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Most people don't know this, but willow trees are like the mack daddy of all trees.

Did you know that their bark can be used like asprin?

that their bark can be soaked in water to create a rooting hormone for other plants?

they are easy to grow - cut off a branch & stick it in the ground!

and many other things!

keep as many around as possible.
 

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The inner bark (Cambium ) also makes top notch cordage, rope or string.

To make basic wrapping or binding material you can simply cut strips from a straight shoot, but if you want to make proper cordage you will need to remove the outer bark by scraping with the back of a knife. This should be done using a straight knot free branch about wrist thickness (Secondary growth works well for this).

Cut the bark into strips about 1/2 inch thick and boil them in a container with water and a mixture of outer bark scraping and white wood ash. This helps to break down the fibres and give them more flexibility.

After boiling for 1/2 - 1 hour remove from the water and hang strips to dry. These dried strips can be stored for later use or slightly moistened again if you wish to plait the string into cordage.

The actual process of cordage making is difficult to demonstrate in writing, but there are plenty of demonstrations and online video podcasts such as the one on www.azbushcraft.com or try a search for natural cordage on youtube.
 

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When I was in school taking an environmental course we completed this huge stream bank reinforcement project for the state DEC, to save a farmers house and barn. A small creek had eroded a bank about 30 feet down and was pulling earth into is very fast(with his house and barn in the line of fire). We did a plant mesh cover along this whole bank and planted 1000s of willow stakes. Their root systems move quickly and absorb a lot of water. CRISIS AVERTED! So yes willow is a great tree.
 

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When my father and I were in the well drilling business in southeast Missouri, we found that willow trees only seem to grow where there is a good supply of good water available underground.

We never failed to hit good water at about 30' down when we drilled near a healthy willow tree. The water table was changing (probably still is) and it was getting harder to find good water shallow. Twice we drilled by willow trees that weren't doing well. Water, but needed treating.

Just food for thought.
 

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What about cricket bats?
The australian government was advised to chop down all the willows along our waterways.
Bad move, as far a water filtration,evaporation and trout fishing.
 

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The inner bark (Cambium ) also makes top notch cordage, rope or string.

To make basic wrapping or binding material you can simply cut strips from a straight shoot, but if you want to make proper cordage you will need to remove the outer bark by scraping with the back of a knife. This should be done using a straight knot free branch about wrist thickness (Secondary growth works well for this).

Cut the bark into strips about 1/2 inch thick and boil them in a container with water and a mixture of outer bark scraping and white wood ash. This helps to break down the fibres and give them more flexibility.

After boiling for 1/2 - 1 hour remove from the water and hang strips to dry. These dried strips can be stored for later use or slightly moistened again if you wish to plait the string into cordage.

The actual process of cordage making is difficult to demonstrate in writing, but there are plenty of demonstrations and online video podcasts such as the one on www.azbushcraft.com or try a search for natural cordage on youtube.
What is white wood?
 

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What about cricket bats?
The australian government was advised to chop down all the willows along our waterways.
Bad move, as far a water filtration,evaporation and trout fishing.
Funny, my father had me do that on a piece of property we owned. He thought the willows were causing the water to stay in the area and not drain. I tried to explain it to him but he never thought I knew much about nuthin. If you do have to cut them down throw them in a lake as they make good cover for small fish like perch.
 
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