2023-07-22 Trees and Tables

Published: Sat 22 July 2023
By Goran

In Blog.

Trees and Tables

I love trees. Trees are our friends and teachers. Trees have been around for millions of years. The oldest family that is still with us is the Ginkgo family, with small changes over the last 200 million years. They were around in the time of the dinosaurs and will be around long after we humanas are gone.

In the last ten years, I have planted thousands of trees, mainly fruit- and nut-trees, and the trees teach me patience and observational skills. Some trees love it in a certain place, others don't. Some individuals take off and grow strong, others are weak and die.

Trees teach me to think more long term. In the past, I had difficulty doing tasks that took long time, like baking bread or growing a garden. I would lose interest. Think of other things. Forget. Get distracted. Look for something exciting. Go on a journey.

These days, I am a middle aged man. Maybe that is why I have less needs for thrills? I have slowed down, almost to the pace of the trees.

Walnut tree from 1800s


The other day, I was checking out the place where our old wheelbarrow was made, in Trönninge, to see if I could purchase another one, or a lower, flat wagon. The workshop was closed, but when I took my bike back to the main road, I saw a walnut tree in the garden next to the industrial zone.

It was the largest walnut tree I have seen in any garden in my whole life. (I have seen forests of walnut trees in Georgia, back in 1996, but at that time I did not take photos of trees...) I rang the bell and the owner of the old farm, a delightful lady close to 90 years old came out, and told the story of her grandfather who had planted the tree in the 1870s. The tree fruits every second year, buckets of walnuts, and this year is an off-year. She invited me to come again next year to collect some pails full of nuts.


The tree had some damage from a storm a few years back. One of the four main trunks broke off, and the roots probably now start to rot. A decade or so from now, the whole tree will probably be gone. In the meantime, jays plant nuts all over the surroundings. I could count to four seedling trees in the neighbourhood, some of which seems to bear nuts already.

Trees to Tables

Trees are great also after they have died. They can help us in the form of tools and tables for centuries more. During this spring, I have met an artist, Anders Ölund, who creates the most wonderful furniture out of deceased trees. Most of his library of logs come from the Dutch Elm Disease, which hit hard in parks and plantations during the 1990s.

Anders gave me a log from a walnut tree. It was half rotten, but we give it a try anyways.


I could borrow his bandsaw to cut it up and load it into our small VW Polo, to get the logs home.


It is now drying, and hopefully I can make some nice signage for the nut tree nursery of the wood.


However, the wet wood is still full of mycelia, so I hope I will be faster than the fungi to make something useful of the wood...


Newfound friends

My new friends P. and S. are also supporting the artist, and have some of the unique furniture in their café. Next year their café will open to the public, and it is an amazing place. If you ever go to Knäred, be sure to look for the "Kackel & kakor café"


P. is a very skilled chainsaw specialist, and here he is working an elm log with a steady hand.


P. also showed me how to grind and finish oak slabs for benches. It is great to work with wood, and turn trees into art.


Here we worked together on a complex piece of elm, which needed several subsequent cuts to get the right shape.


You can order woodden art benches, tables and other furniture from Anders Ölund at Olunds.com.