Wood Ingenuity keeps legacy of 150-year-old tree alive
QUEEN ANNE — In 2013, a large White Oak went down during a storm on the farm of Jim Boyle, a farmer in Queen Anne’s County for over 50 years. Jim Boyle’s belief in not wasting led him to look for someone to cut the tree to use for the sides of a barn.
Boyle’s story became one of frustration from that point, when he found there were not any sawmills in the area with a saw big enough
to cut the tree from its original state. Boyle proceeded to cut the tree in half himself and took it to a local sawyer where the tree broke the saw. Boyle proceeded to cut the tree again, so that the tree was now in quarters, and after counting the time and expense spent on trying to prevent a good tree from going to waste Boyle realized it didn’t add up.
Jim Boyle suggested to his youngest son David, a skilled carpenter, they should investigate purchasing a saw larger than the ones they had been able to find locally. Their search led them to finding the 67 diameter Wood-Mizer Saw, WM1000, they currently use.
In 2014, Wood Ingenuity — a full service sawmill on Owens Road in Queen Anne — was launched by the father and son team. After a few months, they realized a smaller saw was needed to make it a one-stop sawmill. They purchased a 28 diameter Wood-Mizer Saw, LT40 Super HD.
David Boyle had worked in home construction for over 15 years, and he said he has always had a strong appreciation for fine pieces of wood. He took the lead at the sawmill. In 2016, he asked his sister, Jane Boyle Brice, to join Wood Ingenuity to help with the administrative side of the business. Brice has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and brought to the team her 18 years of experience in working in the finance industry.
This past summer one of the oldest documented trees Wood Ingenuity has hewn came to them from the farm of Henrietta Wood. Wood is a resident of Caroline County and needed someone to remove a tree from her farm when it was damaged in a heavy wind in June 2016.
“From the door it looked like the whole tree had fallen,” said Wood.
When she was able to get outside, Wood realized part of the tree was still standing, but she said she was relieved to see that the fallen part had missed landing on the house by a mere 20 feet.
Wood’s tree was one of a pair of pecan trees nearly 200 years old, by her best determination.
Wood talked to several local experts before deciding to have the Boyle’s remove the tree. Wood said it took two days for the men to remove the tree.
“I didn’t count the number of dumpsters and truck loads they took away,” she said. “The large pieces were taken to David Boyle’s for sawing ... several people will be getting pecan wood for furniture making.”
Wood believes the trees were planted by the George family in 1870. Something of a historian, Wood had traced the history of her farm and the beloved pecan trees to original owners John H. and Mary E. Husbands George of Smyrna, Del. They purchased the farm on Tuckahoe Road in Denton where Wood currently resides in 1865. The Georges resided there until the early 1900s, said Wood.
In 1917, the parents of Wood’s late husband, Leo Wood purchased the Tuckahoe Road farm. She and her husband took ownership in 1954, Wood said.
Wood added she had the pleasure of meeting Florence George Perry – one of the 10 George children — in the 1950s. Perry had remained in Denton and told Wood that around her fifth birthday her father took her out to the two pecan trees and had her place her hand around them so she would remember when they had been planted and be able to count their growth with hers.
On Saturday, July 7, 1962, the late Florence Perry celebrated her 103 birthday. The Denton Journal wrote about the celebration. Using that date it is assumed the tree at Wood’s farm was about 157 years old this July.
Wood, who is now 87 and still residing at the Tuckahoe Road farm, has many fond memories of those trees. She seemed pleased that others would be able to share the tree with her.
A local woodturner will also be using some of Wood’s pecan tree to craft his one-ofa-kind bowls, Wood said.
Wood Ingenuity and the Boyle family was pleased to be able to be a part of the process, Brice said.
Wood Ingenuity is a full service sawmill that specializes in live edge slabs. They are capable of cutting large reclaimed trees up to 67” in diameter, turning fallen, damaged or dead trees that would otherwise go to landfills or become mulch, into valuable lumber to be used in their shop and the shops of other woodworkers, Brice said.
She added a DH kiln has been purchased and will be available for drying wood in the near future. In addition to custom cutting, the business also offera hauling, handling and storing.
For more information contact Wood Ingenuity LLC at 620 Owens Road, Queen Anne, open by appointment only, or email email@example.com or on the internet at www.facebook.com/woodingenuity.
A section of the large pecan tree from Henrietta Wood’s Caroline County farm at Wood Ingenuity in Queen Anne.
An aerial view of Henrietta and the late Leo Wood’s farm in Caroline County. Wood said she traded a basketful of eggs for the photograph.