Halesia spp.

 

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Family: Styracaceae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Silverbell

 

 

 

The genus Halesia is composed of about 4 species native to: the United States [3] and China [1]. The word halesia is named after Stephen Hales (1677-1761), British clergyman and author of Vegetable Staticks (1722).

 

Halesia carolina-Bell-tree, Bell Olivetree, Bellwood, Box-elder, Carolina Silverbell, Catbell, Florida Silverbell, Four-winged Halesia, Little Silverbell, No-name-tree, Opossum, Opossumwood, Mountain Silverbell, Rattle-box, Silverbell-tree, Silver-tree, Snowdrop-tree, Tisswood, Wild Olivetree

Halesia diptera-Cowlicks, Silverbell-tree, Snowdrop-tree, Southern Silverbell-tree, Two Wing Silverbell

Halesia parviflora-Florida Silverbell, Little Silverbell.

 

Distribution

Southeastern United States and China.

The Tree

Silverbells are shrubs or trees with scaly reddish brown bark. The leaves and small branches are covered with stellate (star shaped) hairs. The showy white flowers are produced in small, pendulous clusters. They produce dry, winged fruits (samara). Silverbells can reach a height of 100 feet, although they normally grow to 40 feet. The bark is thin, separating into slightly ridged, reddish brown scales.

 

The Wood

General

The wood of Silverbell is brown, strong, dense and close grained. It has a wide white sapwood and a pale brown heartwood. The luster is medium and it has no odor or taste. The texture is fine and uniform, with a straight grain.

Mechanical Properties (2-inch standard)

 

 

 

 

Compression

 

 

 

 

Specific

gravity

MOE

x106 lbf/in2

MOR

lbf/in2

Parallel

lbf/in2

Perpendicular

lbf/in2

WMLa

in-lbf/in3

Hardness

lbf

Shear

lbf/in2

Green

.42

1.2

6500

2800

430

8.8

470

930

Dry

.48

1.3

8600

5100

680

6.9

590

1200

aWML = Work to maximum load.

bReference (98).

cReference (59).

 

Drying and Shrinkage

Type of shrinkage

Percentage of shrinkage
(green to final moisture content)

0% MC

6% MC

20% MC

Tangential

7.6

-

-

Radial

3.8

-

-

Volumetric

12.6

-

-

aBirch shrinks considerably during drying. References: 0% MC (98),
6% and 20% MC (90).

Kiln Drying Schedulesa

No information available at this time

Working Properties: Good

Durability: Not highly resistant to decay.

Preservation: No information available at this time

Uses: Paneling, cabinetwork

Toxicity: No information available at this time.

Additional Reading and References Cited (in parentheses)

1.Boone, R.S., C.J. Kozlik, P.J. Bois & E.M. Wengert. 1988. Dry kiln schedules for commercial woods - temperate and tropical. USDA Forest Service, FPL General Technical Report FPL-GTR-57.

2. Elias, T.S. 1980. The complete trees of North America, field guide and natural history. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 948 pp.

3. Little, Jr., E.L.1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). USDA Forest Service, Ag. Handbook No. 541, USGPO, Washington, DC.

4. Markwardt, L.J. and T.R.C. Wilson. 1935. Strength and related properties of woods grown in the United States. USDA Forest Service, Tech. Bull. No. 479. USGPO, Washington, DC.

5. Panshin, A.J. and C. de Zeeuw. 1980. Textbook of Wood Technology, 4th Ed., McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 722 pp.

6. Record, S.J. and R.W. Hess. 1943. Timbers of the new world. Yale University Press, New Haven, 640 pp.

7. Simpson, W.T. 1991. Dry kiln operator's manual. USDA Forest Service, FPL Ag. Handbook 188.

8. Summitt, R. and A. Sliker. 1980. CRC handbook of materials science. Volume 4, wood. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, FL. 459 pp.

Harry A. Alden, 1994