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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
And in about three months, at least in Mid Western USA, Go Harvest those Sticks!!!

Actually right now, while the leaves are still on and identification is relatively easy, is a good time to hunt them and mark them for harvest when the sap is down in another few months. I have spent lots of the summer months spotting and marking tree limbs and saplings, for harvesting in the winter months. During my hikes in the woods, while mowing trails, while stubbing fire wood, all are good times for marking your harvest!

Fortunately there is no Government mandated season on tree hunting. :)

Good Luck Guys and Girls!
 

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I'm thinking of getting some orange marking tape and writing the name of the tree on it and pin it to the tree with a push pin. A thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm thinking of getting some orange marking tape and writing the name of the tree on it and pin it to the tree with a push pin. A thought.
I tie surveying tape around trees I like -- good idea to write the name on it! Thank you AAAndrew!
 

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It is a good time for marking. Once the sap stops running is a good time to cut, less prone to splitting. I think I've got enough sticks

for now. Most of my stock has been on the racks for a couple of years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It is a good time for marking. Once the sap stops running is a good time to cut, less prone to splitting. I think I've got enough sticks
for now. Most of my stock has been on the racks for a couple of years.
Lucky you! I'm working on my last cured stick -- I'm a little behind on the collecting side. I've got a bunch that are about 6 months old, so I'm going to do more collecting this winter to build up my stock! When I retire, I want a good stock built up, because I'll have more time to work on them.
 

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My stash of sticks is big enough that at my slow pace, I have enough for years. But many of the sticks I gathered a few years ago were hard to identify, having come from trees down for a year or so. Now, sitting w. the bark stripped I can only guess what some might be.

But I want to add some black locust (located), and some hawthorn (found a few, but too small and bent.) And I've come to like sassafras, and I know where to find a bunch of that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Gdenby: when I tag them, I mark what they are -- otherwise I will forget! I've got a bunch of Sasafras also, but I haven't worked any yet.
 

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I did some yard work this weekend, first one in a long time that it wasn't in the 90's with high humidity. Had to take out two saplings that were growing too close to the gardens (which back onto the woods).

I used by Pulaski ax, a wonderful digging and chopping tool used by forest service and wild land firefighters. A bit of overkill for these two, but I wanted to experiment with getting some of the roots along with the sapling. Seemed to work well, but most likely need something smaller for field harvesting.

The one on the left is Sweet Gum and the one on the right is Tulip Poplar. Man, that poplar's bark practically slid off on its own. I could start a strip at one end and take it almost all the way down. That's some nice stuff to work with. The sapling then becomes soaked with water as it starts to ooze out.

The Sweet Gum was a little more challenging to get the bark off, but still not bad. The bark was really thick around the root. I'll have to think about what kind of knife to use for that. Lots of bumps and hollows that make it even more challenging.

But I liked the results, and next time I'll dig more of the root out first. The sweet gum, after I started chopping, had more of a right angle root that was substantial enough for a handle. That would have been quite nice. Next time.

Sweet Gums grow like weeds as one of the first filler trees when the forest opens up a whole in the canopy, and they spread quickly via root systems. A real killer if you're trying to get rid of one (they'll keep coming back for years with new shoots springing up all around the original stump), but a source of nice saplings if your trying to develop a copse.


So, next time you're harvesting a sapling, think about the roots. Probably old hat for most of you, but it was my first time. This fall I'm going to harvest a few more of the loblolly pines around here. I'll see what their roots are like.

Cheers, and happy harvesting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ahhhh that fresh smell of the first harvest! Thanks for sharing AAAndrew! My present drying stock are all root sticks -- they make good shillelagh!
 

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Well, couldn't help myself. The city uses a place in one of the parks near me as a collection point for downed wood that is shredded. I find pretty good stick material there every now and then. Drove by the stack yesterday, but saw nothing. On the way out, tho', I saw a medium sized branch down. Stopped and checked, and saw that it was hickory. There was one section that was not too crooked, so I cut that.

Did a little searching. It appears to be bitternut hickory. Long, shiny leaves w. slightly serrated edges. The bark is unusually smooth for hickory, and I was at first dubious it was indeed hickory even w. some nuts on the branch.

Cut into the bark some. Thin, yes, but tough. Will try to get most of it off before it dries.

Bitternut Hickory.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well the time is drawing near! The leaves are turning and the sap is falling -- get those pruners ready!!! :)
 

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And down here, the more important milestone is the reduction in mosquitoes. If you're not careful, those suckers will carry you away to their evil lairs in the swamps. Did I mention they grow them big and mean down here? (and I lived in Michigan where the mosquito is the state bird)

But down here, as the mosquito numbers dwindle, the orb weavers come into their own. You need a stick to go looking for sticks. Their webs can stretch 20 feet between trees and be 10 feet in diameter. And the spiders themselves are none too small. I heard tell of one local up in the mountains who's trained one to wear a saddle and he rides it up trees looking for the best hickory nuts.

Still looking forward to more stick hunting. Found a nice deserted dead-end road the other day that ends just above the highway. Industrial scrub, I call it. Picked up a nice ash sapling and saw some sweetgum and maple that looked promising. Must get back. Also saw a for sale to develop sign on what looked like it might have been a former orchard that's now overgrown. Might have been pear trees. Need to get a closer look, but it's on a busy two-lane road next to a railroad track where they're doing construction. Maybe around the back....

Yup, harvesting time is nigh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The leaves are starting to fall! I'm getting itchy fingers on my pruning saw! I've marked several trees for this years harvest!
 

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I have scoped out new hunting grounds around Tulsa. Lyme disease is becoming more common around here, so I don't know whether to brave the ticks or the Brrrrrr cold, as it takes sustained nights of lows below 10 degrees F they say, to kill off the ticks. Maybe if I don't shower they won't like me or the repellant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have scoped out new hunting grounds around Tulsa. Lyme disease is becoming more common around here, so I don't know whether to brave the ticks or the Brrrrrr cold, as it takes sustained nights of lows below 10 degrees F they say, to kill off the ticks. Maybe if I don't shower they won't like me or the repellant.
CAS -- It helps if you have on long pants and boots, tuck your pants in your boots! I would advise against the no shower thing, you'll chase off everyone but still see the ticks! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The leaves are starting to pile up! And the white pine needles are starting to fall --- yuck! A pox on white pine! I hate what they do to my yard and gutters!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I envy you guys down south that get to stay warm all winter! It's getting colder here, and the leaves are falling! I'll be able to see the trees I want to harvest easy, I marked them all with surveying tape!
 
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