The process

The Good Tree

  Step 4 of 15  
Melvin and Pien Zoom

Melvin about to cut down a tree for canoe lumber. Canoe-making starts with the selection of the appropriate trees. They must be minaiku (white spruce), tall and straight, with at least a couple of metres of trunk free of branches. Trees that have branches along the trunk or are twisted will cause a lot of grief because they cannot be split very easily, and knots (from the branches) do not make strong planking.

Pien pulled the bark off the tree in strips on one side so that he could examine the grain underneath and look for knots and other imperfections.