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One Legged Josh
12-20-2011, 10:04 PM
Lately I have been playing with some collected basswood quite a bit... It is a very useful (and common) tree in my area.

I ate the leaves this spring, they were ok.
I have some set aside for friction fire (my favorite wood for FF so far)
The inner bark is great for a tinder bundle
The inner bark is great for a 2-strand twisted cordage.

I have a couple of questions, for the experts though...

What is the most effective way to collect the inner bark? Green or dry? Long runs, or short pieces?

http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h405/OneLeggedJosh/001-7.jpg



Do the wood colors vary? I opened some today, and the innermost part of the wood was almost yellow? Common? Or did I somehow mis-identify the tree? I am almost positive that it was basswood, the inner bark peeled and frayed like normal.

http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h405/OneLeggedJosh/022.jpg

tennecedar
12-20-2011, 10:08 PM
What is that knife? Sorry... I was distracted by the sharp tool. I can't distinguish basswood. Anyway, back to that wicked blade :D

RangerJoe
12-20-2011, 10:15 PM
That sure looks like split Basswood to me.

I have had better luck harvesting dead inner bark, split the bark like normal, the length of the log, peel off long strips, you can run the bark along the spine of your knife to help seperate the inner from outer bark.

In many cases I find Basswood that is too far decayed, almost punky, it looks like you have some good pieces

mainewoods
12-20-2011, 10:22 PM
We Have it here (MAine) But really never play with it, Like to Hear feed Back on It Josh Thanks for sharing!

One Legged Josh
12-20-2011, 10:23 PM
The smaller diameter stuff was not yellow in the middle at all, it was a tan/blonde color. I was almost sure I didnt mess up the ID.

This is what the smaller diameter stuff looked like. They just looked different, so I thought I would ask.

http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h405/OneLeggedJosh/010-4.jpg

One Legged Josh
12-20-2011, 10:24 PM
What is that knife? Sorry... I was distracted by the sharp tool. I can't distinguish basswood. Anyway, back to that wicked blade :D

Its a clip point BK-9 that I have on loan. I knew someone would ask...LOL

tennecedar
12-20-2011, 10:26 PM
Its a clip point BK-9 that I have on loan. I knew someone would ask...LOL

Ooooh Aaaaah :32:

RangerJoe
12-20-2011, 10:30 PM
Thats Basswood fo sho.
It has a certain smell, even when it dead.

J
12-20-2011, 10:37 PM
Cool post josh.......good to get familiar with local resourses. I wish we had more basswood..

One Legged Josh
12-20-2011, 10:42 PM
Thats Basswood fo sho.
It has a certain smell, even when it dead.

I noticed the smell as well. I have been messing with my haul for a few weeks, and I now have a 5 gallon bucket full on inner bark, and a rubber-maid tote full of friction fire sized pieces.

RangerJoe
12-20-2011, 10:44 PM
I noticed the smell as well. I have been messing with my haul for a few weeks, and I now have a 5 gallon bucket full on inner bark, and a rubber-maid tote full of friction fire sized pieces.

if you have enough can you save some for the hardwoodsman meet?

John, the baptist
12-20-2011, 10:44 PM
The different color of the larger diameter pieces is heartwood if I'm not mistaken. The lighter color being sapwood. The smaller diameter pieces don't have it because their not big enough yet. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

One Legged Josh
12-20-2011, 10:53 PM
Here is what the inner-bark looks like. In case someone was un-familiar. It is very strong, and very handy to have around.

One Legged Josh
12-20-2011, 10:54 PM
if you have enough can you save some for the hardwoodsman meet?

That is why I grabbed so much. I think we used some last year at the HW's meet as well.

Pict
12-20-2011, 10:54 PM
I am on a basswood kick as well. We have it here on the island. I salvaged a piece a beaver had taken down and was able to make a bowdrill set and cord for the bow as well as some snares from the bark. My goal is to make a fully functioning bow drill set from stuff here on the island. The piece I had was sapwood as it is almost bone white. Amazing stuff to carve with, it cuts like soap.

RangerJoe
12-20-2011, 10:56 PM
I think we used yours then too lol

Mojoe
12-20-2011, 11:21 PM
I love basswood too, but it doesn't have a very long shelf life. Its almost always punky when I find it.

One Legged Josh
12-20-2011, 11:29 PM
Suspect device, Panzer, and myself dropped this tree while it was green back during the summer. I limbed it, and stood it up against an oak tree to season. I went back to get it two weeks ago, and the top 2 feet were rotten already. you boys are right, it sure does have a short "shelf life".

Mountain Ron
12-20-2011, 11:51 PM
When I lived back east and was able to play with basswood I learned that the green tree was the best for barking in long as strips as possible for cordage. Theres a real good tutorial out there about making basswood bark cordage. If I find the address I'll post it. I like the wood for carving. Its good stuff. I think basswood and cottonwood are about equal for hearthboards and spindle drills.

Mountain Ron
12-21-2011, 12:00 AM
Heres the link to that basswood article: http://homepage.mac.com/laddie/basswood_twining.html

OzaawaaMigiziNini
12-21-2011, 12:01 AM
Definitely a Basswood

I consider basswood my favourite tree..

The easiest way to gather basswood fibres in my experience is to peel the branches and suckers in the spring, or cut down a whole young tree. Then lay it in a marsh or slow moving stream for a few weeks. After 3-5 weeks, you can get up for 200 feet of 1/2 inch wide fibres from a single 4 ft length slab of bark from a 2.5 inch diameter pole.

I got a whole article on my website and three videos (poor quality) I'll pm them to ya Dood.

sotramk
12-21-2011, 01:17 AM
that yellow looking piece kinda looks like Yellow Poplar/Tulip Tree( another great inner bark for tinder)
I agree with a prior post, finding branches or trees that are down on the ground and wet, will get you lots of tinder mat'l. It dries pretty quick once shredded.
For cordage I think I'd stick with harvesting from fresh cut/ live trees while the sap is running.
Favorite inner bark tinder, Poplar, Ash, Cottonwood and Basswood

One Legged Josh
12-21-2011, 01:35 AM
that yellow looking piece kinda looks like Yellow Poplar/Tulip Tree( another great inner bark for tinder)
I agree with a prior post, finding branches or trees that are down on the ground and wet, will get you lots of tinder mat'l. It dries pretty quick once shredded.
For cordage I think I'd stick with harvesting from fresh cut/ live trees while the sap is running.
Favorite inner bark tinder, Poplar, Ash, Cottonwood and Basswood

Does yellow poplar and basswood bark look similar? I know regular poplar does not look anything like basswood, but I ID'ed the "big" piece just by its bark.

sotramk
12-21-2011, 02:34 AM
Does yellow poplar and basswood bark look similar? I know regular poplar does not look anything like basswood, but I ID'ed the "big" piece just by its bark.

The bark changes quite a bit from specie and as the tree ages( how's that for a dodge :) ) I was just reacting to to the pic you posted, Poplar popped into my mind.
I can recognize mature Basswood easier than younger by it's bark only. Before getting into bushcraft Basswood was a tree I did not pay too much attention to.
Did not think it as valuable as Walnut, Cherry, Oak, etc.
Learning to ID by bark is a good skill to learn, keep at it.

Suspectdevice
12-21-2011, 06:34 AM
I have some of the bark from our last trip out drying in my laundry room, some sections had gotten moldy, and are still mushy. I'll see if those pieces are still useful for tinder after some more drying.

edibleplantguy
12-21-2011, 08:02 AM
Greetings All,

When I am gathering basswood bast fibers for cordage, I find that the best and easiest harvest is from tall sucker shoots. This species often makes suckers at the base, and after harvesting, a new crop is produced that is even more stems. These straight, usually unbranched shoots, some 5 to 9 feet high make easy to use long-run strands that may be 3 to 6 feet in length. I have started bow and drill fires with the reverse wrapped twine 20 minutes after I discovered the shoots.

Thanks for reading.

edibleplantguy

DCP
12-21-2011, 08:54 AM
Good thread Josh and thanks everyone for the answers learning a lot. Josh what is the texture like on the bark on the younger trees? is it fairly smooth or does it have slight ridges in it?

I have been able to locally identify the old trees and the highly ridged bark but have been able to find any younger trees that would be easier to harvest.

RangerJoe
12-21-2011, 09:08 AM
Good thread Josh and thanks everyone for the answers learning a lot. Josh what is the texture like on the bark on the younger trees? is it fairly smooth or does it have slight ridges in it?

I have been able to locally identify the old trees and the highly ridged bark but have been able to find any younger trees that would be easier to harvest.

the younger bark is mostly smooth.

One Legged Josh
12-21-2011, 11:31 AM
Good thread Josh and thanks everyone for the answers learning a lot. Josh what is the texture like on the bark on the younger trees? is it fairly smooth or does it have slight ridges in it?

I have been able to locally identify the old trees and the highly ridged bark but have been able to find any younger trees that would be easier to harvest.

I usually ID it by the smoother bark, and the "splotchy" patches on it.

3fires
12-21-2011, 12:15 PM
One thing I've found useful in ID'ing saplings/ younger trees by bark is to look at the bark of newer upper branches of older trees and compare. Many times they look identical or very similar. I'm not sure if this is true for Basswood though.

I've had a a hard time ID'ing some saplings and this little trick has helped me a lot in that regard.