What started as a hobby back in 1998 and has evolved into our business today. Longhorn Mesquite Works creates unique one of a kind pieces of furniture of lumber harvested in South Texas.
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.
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 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.
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.
As most commercially sold items on the market during the pandemic in 2021 supplies are scare. We at Longhorn Mesquite Works have tried to keep the prices reasonable as our costs have more than doubled. Just like land, mesquite wood is a commodity and should not be wasted. Check out our online showroom and purchase a treasure to pass through the family for generations to come. Thanks for visiting our website.