Mesquite Wood Furniture FAQ

Mesquite History

Mesquite (Prospis glandulosa) covers about 100 million acres in the southwestern states of American and in Mexico. Over 50 million of those acres are in Texas. Varieties include: honey mesquite, honey pod, algarobo, velvet mesquite, common mesquite, and western honey mesquite. In the desert plains, mesquite is more of a bush, but they can grow an average of 20 feet tall in other areas. A thorny tree, the mesquite flowers and produces bean in autumn.

The mesquite tree's root system can grow more than 100 feet down in search of water, making it a hardy survivor in harsh climates.

Long before the first Anglo settlers came to Texas, Native Americans used mesquite in its entirety, seeing it as an integral part of their culture. They made sewing needles from the thorns and used the inner bark to make baskets and fabric. The bean pods served as food and were used to make medicinal tea. The mesquite's sap was used for black dye and sweet gum, and, of course, the wood was used to make arrows and bows for hunting.

Early pioneers used mesquite for fence posts, wagon wheels and furniture, as well as fires for warmth and cooking. Mesquite slabs even served as street and walkway paving.

Mesquite Today

Today, many people associate mesquite with barbecue, but it has numerous other uses, such as flooring and staircases where it's ideal due to its durability. It's become a medium for artistic carvings, and is still used as a food source in items such as jellies, honey, liquid smoke and pod flour. It also provides livestock fodder and cover and is food for deer and turkeys. Finally, mesquite is used to make furniture pieces ranging from doors, paneling, lumber and fence posts to rocking chairs, humidors, desks and tables.

Mesquite Characteristics

Mesquite is a very stable wood; when it shifts or moves, it doesn't buckle or split. Long-lasting, it can withstand heavy weight and moisture changes. Mesquite is medium brown and gold with a swirling smooth to coarse grain that makes it a beautiful medium to work with. "Defects" such as bark pockets, ring shake and resin pockets are found in larger logs. Occasionally, mesquite wood will show evidence of mineral streaks, ingrown bark, latent buds, and bug blemishes. These defects often add to the character of the rustic furniture created from mesquite wood.

Mesquite trees provide much more than shade and firewood. Throughout history, they have quietly provided necessities crucial to our survival and to the balance of nature. From firewood to furniture, mesquite has proven to be one of the most useful trees in Texas.

Why does it cost so much?

Good question. Mesquite is an expensive wood. In the wild, mesquite only grows about half an inch/year when it isn't crowded and there is plenty of rain. If a customer desires a particular feature, it may take months to locate just the right tree or lumber to provide that.

When we do find a good tree, we cut it into planks which are kiln dried, a 30 to 60 day process. Once the wood is dry, our work really begins. Besides simply constructing the furniture, we may have to spend days filling worm holes, charring edges, or smoothing branch splits, etc. But the finished product is so beautiful, you'll agree with us that the end result is worth the effort.

 

 

 

Western Rustic Cowboy Furniture, Handmade Mesquite Mantels, Dining Room Tables, Tables of All Types, Bedroom Furniture including night stands. Shop Longhorn Mesquite Works for all of your home furnishing options Lazy Susan's to dress up any table, Benches and Stump Tables. Phone us for details - 830-379-9614.