Legend of Myrtlewood Trees

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"The Legend of Oregon Myrtlewood"

In southwest Oregon along the Pacific coast grows one of the world's most beautiful trees. The name, Myrtle is an equally beautiful name.

The Myrtle tree grows at random in grassy meadows as well as heavily forested hills. Being easily distinguishable from other evergreens it grows in a symmetrical shape, having long flat leaves that may be used for seasoning much as bay leaves. The seed or nut from the Myrtle tree is about the size of an olive.

The Myrtle, like most other hard woods, grows very slowly, reaching a diameter at the base of up to six feet and a height of around 80 feet. It may take two centuries of growing to achieve this size. This slow growth produces a very close grained and fine textured wood.

From the soil, rich in copper, iron and many other minerals, the Myrtle trees roots draw these water carried substances in to the tree causing the wood to take on colors ranging from silver to black with infinite pattern designs.

Green (or wet) myrtlewood is extremely heavy and does not float. In addition to Oregon myrtle, there is common myrtle, an evergreen shrub. The common myrtle grows wild in Galilee the upper Jordan valley and the Carmel range. It is used both ornamentally and ritually as one of the four specie of the Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles.