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Article: Tung-oil, an Environmentally Safe Wood Preservative: tung trees

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Forum: Article: Tung-oil, an Environmentally Safe Wood PreservativeReplies: 1, Views: 8
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Fort Garland, CO
(Zone 4b)

July 20, 2011
9:56 PM

Post #8705206

Thanks for the informative article. It was appreciated that you mentioned the demise of the tung oil industry on the Gulf Coast due to tropical storms, particularly Hurricane Camille in '69. I first saw these gorgeous trees when I lived on the Mississippi coast in the mid 80s. I was at a friend's "ranch", spending a lazy day at his fishing pond, and thought there were charcoal nuggets thrown around under some lovely trees. They were tung nuts. The trees were remnants of an earlier tung oil plantation that included my friend's land. I saw the trees in bloom the following year. While the oil is indeed a superior wood coating, I'd say the tree in flower is a sight to be seen, and a reason to consider it as an ornamental on a large property. My next encounter with tung was in New Orleans a number of years later. I recognized them immediately from my earlier encounter, and awaited their blooms each year. It was with great sadness that the neighbor there cut down the two trees that he found to be too close to his house (both were over ten feet away, in the front and on the side). They were a beautiful sight when in bloom, and the large leaves were lovely during the remainder of the growing season. I suppose the black nuts on the ground were too much to clean up. I only wish I had tried to plant a few seeds when I was down there. I'm in zone 4 now, and tung won't grow here.
Valparaiso, FL
(Zone 8b)

July 21, 2011
4:26 AM

Post #8705512

Thanks for your feedback. I miss seeing the tung tree, too. It is very ornamental. However, I would not choose to plant one in my Florida garden because it is a Category II exotic invasive here.

You have lilacs--and peonies; things I can't grow. We all wish for things that won't grow in our zones. Zone envy, I think it's called. Oh well, we can never have it all, can we?

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