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Old 09-12-2019, 12:49 AM
William Ashley William Ashley is online now
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Default Poplar, Birch and Maple



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Just experimenting with these trees.
Does anyone have considerations. People often don't realize that some of these leaves are edible and the sap can be edible, and the inner bark can be edible etc.. and the fruit/seeds can be edible.

Used for teas or eating as a leaf salad.

Anyone have more information on this survival food?
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Old 09-12-2019, 01:27 AM
~Black.Dog~ ~Black.Dog~ is online now
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Birch is a useful tree but I've never used it as a food source. Not saying it can't, I just never tried anything other than drinking the delicious sap.
Theoretically, you can make syrup or sugar from the sap. Birch doesn't run as well as maple so it would take a lot of tapping. After that, treat the sap just as you would maple.
The papery outer bark is very flammable so it is good to collect for tinder. Folded up and tucked into the end of a split stick it makes a pretty good torch for light.
The mark can also be used to fabricate things like drinking vessels, makeshift plates and the like. Heck, the Indians made canoes with it. The inner bark can also be stripped large pieces fairly easily so things can be made with that as well. Need a gutter-like water diverter? Or you can even cut longer pieces and use them in an alternating up/down pattern to make a complete water shedding roof. Kind of the way tile is used.
The others I don't know much about other than making a decent campfire.
Although tulip poplar grows very straight and seems like it would be a good choice for cabin building. I never tried eating it.

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Old 09-12-2019, 04:44 AM
William Ashley William Ashley is online now
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Originally Posted by ~Black.Dog~ View Post
Birch is a useful tree but I've never used it as a food source. Not saying it can't, I just never tried anything other than drinking the delicious sap.
Theoretically, you can make syrup or sugar from the sap. Birch doesn't run as well as maple so it would take a lot of tapping. After that, treat the sap just as you would maple.
The papery outer bark is very flammable so it is good to collect for tinder. Folded up and tucked into the end of a split stick it makes a pretty good torch for light.
The mark can also be used to fabricate things like drinking vessels, makeshift plates and the like. Heck, the Indians made canoes with it. The inner bark can also be stripped large pieces fairly easily so things can be made with that as well. Need a gutter-like water diverter? Or you can even cut longer pieces and use them in an alternating up/down pattern to make a complete water shedding roof. Kind of the way tile is used.
The others I don't know much about other than making a decent campfire.
Although tulip poplar grows very straight and seems like it would be a good choice for cabin building. I never tried eating it.

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The leaves are very palatable, I enjoy ginko more than birch but it is a mild flavour. Poplar has a great scent to it... tastes a little sweetish at first but notice it gets bitter if left for a long time. I am thinking tanins are more prone to leach out with time whereas initially the saps and chlorophyl are first to come out.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:36 AM
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The leaves are very palatable, I enjoy ginko more than birch but it is a mild flavour. Poplar has a great scent to it... tastes a little sweetish at first but notice it gets bitter if left for a long time. I am thinking tanins are more prone to leach out with time whereas initially the saps and chlorophyl are first to come out.
If you are thinking of making syrup from the maple or birch, keep in mind it takes a ton of equipment to make any amount of it.

I always think poplar smells like diarrhea mixed with candy. Although I may make that connection because of how much time I spent around beaver dams. The beavers eat the poplar bark and their poop smells like it.
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:56 PM
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If you are thinking of making syrup from the maple or birch, keep in mind it takes a ton of equipment to make any amount of it.



I always think poplar smells like diarrhea mixed with candy. Although I may make that connection because of how much time I spent around beaver dams. The beavers eat the poplar bark and their poop smells like it.
Poplar smells like sick when freshly cut and drying.

I have dried some poplar logs for a year and turned them into boards this summer. Nice and light, no smell.

Peeling poplar bark off a tree cut a month or two earlier, after some rain... smells like a bad outhouse...

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Old 09-12-2019, 05:06 PM
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Poplar smells like sick when freshly cut and drying.

I have dried some poplar logs for a year and turned them into boards this summer. Nice and light, no smell.

Peeling poplar bark off a tree cut a month or two earlier, after some rain... smells like a bad outhouse...

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Once it is dry it no longer smells I find it actually makes really nice, white, straight grained lumber. I found out this summer that once a poplar has been cut down for about a month the "sick" smell goes away but the sweet smell stays there, it almost smells like cherry or almond after a month or so.
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Old 09-12-2019, 05:30 PM
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I have cut and chipped a lot of trees in my local area. Poplar is one of them that have a funny smell when ran through a chipper. I haven’t looked into why though.
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:35 PM
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The poplars, at least at my property, are often partially rotten at least a bit somewhere. Some are quite rotten, hence why i cut them. I replaced them with butternuts and buartnuts, someone will enjoy those in 60 years.

I wonder if the poplar can be turned into charcoal in meaningful quantities and quality, any experiences?

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Old 09-12-2019, 06:36 PM
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Once it is dry it no longer smells I find it actually makes really nice, white, straight grained lumber. I found out this summer that once a poplar has been cut down for about a month the "sick" smell goes away but the sweet smell stays there, it almost smells like cherry or almond after a month or so.
I found that peeling the bark months after cutting they still smelled...

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Old 09-12-2019, 07:31 PM
Florida Jean Florida Jean is offline
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I've made chop sticks from maple [fresh and dried]. Cows like maple seeds green/fresh. Chickens will eat them that way but it seems like they like them better dried.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:19 PM
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The poplars, at least at my property, are often partially rotten at least a bit somewhere. Some are quite rotten, hence why i cut them. I replaced them with butternuts and buartnuts, someone will enjoy those in 60 years.

I wonder if the poplar can be turned into charcoal in meaningful quantities and quality, any experiences?

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I donít know what kind of poplar you have in your area, the smells you guys are describing I donít get.
Iíve loaded and unloaded tens of tens of thousands of board feet of poplar logs over the years.
In the late spring I can debark the logs just by squeezing them in the grapple.

As for charcoal, I doubt it, poplar is like basswood and barely considered a hardwood.
They wonít even use it for wood stove pellets here.

Itís basically used for secondary woods in furniture building and pallet stock.


Now elm, that stuff smells something awful, like cat urine.
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:25 AM
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I donít know what kind of poplar you have in your area, the smells you guys are describing I donít get.

Iíve loaded and unloaded tens of tens of thousands of board feet of poplar logs over the years.

In the late spring I can debark the logs just by squeezing them in the grapple.



As for charcoal, I doubt it, poplar is like basswood and barely considered a hardwood.

They wonít even use it for wood stove pellets here.



Itís basically used for secondary woods in furniture building and pallet stock.





Now elm, that stuff smells something awful, like cat urine.
Once dry and cut into boards, no smell. Even cutting the dry boards produces no smell. But debarking or cutting into a recently (<6 months?) harvested poplar, yeap, sweet sickly smell. Maybe microbial flora is different here?

My poplars grow on a soil pocket in the Canadian Shield.

I don't bother burning poplar in the stove, but I burn it in camp fires (as I have so much from clearing for nut trees!).

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Old 09-13-2019, 09:29 PM
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Depending on the species of maple tree the young leaves are edible and the helicopter seeds are too. Plus maple wood is always great for smoking food with.
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Old 09-15-2019, 01:20 AM
William Ashley William Ashley is online now
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Depending on the species of maple tree the young leaves are edible and the helicopter seeds are too. Plus maple wood is always great for smoking food with.

Yes, maple, birch and poplar are edible leaves, and usable with teas. Dependant on the variety. Their saps is also edible... dependant on variety.

Anyone have experiene with this.

I'm not considering making maple syrup.. no need to make syrup as the sap is edible right out of the tree.

Again not trying to learn about mainstream commerical processes and using the trees as a source of wood - plenty of dead fall in forests that removes the need to fell trees to use as a lumber source but rather extend survivalist knowledge (hense survivalist boards) including knowing how to use the leaves as a survival food source as the natives did, and use the sap as a source of water when in the wilds, etc..

You know information like this


or this

But more specificaly related to tree leaves and sap...

both edible... without a need to refine them .. they are edible straight from the tree.

Yes, birch maple and poplar can be a source of food not just a source of lumber.
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Old 09-15-2019, 04:45 PM
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Fresh maple sap has a reputation of giving a person the runs. It is also only available for maybe two months in the spring and maybe a month in the fall.
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Old 09-15-2019, 06:28 PM
William Ashley William Ashley is online now
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Fresh maple sap has a reputation of giving a person the runs. It is also only available for maybe two months in the spring and maybe a month in the fall.
I think that may be an over generalization, as it depends what your local conditions are. Generally speaking fall sap is about 1/3rd volume to spring sap, and contains less sugar content (not a bad thing if you are using it as a water enriched source of nutiriton)

The key for sap capture is that the temperature swings from cold at night to warm during the day with best results where the nighttime temperature falls below the freezing point.

As you are aware this happens both in spring and fall very commonly, but in fact it is not seasonal dependant in as much as it is weather dependent.

Commercial tree tapping tends to be more industrialized process so they aim to maximize efficiencies to get as much sap as they can in bulk so they can refine to maple syrup as part of an assembly line process of collection, and cooking the sap, so it is much more regimente das there is an "ideal" time of year to get the highest yeilds. However, you are wrong in thinking that it is the only time that you can get sap is at the peak of the season, you just get the highest yeild, something a survivalist isn't really concerned about in a survival situation when they just need enough to survive not to make a bottle of syrup.




There is of cource going to be a reasonable drip rate to make it worthwhile to tap.



Seems birches will flow above 50f where as the maple is more so temperature fluctuation.





This is good for identifying maples etc..

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Old 09-15-2019, 07:45 PM
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I think that may be an over generalization, as it depends what your local conditions are. Generally speaking fall sap is about 1/3rd volume to spring sap, and contains less sugar content (not a bad thing if you are using it as a water enriched source of nutiriton)

The key for sap capture is that the temperature swings from cold at night to warm during the day with best results where the nighttime temperature falls below the freezing point.

As you are aware this happens both in spring and fall very commonly, but in fact it is not seasonal dependant in as much as it is weather dependent.

Commercial tree tapping tends to be more industrialized process so they aim to maximize efficiencies to get as much sap as they can in bulk so they can refine to maple syrup as part of an assembly line process of collection, and cooking the sap, so it is much more regimente das there is an "ideal" time of year to get the highest yeilds. However, you are wrong in thinking that it is the only time that you can get sap is at the peak of the season, you just get the highest yeild, something a survivalist isn't really concerned about in a survival situation when they just need enough to survive not to make a bottle of syrup.




There is of cource going to be a reasonable drip rate to make it worthwhile to tap.



Seems birches will flow above 50f where as the maple is more so temperature fluctuation.





This is good for identifying maples etc..

Maple Tree Identification In Winter - Beginner&#39;s Guide to Tree Tapping and Maple Syrup Making - YouTube
The flavor also changes for the worse as soon as the budds open up on the tree
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:30 PM
William Ashley William Ashley is online now
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The flavor also changes for the worse as soon as the budds open up on the tree
Yeah lots of foraged foods arn't tasting like processed foods that are formulated to appeal to human engineered salt, oil and sugar programming.

None the less I've eaten a wide range of forage and astringents are a developed taste.

None the less if you have eaten a lot of fermented foods etc.. its really not "bad tasting" it just tastes different.

Lots of people are very use to eating out of a can from a very select group of industrially produced cultivars. Personally I enjoy different tastes that contrasts with processed foods.



That said I found this video useful also in a method to collect sap without normal tapping process.


Never gotten the runs from sap, I am geussing that some trees are likely high in vitamin C, perhaps that is why... sap is chalk full of nutrients so very healthy stuff.

People that arn't used to non processed foods have an adjustment period before their stomach gets use to it, but if you are eating forage regularly and eating non processed foods your body adjusts to it.

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