Natural driftwood found in rivers

  1. reds Member Member

    I have a river running through my backyard and I found a cool piece of driftwood. My question is can I use it or should I just buy one at the lfs? I plan on cleaning it and boiling it. Is it safe to use?
  2. Five 97 Well Known Member Member

    Depending on what kind of wood it is, you might and might not be able to...
  3. reds Member Member

    How do you know what the right type is?
  4. Five 97 Well Known Member Member

    Fruit tree limbs are good for driftwood, but wood from trees like pine, and other similar trees that have lots of resin are not suitable for driftwood...
  5. aliray Fishlore VIP Member

    If it smells like pine then don't use it. What kinds of trees grow around where you found it? Hardwoods or evergreens? Alison
  6. oldsalt777 Well Known Member Member

    Hello red...

    No need to spend money for a piece that won't look as good as the natural one you get outside for nothing. Just rinse it well with the pressure nozzle attached to the garden hose and leave it out in the sun for a few hours. The sun will sterilize the piece for you. Boiling is extra work that's unnecessary and softens the wood fibers. A boiled piece of driftwood will come apart much sooner than if you don't boil it.

  7. Five 97 Well Known Member Member

    Agreed, but first you need the right kind of wood...
  8. reds Member Member

    Hey Alison! There's a mix of pines and maple and the kind that have long branches that you can grab and swing with. Not sure what tree it came from there is no oder coming from it. It's really thin and small.
  9. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Do you mean willow?
  10. reds Member Member

  11. Five 97 Well Known Member Member

    Yes, willow would look really nice in a planted tank, I'd go ahead with it.
  12. aliray Fishlore VIP Member

    That would be weeping willow most likely and grows a lot around water. I would try it if there is no pine or evergreen smell. Small and thin might very well be weeping willow as it constantly drops branches with every wind storm. I can't tell you if it is safe or not but if it has no bark on it than I would use it. Alison
  13. oldsalt777 Well Known Member Member

    Hello 5...

    Most wood will work. The important thing is to find old pieces that have been have been under water or covered by soil for many months. Those pieces that are picked up quite a distance from the water. Those are the best, because all the sap and whatnot is gone and they're waterlogged. They sink without rocks on top of them. The rocks do add to the natural look too.

  14. aniroc Well Known Member Member

    I would not use branches of a willow tree. The bark has salicin, a chemical that inspire the synthesis of Aspirin (based on the effects on fever and pain). It has a very bitter taste as well.
  15. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    What kind of a willow is it? Only a few species produce the salicin and most don't produce it in any appreciable amount.
  16. aliray Fishlore VIP Member

    That is why is said without the bark because I had always thought weeping willow was one of the sources but that it was found in the bark and not the wood, Alison
  17. jlm418 Member Member

    Does it need to be in water or soil? Or can I just be from a tree that's been down like a year?
  18. Five 97 Well Known Member Member

    It needs to be parched dry in and out whichever way you do that (some people "cook" their driftwood to dry it out in their oven) then you will submerge it underwater until it finally sinks on its own, preferable not in your tank unless you want tannins, and end up with a lower pH.
  19. danieltaylor Member Member

    Willow is one of the best kinds of driftwood, if its the right kind from what I've researched of course as he said its gotta be the right type and that I cant help you with sorry. I wish I could find a good willow root in my area I need some driftwood