Author Topic: Mock Orange arrowshafts  (Read 1026 times)

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Offline Dirkthearcher

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Mock Orange arrowshafts
« on: May 08, 2017, 07:36:53 am »
I saw mock orange shrubs for sale at a garden center close to me. Does anyone have any experience using mock orange? I read somewhere that it is good arrow shaft material. Any help is appreciated.

Offline loon

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Re: Mock Orange arrowshafts
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2017, 04:32:36 pm »
I just know that the Miwok used it, after visiting the museum in Yosemite.

They seemed soft, weak-spined for the diameter.

Offline Dirkthearcher

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Re: Mock Orange arrowshafts
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2017, 12:46:14 am »
Should I rather buy a dogwood shrub? The area that I am planning to plant them in isnt very large, about 2m by 4m.

Offline loon

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Re: Mock Orange arrowshafts
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2017, 02:19:54 am »
I don't know if either those or pseudosasa japonica, or maybe even tonkin would be better for arrow yield.

Offline Pat B

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Re: Mock Orange arrowshafts
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2017, 05:56:53 am »
Mock orange will grow to an 8'x8' shrub. Red osier grows to a 4'x4' shrub. Most of the Japanese or other bamboos will spread indefinitely and take over your yard.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Dirkthearcher

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Re: Mock Orange arrowshafts
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2017, 09:11:09 am »
The issue with bamboo, as Pat said, is that it is extremely invasive. Another issue is the fact that you have to sort through a lot of bamboo shafts in order to get a matching set, while you can remove wood with shoots in order to reach the correct spine. The garden centers close to me don't have dogwood or the right viburnum species, but one of them sells privet. Would this be a better choice than mock orange?

Offline Pat B

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Re: Mock Orange arrowshafts
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2017, 12:16:25 pm »
Privet can be invasive too. The birds love the seeds and here in the SE U.S it has taken over. I wouldn't plant it either. There is plenty growing in the wild. Privet makes good arrows. Where do you live? Find out what the local Native culture used.
 There are a few viburnum species that work for shafting. I've used Blackhaw Vib. that grows wild here. Of course arrow wood Vib., maple leaf Vib. and other natives varieties work well.  Many of the larger Vib cultivar in the nursery industry have shoots that will work.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Dirkthearcher

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Re: Mock Orange arrowshafts
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2017, 12:58:11 am »
I probably should have mentioned earlier that I am in South Africa. The natives here used miniature bows and arrows, the arrows were made from a perennial grass which wouldn't be sufficient for a full length arrow. Most of the indigenous trees are gnarly and unsuitable for arrow shafts. I live right in the middle of the suburbs so that's why I thought it would be a good idea to grow arrow shafts.

Offline loon

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Re: Mock Orange arrowshafts
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2017, 02:59:04 am »
The Miwok had great sinew backed short static reflex recurves of incense cedar. I think the high branches of incense cedar? I'm pretty sure they used short draws and had somewhat wide-ish handles so the weak spine was an advantage. They may still be durable arrows, I dunno. Maybe that shaft just happened to be low spine. I'd be very interested to know if anyone here has made arrows of mock orange.

Offline Dirkthearcher

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Re: Mock Orange arrowshafts
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2017, 10:11:04 am »
I read a lot of conflicting information about mock orange. Some say it is strong and stiff, others say it is weak and pithy. Maybe the people that say it is weak used 1st year shoots instead of 2nd?

Offline Pat B

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Re: Mock Orange arrowshafts
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2017, 04:32:43 pm »
Mock orange does have a pith but good arrows can be made from it. You are correct that using second year growth is the way to go.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline loefflerchuck

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Re: Mock Orange arrowshafts
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2017, 05:32:34 pm »
Maybe I just cut some great shafts in the mountains on northern California. I've found it to be one of the best shoot shafts I have ever used and I've used many kinds. I just wish they grew around here. They were pretty stiff and stayed strait. I still have a half a dozen Miwok style arrows socketed with live oak foreshafts. they are still strait after 7 years. I think they are just as good as good dogwood shoots.

Offline Pat B

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Re: Mock Orange arrowshafts
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2017, 05:37:05 pm »
Chuck, your local landscape plant store should have mock orange or can get it for you. It is a pretty common landscape plant here.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline loon

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Re: Mock Orange arrowshafts
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2017, 03:09:17 am »
Maybe I just cut some great shafts in the mountains on northern California. I've found it to be one of the best shoot shafts I have ever used and I've used many kinds. I just wish they grew around here. They were pretty stiff and stayed strait. I still have a half a dozen Miwok style arrows socketed with live oak foreshafts. they are still strait after 7 years. I think they are just as good as good dogwood shoots.
Thanks, good to hear. Got pictures?  Have you made Miwok style bows too?

Offline loefflerchuck

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Re: Mock Orange arrowshafts
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2017, 07:49:43 am »
Thanks Pat, Last fall we moved out of Salt lake to the mountains. I'll have to see if it grows above 7000 ft.

Loon- I've made lots of Miwok style and replica bows. One of my main bows is a 49" Miwok style juniper bow with 5 layers of sinew. I have it posted here somewhere a while back. I'll find it and post a link. When I was living is CA I made quite a few from incense cedar branches. Had a article published in PA a while back about them. I think it is a great design for heavy sinew backed juniper and incense cedar.