.jpg
  14. joshuap

    joshuap Tracker

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    Not going to stain the next one and am removing more bark residue to expose the grain ImageUploadedByTapatalk1422364715.411923.jpg
  15. Loogaroo

    Loogaroo BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I once put a log of walnut on my lathe and started turning it. About 5 minutes in I was greeted with a splatter and odd taste in my mouth. I stopped the lathe to find half of the biggest grub worm I have ever seen. Not the worst taste, but I wouldn't recommend it.
  16. HEMLOCK79

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    Looks good. did you ever finish the other?


    LOL!!! That was a great mental image.
  17. bmwrider

    bmwrider Scout

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    What did you coat the finished one with?
    I really want to make a few.
  18. Loogaroo

    Loogaroo BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I debarked a worm eaten walking stick and varnished it. Months later when I picked it up it was a varnish shell full of powder.
  19. DeltaWolf

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    that is kind of cool, how long before the varnish broke apart?
  20. Loogaroo

    Loogaroo BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    After picking it up it was like bamboo. As soon as I thumped it on the ground it just crumbled.
  21. ClutteredShop

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    Depends entirely on the species of wood and insect. In my experience, larvae found burrowing under the bark will not persist. The are after the nutrient-rich cambium layer, and when that is gone, they are too.

    However, beetles that bore in the sapwood and heartwood can persist for years under very dry conditions and eventually reduce the block of wood to powder. Here in Syracuse I have seen this happening with oak, maple, and hickory. The process can be quite slow, but inexorable. I have some piles of stored wood where wood of one species is heavily infested and wood of other species in the same pile is unaffected.
  22. ozarkhunter

    ozarkhunter Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    I do a lot of wood turning and have stored rough cut lumber in my shop to air dry. I had several nice 5/4" thick pecan boards about 10" wide that had been in my shop for 5-6 years in a corner. The boards were sticker stacked. (3/4" cedar strips between boards about every 4' of length) I pulled the boards out this spring to rearrange one end of my shop. Most of the pecan boards were so eaten with pencil lead sized holes, they were worthless. I took one board and tossed it towards my trailer. When the middle of the board hit the trailer side, the board broke into 2 jagged pieces with a cloud of dust. I have also found worm runs in persimmon and honey locust boards stored in my shop for several years. No bark on any of these boards.
  23. Loogaroo

    Loogaroo BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Persimmon! I have never managed to get a piece that wasn't wormy. They really love the stuff.
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  24. ozarkhunter

    ozarkhunter Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    I heard one guy say the worms find a falling persimmon tree before it hits the ground. He was probably being at least a bit sarcastic... They do seem to love persimmon wood.
    Loogaroo likes this.

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