Carob slabs milled at Wine Glass Bar Sawmill from a tree that had to come down on a building lot to make room for a custom home in Paradise Valley, AZ. Wouldn't it have been a shame if this beautiful wood went to the dump?

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Carob (Ceratonia siliqua)

Native to the eastern Mediterranean, carob trees do very well in the heat of Arizona's low desert. Also known as the locust bean tree, homeowners appreciate the fact that these trees require only a few deep irrigations during the summer time. Moderately fast-growing to 30 or 40 feet, , the tree forms a round, spreading canopy, with dark green leaves. 

Still, due to the downside of debris from the large seedpods, flowers, and fruit , carob is not pushed by nurseries and is, therefore, not as readily available as other urban lumber species. 

Also because it is such an appealing and valuable shade tree and is drought tolerant, long-living and relatively non-invasive, carob trees don't have to be removed as often as other trees, and some that have to come down have wood rot. In fact, we have only milled about six carob logs in seven years and two of those were rotten. 

The wood:

Carob is sought for ornamental work, in particular. Also, the natural shape of the fluted stem lends itself specifically for some furniture design. The sometimes extremely wavy grain of the wood gives it very good resistance to splitting. Carob makes nice cutting boards and smaller items as well as very nice tables, mantles and shelves. 

Interesting facts:
Because of the pod's natural sweetness and chocolate-like flavor, it's become a favorite health food alternative, used in yogurt, wrapped as snack food "chocolate" bars, and in powder form similar to cocoa for hot drinks.

The word carat, which is still used today to measure gold and diamonds, comes from the Arabic name for the carob seeds. because of their uniformity in weight.
Ancient jewelers, seeking a standard weight measurement for gems, discovered the hard, heavy seeds of the carob pod were uniform in weight. They began to use the seeds singly or in multiples to assign value to individual stones.  "Carat," the now-universal weight unit for diamonds and other stones of value (one carat equals 200 milligrams).