Monday, January 5, 2015

Seven Eastern Woodland Trees Essential To Survival

Seven Eastern Woodland Trees Essential To Survival

I have been holding off on this article for awhile waiting until I did an individual writeup on each tree and demonstrating each of it's survival properties but finally decided it was best to put the information out there and make the other posts more in-depth exploring each tree fully after I'm able to show its uses in each season. Learning these trees and how to put them to use in a survival situation can mean the difference from life and death. Merely finding a Pine tree is like salvation for me in the woods. It means food, fire and shelter all in one place. Mastering wild edibles is a much harder task but knowing six trees and how to exploit those trees as a survival resource is a very doable goal even for the least experienced woodsman. I encourage you to Google these trees, learn all you can about the look at pictures of them during each season and then go out and get yours hands on the trees and try to use them to your advantage in the woods!

Common Name: Pine
Scientific Name: Pinus
Use One: Bedding/ shelter material
Use Two: Bacon! Fry the inner bark (in thin slices) and you have a bacon-like breakfast (fry in animal fat for best results)
Use Three: Fire Starting- fat wood, bow drill hearth, fire wood, feather sticking
Use Four: Pine needle Tea
Use Five: Pine resin glue (epoxy of the woods when mixed with charcoal)
Use Six: Resin for fire extender
Use Seven: Pine nuts
Use Eight: Candling device made from resin
Use Nine: Waterproofing agent (Resin)
Use Ten: Young roots can be used for cordage

Common Name: Willow Tree
Scientific Name: Salix
Use One: Leaves/bark for Headache/fever remedy
Use Two: Good for honey bees
Use Three: Tool Handles
Use Four: Makes great natural cordage (twisted or braided)
Use Five: Basket and trap making
Use Six: Friction Fire (bow drill)
Use Seven: Gig making

Common Name: Birch
Scientific Name: Betula
Use One: Canoe building
Use Two: Container Making
Use Three: Fire Starter (gasoline of the forest)
Use Four: Drinkable Sap
Use Five: Making Tea from new growth bark
Use Six: Chaga (Tinder Fungus) will be found on these trees generally
Use Seven: Tar adhesive made from the bark

Common Name: American Basswood
Scientific Name: Tilla Americana
Use One: Wild edible leaves in spring
Use Two: Edible inner bark
Use Three: Friction Fires
Use Four: Spoon Carving
Use Five: Inner Fibers can be used for cordage

Common Name: Tulip Poplar
Scientific Name: Liriodendron tulipifera
Use One: Inner bark is perfect for birds nest
Use Two: Inner bark is good for cordage
Use Three: Friction Fire
Use Four: Fire Wood
Use Five: Soft Wood

Common Name: Oak
Scientific Name: Quercus
Use One: Acorns and all of their uses
Use Two: Food Plots for deer and squirrel
Use Three: Long burning fire wood
Use Four: Wood working
Use Five: Wine/Whisky/Water Barrel
Use Six: Tannic acid (leached) is antibiotic
Use Seven: Trapping small game using acorns
Use Eight: Shelter materials
Use Nine: Tool Handles
Use Ten: Dried flowers can be used in tinder bundles

Common Name: Sugar Maple
Scientific Name: Acer Saccharum
Use One: Late Winter/Early Spring drinkable sap
Use Two: Seeds (The ones you made fly like a helicopter as a kid) are edible (boil or fry)
Use Three: Make maple Syrup (40 units Sap= 1 unit Syrup)
Use Four: Camp Craft, these trees yield the perfect branches DIY utensils/tools
Use Five: Smoking Meat. Will impregnate the meat with some sweet/rich flavor
Use Six: Leaves can be used to cook fish underground in a makeshift coal oven
Use Seven: Young leaves are edible
Use Eight: Firewood


These seven trees are a life saver in the eastern woodlands and can without a doubt boost your long-term survivability. Food, shelter, fire, water, camp tools and much more can be yielded nearly year round from these seven trees. Being able to identify these trees year round is absolutely essential and should be a skill that everyone venturing into the woods should own. I highly recommend each of you practice identification and then begin to work with each tree to learn the best way to use that tree for your survival needs. 

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  1. Great info! Can this information be formatted in some way to save to my tablet, for emergency reference, survival, or educational purposes for family?
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. yep you can screen shot it, or select all on page, copy, and paste into a notepad....

  2. Nice job here, Joshua! Same here. I started a series on trees and only covered Pine. I drank White Pine needle tea by the boat load when I had shingles. Good stuff! Thanks.