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RUSSIAN OLIVE


Elaeagnus spp.

Generally Elaeagnus angustifolia but also Elaeagnus commutata, both of the family Elaeagnaceae. This wood is NOT an olive, it just has that word in its name because of the physical siimilarity of the bark and leaves to real olive trees. Native to Russia but also grows elsewhere in Europe and is also found in the USA. I have it anecdotally that the wood is pleasant to turn and obviously the strong grain pattern does make for beautiful turned objects as you can see at the bottom of the page.

Correspondent Jim Rieger pointed out to me that Russian olive is used extensively in "shelter belts" (aka windbreaks) in the Midwest.

my samples:
NOTE: these pics were all taken in very bright incandescent lighting ("soft white" at 2700K)
colors will vary under other lighting conditions


both sides of a sample plank of Russian olive / Elaeagnus angustifolia --- HUGE enlargements are present.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Russian olive / Elaeagnus angustifolia


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Russian olive / Elaeagnus angustifolia --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Russian olive / Elaeagnus angustifolia --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of silverberry (russian olive) / Elaeagnus commutata with white rot around the pith --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank --- I had just a devil of a time with the color correction on this and never did get it quite right. All the pics of this piece have a bit too much red in them; it really was more of a light chocolate brown. HUGE enlargements are present


face grain closeup of the piece directly above


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above --- this is from the other end of the plank but the color of that end is the same and the extreme shift in color IS just due to the update sanding process.


two side grain closeups of the piece directly above, the first showing relative large ray flakes and the second showing very small ray flakes



Three Russian olive burl pieces contributed by Norman Vandyke whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


nice litte square cuttoff


full burl edge



small piece chewed on by one HUNGRY worm

web pics:


a very well-photographed, 3" long, piece listed as Russian olive / Elaeagnus angustifolia with both levels of enlargement, the 2nd of which shows the face grain very nicely


fresh cut bole slabs


slabs moistened for the pic


log end


various pieces of freshly milled Russian olive; I'm pretty sure the pink color is the photography, not the wood but I'm not positive about that


planks listed as Russian olive / Elaeagnus angustifolia


planks


plank moistened for the pic (and I'm still not sure about the color --- I think the image is oversaturated)


slabs ... the 1st one is waxed, the 2nd one is raw, the 3rd one is raw and the 4th set is very small "slabs"


face grain of waxed bowl blanks listed as Russian olive / Elaegnus angustifloria which is an incorrect name; it should be Elaegnus angustifolia


face grain of waxed turning stock isted as Russian olive / Elaegnus angustifloria which is an incorrect name; it should be Elaegnus angustifolia


bookmatched planks


bookmatched thins


pen blanks ... I think the purple color on the second set is an effect of the pic. The third set is waxed


sets of pen blanks that have been stabilized, thus the deep color


cutoffs


an image that was chosen (on the web site where I found it) for the PATTERN, not the wood itself, and justifiably so, I think.


crotch pieces


burls


two sets of book-matched burl pairs moistened for the pic --- take a look at the second enlargement of these. Really beautiful.


stabilized burl pieces


small burl pieces


burl pen blanks


pen blanks


both sides of a set of turning pieces


knife handles


bowls


boxes


burl bowl


listed as a Russian olive burl flask. This is a beautiful piece of wood, but I have no idea how much of the red is the wood vs a finishing agent, or an effect of the pic.


kaleidescope


hollow forms


burl hollow form --- even considering that this has a finish on it, the color is ridiculously over-saturated, I'm sure


burl hollow form


lidded vessel


urns


vases


burl vase with a very interesting natural edge


coffee table and spoon


bench and closeups ... it appears to me that these pics probably have too much orange and yellow in them; this whole thing looks more like pine than Russion olive. I don't mean that I think it IS pine, just that the overly yellow pics make it look like it is.