Selecting trees for staves
I have a woodlot in Northern New Hampshire with a wide selection of tree species at various ages. Everything from saplings to mature trees: Main hardwood species include at least some of the following -- beech, sugar maple, striped maple, red maple, white ash, brown ash, hop hornbeam, elm, cherry. As well as a number of smaller species like alder and choke cherry. I was thinking of cutting some wood and splitting it into staves for future self bow making. My first question is how big a tree should I cut? Am I better off selecting a smaller tree that might split into four staves or a bigger tree that will yield more? As far as drying goes, I have a large loft over my dog kennel building or I could put the staves in under an open shed type roof where they would be dry but less exposed to the summer heat in the loft -- which would be better? How long will they need to dry? Any bow makers within striking distance would be welcome to some wood in exchange for a little sweat equity and expertise.