Liquid Resin from Grand Fir Trees

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Joonsy

Native
Jul 24, 2008
1,483
0
UK
Apart from fatwood another great firestarter is the ''liquid'' resin you get in blisters on some fir trees, especially when everything around you is soaking wet (providing they are in the vicinity of course). In the pics below is a ''Grand Fir'' tree, all those little oval protrusions are blisters full of liquid resin, push the tip of your knife into the edge of the blister and liquid resin will ooze out, collect the resin with something and it makes a great firestarter (it burns fine with a blob of it on the end of a stick but you can add it to something if you wish like dead fireweed etc etc just like a cotton ball dipped into vaseline/petroleum only more natural) . I imagine the resin has lots more uses like glue etc.

The trunk of a Grand Fir tree showing lots of small blisters which are full of liquid resin.



Push the tip of your knife into the edge of blister and liquid resin will ooze out, great for firelighting.



To make use of it I had a little cook up, hogweed shoots and mashed potato (mash in other pot in pic) and a couple of fist sized bannocks.



ATB :)
 

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,123
278
71
SE Wales
Lovely little cooking fire you had there.

I use the resin from Douglas Fir and Scots Pine a lot, as we've got lots of both available locally. Somebody a few hundred yards from my front door is about to begin to clearfell fifteen acres of Corsican Pine over the next few weeks and although the resin from those is not something I've used much in the past I can't see why it wouldn't be just as good as the others, and I do know that they ooze massive amounts when cut in Spring and early Summer; happy days! :)
 

Joonsy

Native
Jul 24, 2008
1,483
0
UK
thanks Macaroon :) you will certainly have a good supply from fifteen acres, I would think it will be just as good as other types and it's a good time to harvest it, I have used Corsican Pine when I lived on Cannock chase some years ago but in reverse I haven't used Douglas Fir. Enjoy the opportunity the felling throws your way :)
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,479
2,214
McBride, BC
Quite a few species in the genus Abies. Balsam Fir is A. balsamea. Grand Fir is A. grandis.

Don't forget to use "solvent partition" if you get your hands or clothes sticky. Gently rub the resinous area with any vegetable oil then clean that off with soap & warm water.
I was climbing Douglasfir in research provenance plots in a past life. So many resin blisters would burst in my hands that I could make a fist and it would ooze out between my fingers.
 

Fraxinus

Settler
Oct 26, 2008
935
31
Canterbury
iirc the resin is antibacterial? Sure Ray said as much on one of his shows.

These types of resin can also be used to treat insect bites to relieve itching, can't find the link to the source of that nugget at the mo' but do remember Ray talking about using it on cuts.

Rob.
 

Joonsy

Native
Jul 24, 2008
1,483
0
UK
thanks for your replies folks :)

Robson Valley, I am a mucky bu**er and usually just rub a bit of soil or ash on any sticky bits so I will remember your tip for the future, thanks.

Hillbill & Fraxinus, the resin of Balsam Fir has antiseptic properties so I imagine the resin of Grand Fir shares some similarities, here is a link I've just read about the medicinal, food, and firestarting uses of balsam fir resin but I can't vouch for it's accuracy. (I know the tree is less common here in the uk than across the pond but nice to know should you come across them).

http://survivaltopics.com/balsam-fir-pitch/
 

HillBill

Bushcrafter through and through
Oct 1, 2008
8,114
61
W. Yorkshire
Anything which isolates the bite from the air will stop it itching. I can see how this would work well for that... but any form of oil and things like that works well too. Just needs to be viscous enough to stay on. :)

These types of resin can also be used to treat insect bites to relieve itching, can't find the link to the source of that nugget at the mo' but do remember Ray talking about using it on cuts.

Rob.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,479
2,214
McBride, BC
Conifer resins are toxic to both bacteria and fungi. Plus, they act to mechically seal wounds.
In young conifers, there's enough resin produced to resist the attach by bark beetles (Dendroctonus sp.)
The resin is a mix of many different hydrocarbons, some very volatile (the smell) and some quite solid (amber).
 

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