Author Topic: California arrow woods and pruning and coppicing questions  (Read 1534 times)

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Offline SixRabbit

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California arrow woods and pruning and coppicing questions
« on: December 30, 2017, 09:52:59 pm »
My favorite arrow wood is hazel. Dogwood works next best in my experience. I don't have any experience with ocean spray but others say it is good. I have a bunch of oso berry shoots drying, too. I would like to coppice(prune to the ground) hazel bushes. Will they more reliably produce straight shoots this way? I would also like to try coppicing with dogwood, chokecherry, serviceberry and wild rose. I am curious if anyone knows about coppicing and suitability  with these species. Also, if you have any experience with wax myrtle(myrica) and buckeye(aesculus californica) salmonberry and elderberry, I'd love to hear.  I've seen straight shoots from these plants. Can I prune side branches from straight shoots to grow a straight knot free trunk for bows too? Thanks

Offline Pat B

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Re: California arrow woods and pruning and coppicing questions
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2017, 05:09:08 am »
In the wild you can cut shrubs to the ground and in many cases they will produce straight shoots. I wouldn't do thin in a landscape because it is unattractive. For the landscape cut out crossing shoots, damaged shoots and the older shoots. This will keep the plant looking nice and is actually better for the plant. Spring, when buds begin to swell is the best time for this.   Plants in the shade or shaded areas are more likely to send up straighter shoots.
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: California arrow woods and pruning and coppicing questions
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2017, 10:31:12 am »
Elderberry was a mistake made by historians and since quoted many times. I even read some elderberry arrows were self arrows with no fore-shaft. Just try to find one elderberry arrow shaft and you'll see what I mean.

Offline DC

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Re: California arrow woods and pruning and coppicing questions
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2018, 08:58:12 am »
The Elderberry around here is much like celery(except round) until it gets to be around 3/4" in diameter. It really doesn't harden up until it's almost bow size.
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Offline loefflerchuck

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Re: California arrow woods and pruning and coppicing questions
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2018, 12:31:37 pm »
DC- it's like that everywhere in the west

Offline DC

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Re: California arrow woods and pruning and coppicing questions
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2018, 02:50:19 pm »
I wonder if it's different in drier climates. Or does it even grow in drier climates?
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Offline loefflerchuck

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Re: California arrow woods and pruning and coppicing questions
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 11:48:15 am »
It grows in parts of the Utah desert and is the same. It was an mistaken species. Maybe mock orange.

Offline SixRabbit

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Re: California arrow woods and pruning and coppicing questions
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 08:14:51 pm »
A shoot I took for a hand drill is pretty firm. , I'm not sure if it's possible to get a 5/16" shaft that is strong enough. This piece I have now is less than 10mm thick. It seems very hard and tough. If you can find some that has an even diameter and enough length, I think it would work. It's from sambucus caerulea and the bark was purple when I cut it.

Offline SixRabbit

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Re: California arrow woods and pruning and coppicing questions
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 08:20:23 pm »
I think severe pruning or coppicing would help the elderberry make more straight shoots. I should collect some more and play around with it(maybe even coppice a few, hehe.) I'd also love to try arrows of wax myrtle(morella Californica). Anyone know if this species or genus is a good bow wood?

Offline SixRabbit

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Re: California arrow woods and pruning and coppicing questions
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2018, 08:23:44 pm »
The problems I'm seeing with this elderberry shoot is the major tapering, it's also pithy. That might compromise the arrow if it's shaved down to even diameter.

Offline SixRabbit

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Re: California arrow woods and pruning and coppicing questions
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2018, 08:30:25 pm »
At longer than one arms length, the base is 14mm and the top is 8mm. So major tapering. But even at 8-10mm diameter the elderberry appears to be strong enough for arrows, about like dogwood strength I'd say.

Offline Pat B

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Re: California arrow woods and pruning and coppicing questions
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2018, 06:57:27 pm »
A sinew wrap would support the self nocks in a pithy wood. I've made arrows from horseweed, a perennial weed that dies to the ground each year. Thin walls, large pith but the sinew wrap supports it enough to shoot. You might not get 100 shots from one but it only takes one shot through the rib cage to kill a deer.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Ryan Jacob

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Re: California arrow woods and pruning and coppicing questions
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2018, 09:12:11 pm »
Pat B
Isnít that plant basically a long tube of sandpaper? If that will work anything could :o
You donít know desperation till youíve split a stave with screw drivers.

Offline Pat B

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Re: California arrow woods and pruning and coppicing questions
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2018, 05:35:53 am »
Horseweed is a long tube of lengthwise strands similar to cane. It's not as strong as cane but still strong enough.Add sinew wrap at the nock and around the head it strong enough to kill. I have a horseweed arrow that Jamie Leffler killed a deer in New England with that had a stone point and shot from a 45# sinew backed hickory bow. The only damage to the arrow is where the head was mounted. Even though the stone point was never found the arrow killed it.
 Years ago in PA Magazine a guy wrote an article about making horseweed arrows.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline DC

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Re: California arrow woods and pruning and coppicing questions
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2018, 08:43:35 am »
Pat B
Isnít that plant basically a long tube of sandpaper? If that will work anything could :o
Maybe you're thinking of Horsetail?
Vancouver Island
If you don't have any questions you must not be paying attention.