Sacbee Garden: So long to plum tree, hello to cutting boards

Published: Saturday, Sep. 14, 2013 - 12:00 am

Sacramento Bee readers share their gardening adventures.

Lili Ong Kan and her husband, Darwin Kan, of Walnut Grove recently said goodbye to an old friend: a large plum tree. But the wood it left behind proved to be inspirational to the couple, both woodworkers.

“It was once a beautiful and productive Santa Rosa plum tree for 40-some years, and we had to put it down,” Lili said. “We just had to say goodbye.

“As my husband was cutting it section by section, I was also discovering all those lines and colors in each piece of the wood. My husband and I are amateur woodworkers. We pay attention to grains and knots.

“If trees could talk, I am sure there would be endless stories. Each knot is a difficult time, each ring tells you there are 365 sunsets, a worm hole was once a home, and the rotten parts were someone’s food.

“I put the pieces in to three piles,” Lili continued. “One was food and home to someone, and now they are light and hole-ly, I have to let go. The second pile’s pieces are heavy, have beautiful curvy lines all over. Some even have purple color parts of wood that make me wonder what happened that year. This pile will dry and eventually turn into chopping boards or coffee table.

“The third pile has pieces with just a bit of bug bites, but still contain mostly solid wood. We are keeping them to use for BBQ ribs when the wood is dried. It might be better than the pear tree wood that our neighbors cut down years ago.

“I am glad I have pictures of this plum tree in glorious days,” she added, “and the day when we lay it to rest, in peace and in pieces.”

TELL US ABOUT YOUR GARDEN ADVENTURES Do you have a gardening photo, tip or story to share? Or do you want to publicize a community garden event or activity? Post your news via our virtual SacBee Garden at SacBeeGarden. Also, email your submissions to h& (put “SacBee Garden” in the subject line). Or mail it to: SacBee Garden, Home & Garden, Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA

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