Osage orange wood lottery planned today

Osage orange wood lottery planned today

March 28th, 2013 by Staff Report in Local Regional News

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger stands in front of the Osage orange tree that formerly stood on the courthouse lawn until last month.

Photo by Patrick Smith /Times Free Press.

The Chattanooga Department of Public Works is conducting a wood lottery today at 10 a.m.

The featured wood comes from the Osage orange tree that stood near the Hamilton County Courthouse. The old, massive tree fell last fall.

"I counted 150 annual rings," said City Forester Gene Hyde, "so it was at least 150 years old, possibly older."

There also will be some persimmon, red cedar, box elder and other decorative woods.

Those who wish to participate in the lottery must register. Hyde suggests arriving at 9 a.m. to inspect the 66 lots.

The lottery will begin at 10 a.m. Those whose form is drawn will have two minutes to choose the numbered pile of wood they want.

Hyde said the pieces vary in size from just a few inches to more than 4 feet in diameter.

"Some of these weigh thousands of pounds," he said.

The smaller pieces will be available as souvenirs and won't require participating in the lottery, but will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Hyde asks that people come prepared with the appropriate means of transporting the larger pieces. "Some are going to need a very strong trailer."

The event will be held on Moccasin Bend at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The entrance to the wood storage area is located off Moccasin Bend Road just south of Hamm Road before the golf course.