How can I reuse or recycle pruned Catalpa wood?
We’ve had another email from friend of Recycle This, Petra:
I need your help again. I hope I can explain the topic well, because I’m not used to discuss garden items in English.
We have a Catalpa tree in our garden, which produces every year a lot of new branches. The year after, in March, you need to prune all these new
branches to make room for the new ones. My question is, what can I do with all these old branches. Of course I can burn them in the fireplace, but the wood grew fast and burns fast.
I was thinking about braiding a fence, like they do with willow branches, but I’ve no idea if Catalpa branches can be used for something like that. All other ideas are also welcome.
I hadn’t heard of a Catalpa tree so wondered if they are something that doesn’t grow in the UK – but apparently the oldest one in the world is in Reading so I’m not only wrong, I’ve been wrong for 150 years. Shows what I (don’t) know.
Apparently pioneer farmers in the US used Catalpa farmers to make “strong, lightweight rot-resistant fence posts” so I guess they could be used for some small structural purposes. I’m not sure whether it would be suitable for weaving like hazel or willow though – it might snap when it dries – anyone know?
It’s also supposed to be good for woodworking because it has an interesting grain – but I think you’d be limited on what you could make from year old wood (crochet hooks? sculptures of single strands of spaghetti?).
Any other suggestions for ways to use the wood?