Primitive Archer

Main Discussion Area => Arrows => Topic started by: Mesophilic on January 10, 2022, 03:09:57 pm

Title: Apple tree shoots?
Post by: Mesophilic on January 10, 2022, 03:09:57 pm
I gave my apple tree a massive haircut about a year and a half ago.  This is a fairly big tree, still about 14 feet tall after being topped and a trunk diameter 12 to 14 inches. I have a lot of new growth branches, many which are very straight and look to be about the diameter I'd look for as shoots.

Please tell me apple makes a horrible arrow.

These are very straight but pretty snaky.  And I need to go ahead and thin out the new growth before spring.  Shame to waste good shoots,  but not looking forward to working out the snaky...or even sure it's possible to work out.
Title: Re: Apple tree shoots?
Post by: Hawkdancer on January 10, 2022, 05:37:55 pm
2nd year growth, 3/8" diameter, 36" minimum length just might make a horrible arrow (lol)!  On the other hand, you might accidentally get a darned good arrow and be hooked on apple!  in the event the arrows don"t turn out, you can grill steaks, or smoke hides! :fp
Title: Re: Apple tree shoots?
Post by: Pat B on January 10, 2022, 05:43:36 pm
Most shoots on apple trees are usually too big for arrows and they are first year growth. Second year growth are better for arrows. I've never made arrows from apple shoots but that doesn't mean they won't work. You could maybe plane them down to size but will they make good arrows? I think you should be able to find more appropriate shoots for this like red osier and other bush type dogwoods, viburnums, forsythia, spirea and many others.
Title: Re: Apple tree shoots?
Post by: Mesophilic on January 10, 2022, 06:09:19 pm
Dang it, I knew somehow I'd be talked in to further exploring apple arrows...truth be told, I sort of want to anyway but I'm in denial  ;D.  I'll just trim just what has to be trimmed and let the tree go till next fall after the leaves drop.  It'll give me plenty of time to try to futher talk myself out of it.

Hawk, haven't been able to identify a single dogwood in these mointains.   I have some possible viburnum, but I want to go back and check them out when they flower.  The only usable shafts I've collected have been wild rose.  We do have lots of currant but I find it too floppy and doesn't spring back well.  Also a lot of Apache plume but so far I've only found one usable length shoot.  Most of everything is scrubby, short, and gnarled up here.  Our predominant forests are pine and aspen, with lots of scrub oak and black locust in the lower elevations.
Title: Re: Apple tree shoots?
Post by: Pat B on January 10, 2022, 07:54:36 pm
Hazelnut is supposed to be good too as in salt cedar.
Title: Re: Apple tree shoots?
Post by: Mesophilic on January 10, 2022, 08:17:05 pm
Haven't found any hazel but I have found salt cedar down along the Rio Grande.  Might have to give it a try if it's still there.

I'm not sure if NM is doing it yet, but AZ has started introducing a beetle to kill the salt cedar since it's pretty invasive.
Title: Re: Apple tree shoots?
Post by: TimBo on January 10, 2022, 10:12:46 pm
I have saved a few apple shoots from pruning our trees, but have yet to try them out.  My advice would be to find a few really choice ones and see how they work.  If you like them, you know where to get more in the future.  If they don't stay straight or have too weak a spine, you don't want to spend time on wonkier ones to find that out!
Title: Re: Apple tree shoots?
Post by: M2A on January 11, 2022, 09:35:19 am
Part of my job is to oversee fruit production on the commercial farm I work at. We still have a block of about 1500 trees about the size of yours. When I first started into primitive archery I gathered up a bunch of 1st year suckers that I though would make good arrows. After debarking I noticed they all snaked back and forth to where each leaf grew, that in its self stopped me back then. I keep some in my shop just in case I would want to revisit that idea but dont have any plans to. Along with being snakey most seem to have too much of a taper and a low spine for their size. Your plan to let them grow an extra year should help with those issues. I think you will need to break out the thumb plane to remove a significant amount of wood by then tho. I think its too much work but would love to see them if you were to do a set. You could prune the tree and let a couple of the suckers grow, in about 5 years I bet you would have a couple big enough to make a bow.  :)
Title: Re: Apple tree shoots?
Post by: Allyn T on January 11, 2022, 09:55:42 am
Introducing animals to wipe out other animals or plants never works well
Title: Re: Apple tree shoots?
Post by: Mesophilic on January 11, 2022, 12:09:50 pm
Thanks, M2A, I knew someone had to have already tried apple.

It seems like once a person goes down the primitive path, life is never the same.  Always walking thru the nature keeping an eye out for resources and all.
Title: Re: Apple tree shoots?
Post by: jeffp51 on January 14, 2022, 10:45:09 pm
I have made some apple shoot arrows, as I have two trees. They are heavier than some other woods. There are two ways to minimize the zig-zags. You can heat straighten them out somewhat, but it is slow and labor intensive. You can get the shaft straight on average, and sand out some on a belt sander. apple shafts taper quickly, so select the thin end for the nock, and sand down the thick end. Like I said, a little heavy for the spine, but they work