When the planks are first cut a third of the weight is water. The water content has to be reduced before the wood can be used.
Freshly cut Sweet Chestnut planks
These planks are stacked ready for collection once dry they will be made into floor boards for use in a farmhouse renovation in the Peak District.
Fresh cut English Yew
Note the vibrant colours in the grain, these colours stay in the wood during drying and are believed to have been caused by the various salts and minerals in the soil.
It doesn't always go to plan!
We never know what condition the tree is in until milling has started. After the second plank was cut from this section of trunk an area of rotten wood could be seen (dark area at top of picture above).
By tapping the wood it's easy to tell which bit is rotten and which bit is not. However, the whole plank will still be dried as it is only the centre of the plank that is rotten and the outer 4 inches on either side can still be used. Had we been a commercial outfit then this tree would have been left for firewood.