Manzanita wood for guitar?

Stanford Guitar

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Tons of this Manzanita wood laying around where I mountain bike. Anyone ever built or played a guitar made from Manzanita?

C1EE89F1-894B-49AA-BB72-F55529C6E21F_1_105_c.jpeg
 

Lowerleftcoast

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Some species are endangered. I have no idea what fines might be assessed. Here is one:

Presidio manzanita is a California endangered plant species, which means that killing or possessing plants from wild populations is prohibited by the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). The species is also listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.

From California dept of fish and wildlife
 

Stanford Guitar

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Some species are endangered. I have no idea what fines might be assessed. Here is one:

Presidio manzanita is a California endangered plant species, which means that killing or possessing plants from wild populations is prohibited by the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). The species is also listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.

From California dept of fish and wildlife

Presidio Manzanita is actually a shrub, not a tree. It is extremely rare and only grows in Presidio Park. But point taken.
 

Red Ryder

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Where I grew up in Arizona that crap was everywhere. About like creosote good for nothing but a fire. I spent a lot of my childhood digging up and burning sagebrush, creosote and all kinds of cactus as my old man saw no good use for any of it. We cleared up one area to play baseball and football but he left one saguaro cactus about 4 foot tall right in the middle of the field. A kid had to pay attention when catching a fly ball or running. Go figure.
 

oldunc

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Madrone (another ericaceous California native) would be a more likely choice- it's a small tree, so wide pieces of lumber will be hard to come by, but better chance than with manzanita. Some other plants in the shrub/tree clas that would be tempting (but probably not practical)- cotoneaster, rhododendron (there are tree-sized species), hawthorne, actually a lot of them.
 

Dan German

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Arctostaphylos or Arbutus?

It’s so confusing… manzanita is used to refer to plants in either genus. Also, arbutus (madrone) is sometimes referred to as “bearberry.” Bearberry is manzanita (arctostaphylos).

I have seen arbutus wood used for guitar bodies, but I imagine you’d have to pick your piece carefully, and make sure it’s stable when you’re done. Looked nice, though.
 

naneek

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if one had a large enough branch from a manzanita, could it be used for a guitar neck?

I know the wood is rock hard, but is it too brittle? or prone to warping?

I've seen plenty of manzanita limbs big enough for a neck.

(manzanita wood is available in california as reclaimed wood and urban salvage)
 

naneek

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Madrone (another ericaceous California native) would be a more likely choice- it's a small tree, so wide pieces of lumber will be hard to come by, but better chance than with manzanita. Some other plants in the shrub/tree clas that would be tempting (but probably not practical)- cotoneaster, rhododendron (there are tree-sized species), hawthorne, actually a lot of them.
Arctostaphylos or Arbutus?

It’s so confusing… manzanita is used to refer to plants in either genus. Also, arbutus (madrone) is sometimes referred to as “bearberry.” Bearberry is manzanita (arctostaphylos).

I have seen arbutus wood used for guitar bodies, but I imagine you’d have to pick your piece carefully, and make sure it’s stable when you’re done. Looked nice, though.
the madrone is quite appealing. is madrone suitable for a neck, or only bodies?

hypothetically, would a neck made of madrone be much heavier than a hard maple neck?
 

oldunc

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the madrone is quite appealing. is madrone suitable for a neck, or only bodies?

hypothetically, would a neck made of madrone be much heavier than a hard maple neck?
I've known madrone wood more for spoons and things like that, It has some good characteristics but tends to twist some when it dries; you'd need a very well cured piece without twist for a neck. I think it would weigh about as much as maple, but check wood-database.com (under "madrone") for more specific information.
 

oldunc

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Arctostaphylos or Arbutus?

It’s so confusing… manzanita is used to refer to plants in either genus. Also, arbutus (madrone) is sometimes referred to as “bearberry.” Bearberry is manzanita (arctostaphylos).

I have seen arbutus wood used for guitar bodies, but I imagine you’d have to pick your piece carefully, and make sure it’s stable when you’re done. Looked nice, though.
I've never heard of any confusion between arctostaphylos and arbutus among plant people, maybe among guitar makers. They're pretty closely related, but it's a big family including most of the common berries that aren't in the rose family, rhododendrons and azaleas, heaths and heathers etc. Then there's trailing arbutus (epigaea repens), which is in the family but is not an arbutus species. Another arbutus, A.Unedo (strawberry tree) is a common garden plant in California- from the growth habit of the plant, I would say it's a more likely timber tree than A.Menziesii, but I've never seen the wood or anything made from it.
 

tubedude

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Lowerleftcoast

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Wow, something in Cali that won't give you cancer!
I know huh!

I joke that CBD is the only thing that isn't on the *to be banned* list. To be honest, I appreciate many of the steps taken to clean the environment around here. We have a long way to go for some of the economically challenged areas, but there is the will to clean up the mess that was left in the past. One thing for sure is there is substantially less particulate in the air. Now if we can just get more people to leave. The cancer statistics are not making them leave fast enough...
 




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