UK - is there a good place to get wood from the wild?

devsi

Looking in shops, bogwood and spider wood is so expensive.

It for me thinking. In the UK - is there a good place (forests, lakes etc) to get wood from the wild that is suitable for a tank?

If so, what should I be looking for?
 

Ghelfaire

You can find wood in the forest. Most hardwood should be safe
 

86 ssinit

I look for dried driftwood on the shore. I look for pieces with some weight to them. Than I soak them and sink them.
 

devsi

Thanks both! I’m heading to the forest today to look for alder cones and oak leaves so I’ll see if I can find any decent wood while I’m there :)
 

TClare

Thanks both! I’m heading to the forest today to look for alder cones and oak leaves so I’ll see if I can find any decent wood while I’m there :)
Good luck - do you have a nice forest nearby?
 

devsi

There’s a couple of forests nearby, yeah!

These are the bits of wood I got today, plus a bag of brown/dried oak leaves from the ground.

What is the best way to determine if the wood is safe to put in my tank(s)?


9BE5A648-0309-46F7-A923-144680063407.jpeg

D80D77C2-D067-440E-84D3-5824CF2227F6.jpeg
 

TClare

It looks pretty dead so should be fine. As long as it is not pine or similar.
 

devsi

I’m not sure how I’d know if it was pine?
 

TClare

I’m not sure how I’d know if it was pine?
Well were there pine or other coniferous trees in the forest? Also pine is quite soft, you can usually insert a thumbnail into the wood quite easily.
 

devsi

There were pine trees, as I remember there were pine cones on the floor.

There weren’t any where I picked it, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t moved from a different place?

It’s definitely not soft. Tried to break some bits off and it was very tough.
 

TClare

There were pine trees, as I remember there were pine cones on the floor.

There weren’t any where I picked it, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t moved from a different place?

It’s definitely not soft. Tried to break some bits off and it was very tough.
Pine is not easy to break but feels soft when you stick finger nails in. I think it will be fine, in any case even pine, if it is dry and has been dead a long time, should be OK anyway.
 

devsi

Ah ok! When you say stick your finger nails in, you mean on it anywhere? If so, I’ll give it a test just to be sure :)

Thank you TClare , I appreciate the input!
Pine is not easy to break but feels soft when you stick finger nails in. I think it will be fine, in any case even pine, if it is dry and has been dead a long time, should be OK anyway.

How long should I boil the wood before putting it in my tank(s)? A day? A week?
 

TClare

Not sure, I don't bother boiling mine, it comes from a clean river and most of my pieces ar big. Sometimes I have poured boiling water over it. But I am sure it wouldn't be necessary to boil it for more than 20 to 30 minutes. It won't make it sink, you will have to weight it down with something in the tank if you want to use it straight away.
 

devsi

Thank you :) I’ve left it soaking overnight as I’m not sure what I’ll do with it yet.

Would you definitely use it, even if you couldn’t be 100% if it is or isn’t pine?
 

TClare

Thank you :) I’ve left it soaking overnight as I’m not sure what I’ll do with it yet.

Would you definitely use it, even if you couldn’t be 100% if it is or isn’t pine?
If it seems really dead and dry with no sap or resin it should fine.
 

devsi

If it seems really dead and dry with no sap or resin it should fine.

Awesome, thank you :)
 

devsi

Currently have all the pine in hot water, and I'll let it soak for a good few days before using it...

I went on a walk today and came across an alder tree (score!) and a load of dead branches - I took a picture of the tree and the branches as best I could.... does anybody know if this would be suitable to boil and put in the tank instead of/as well as the pine?
 

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TClare

Currently have all the pine in hot water, and I'll let it soak for a good few days before using it...

I went on a walk today and came across an alder tree (score!) and a load of dead branches - I took a picture of the tree and the branches as best I could.... does anybody know if this would be suitable to boil and put in the tank instead of/as well as the pine?
Alder should be fine. So you decided the other was pine?
 

devsi

Alder should be fine. So you decided the other was pine?

Sorry, I was unclear. I don’t believe the wood in my last pictures is alder (I don’t know what it is) I just coupled it with the fact I found an alder tree and collected some alder cones.

Yeah, I asked some locals and it’s almost definitely pine. I’m soaking it in two settings (wood is bigger than the pot it’s soaking in, so have to rotate it) and after 48 hours it wasn’t soft or sappy - still not sure if I should risk it or not, to be honest.
 

TClare

Not sure how to advise re the pine then, its probably OK but I wouldn't want to guarantee it. I have not knowingly used pine, but I have used many pieces without knowing what species of tree they came from. Never had a problem.

The other wood is difficult to identify unless it has any leaves still attached, which I can't really see in the photos.
 

devsi

I don't know what to do, to be honest :(
 

devsi

MacZ (sorry for tagging) - do you have any insight as to whether Pine can be safe?

I’m really not sure whether I should use this wood or not.
 

MacZ

MacZ (sorry for tagging) - do you have any insight as to whether Pine can be safe?

I’m really not sure whether I should use this wood or not.
No tagging please for the time being. Thanks.

Again: Coniferous trees are a no-go. The resin contains sugars that foul the water. And if that is not enough, some can be outright toxic. So pines, conifers, firs, spruces, sequoia... all are out.
 

devsi

Sorry :)

Oki doki - thanks! I’ll chuck them then, if there’s any risk!
 

devsi

Small update (sort of) - went to a local forest today and could not figure out what was hard wood and what was soft wood, so I abandoned the idea completely and will just buy wood if I want it in the future
 

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