Wood Ingenuity keeps le­gacy of 150-year-old tree alive

Record Observer - - Front Page - By HANNAH COMBS hcombs@ches­pub.com

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 wood­in­ge­nu­ity@gmail.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.

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