Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall

Grow staves and food at the same time

Messages posted to thread:
Tim Baker 06-Dec-21
DanaC 06-Dec-21
Tim Baker 06-Dec-21
M60gunner 06-Dec-21
Buckeye 06-Dec-21
Tim Baker 06-Dec-21
Mpdh 06-Dec-21
Tim Baker 08-Dec-21
George D. Stout 09-Dec-21
Tim Baker 09-Dec-21
The Lost Mohican 09-Dec-21
George Tsoukalas 09-Dec-21
Jeff Durnell 10-Dec-21
From: Tim Baker
Date: 06-Dec-21

Grow bow staves and food at the same time. 

Start in one gallon cans for the first two or three years, packed close together to force straight and tall growth, then replant at optimal distances for straight growth, till first harvest size of 1.5" or so in diameter, then harvest your first bow staves, thinning the trees for good growth to larger diameter. The first small-diameter staves ready in as little as five years.

You're going to be around anyway so plant some of the below trees now and let them meet you in five years, bearing gifts of fruit, nuts and staves.

Some bow woods that also yield edible fruits or nuts.

Almond; Apricot; Apple; Avocado; Black locust--beans; Blackthorn; Chestnut; Cherry; Elderberry; Guava; Hazel; Hickory- -nuts; Honey Locust--beans; Maple--syrup; Mesquite--fruit pods and seeds; Mulberry; Oaks--acorns; Olive; Orange, lemon; Palm, black; Peach; Pecan; Pear; Persimmon; Plum; Rowan--jam from fruit; Sassafras-- beverage; Serviceberry; Sugarberry; Walnut

When's the best time to plant a tree? Ten years ago.

From: DanaC
Date: 06-Dec-21

" When's the best time to plant a tree? Ten years ago. "


I never heard sassafras mentioned as a bow wood before. How big diameter would you need for a bow?

From: Tim Baker
Date: 06-Dec-21

Tim Baker's embedded Photo

Even a 1" diameter piece would make a light bow if made the needed length. Sassafras is only about .46 specific gravity, barely denser than yellow poplar, so for a given draw length and weight it needs to be proportionately wider than denser woods, or appropriately longer--if wide or long enough even poplar will make a strong full-draw bow: This poplar bow draws 50lb at 30" but is 1.5" wide and 76" long, here drawn by Steve Gardner.

From: M60gunner
Date: 06-Dec-21

Folks in Asia plant Bamboo as a cash crop because it has so many uses. Don’t know about a food source but bamboo makes a good bow besides being used for construction purposes. It just takes some thought and engery to convert a natural resource into useful products that don’t require tearing up the earth to make.

From: Buckeye
Date: 06-Dec-21

you can eat those locust beans?

From: Tim Baker
Date: 06-Dec-21

Although the bark and leaves are toxic, various reports suggest that the seeds and the young pods of the black locust are edible. Shelled seeds are safe to harvest from summer through fall, and are edible both raw and boiled.[32] Due to the small size of the seeds, shelling them efficiently can prove tedious and difficult. In France, Italy and Romania, R. pseudoacacia flowers are eaten as beignets after being coated in batter and fried in oil;[33] they are also eaten in Japan, largely as tempura.

Black locust flowers taste surprisingly like the sweetest of sweet spring peas, but with a floral element as well. The texture of the bases is somewhat crunchy, like celery, but without any stringiness. They are a great snack to nibble on (after you have inspected them for bugs), and they are wonderful in salads. q=black+locust+beans+edible&sxsrf=AOaemvLdsrJR3rJ21oTcdoRyL826 BcBsug%3A1638819308528&source=hp&ei=7GWuYZHeHdOsoATL_47QCw&ifl sig=ALs-wAMAAAAAYa5z_OlMhkw_WtKQ4L

From: Mpdh Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 06-Dec-21

Bamboo shoots are edible.


From: Tim Baker
Date: 08-Dec-21

Good call. Bamboo belongs on the list. It's one of the most valuable bow-making plants, grows fast, and the shoots are a nutritious food.

From: George D. Stout
Date: 09-Dec-21

I have a bamboo patch in the back yard and the shoots pop up every May. Actually, I have to keep them mowed to prevent the patch from taking over the lower yard. It's a great windbreak also and gives the birds excellent roosting in the winter when every deciduous tree has dropped its leaves. Some of those bamboo plants are now about fifteen to eighteen feet high. I started them around 2007 from stalks I got in Virginia.

Tim, do you think Hawthorn can make a serviceable bow? It certainly has the food property.

From: Tim Baker
Date: 09-Dec-21

There are several varieties of hawthorn, averaging about .72 specific gravity, making it one of the denser woods. It's a fairly bushy tree, but if long and straight enough staves can be gotten then bows equal to those from the heaviest oaks, maples and hickories could surely be made.

From google: ...fruits of the common hawthorn, C. monogyna, are edible. In the United Kingdom, they are sometimes used to make a jelly or homemade wine.[19] The leaves are edible, and if picked in spring when still young, are tender enough to be used in salads.[20] The young leaves and flower buds, which are also edible, are known as "bread and cheese" in rural England.[19] In the southern United States, fruits of three native species are collectively known as mayhaws and are made into jellies which are considered a delicacy. The Kutenai people of northwestern North America used red and black hawthorn fruit for food....

From: The Lost Mohican
Date: 09-Dec-21

Great Post Tim!! TLM

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 09-Dec-21

Good idea, Tim. But New England is hardwood heaven. I cut my bow making teeth on BL which grows in my yaad. Jawge

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 10-Dec-21

One of my best Morel spots is in a patch of Hawthorns and I've been eyeing up a particularly large straight one that appears to have a handful of bows in it.

The leaves can be used in salads and teas, the berries in tea, jelly, wine, alcohol tinctures. Hawthorn is good for the heart and circulatory system.

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