02 April 2016

Wild Food Foraging- Tree Bark- Cambium- Emergency Food

Sometimes, wild food sources can be scarce. Especially during the winter months. But did you know that many kinds of trees contain an emergency food source, ...

did you know that certain types of tree

bark are edible this knowledge could come in handy if you should find yourself in a survival situation stay tuned to learn more about tree cambium you during the spring and summer months there are many wild edibles that one can choose from when late autumn rolls around the options begin to dwindle and by the time winter hits wild food sources become scarce but even in the winter time nature provides an emergency food cache for those who really need it to find these emergency caches one doesn't need to look any further than the trees that surround them this emergency food lays underneath the outer layer of bark and certain species of trees between the outer layer of bark and the actual wood of the tree is a thin layer of inner bark called cambium the cambium layer is only a couple of millimeters thick but it is packed with digestible starches vitamins minerals and a little bit of sugar cambium also contains a large amount of fiber now though all trees have cambium not all cambium is edible that's because some trees are known to be toxic for human consumption

here are some species of trees that are generally safe to gather cambium from birch willow maple spruce pine and fir there are other trees out there that contain edible cambium but those are the main ones however all the mentioned species of trees have multiple subspecies for example there are literally dozens of different kinds of pine and so although most species of pine are edible not all of them are this is why it is extremely important that you thoroughly research the trees in your area to discover which ones are toxic for human consumption and which ones are good to gather from traditionally pine is the most popular choice when it comes to harvesting cambium personaly pine is the only species that I've harvested cambium from and I've only eaten cambium a few times in my life like I said before cambium is classified as an emergency food that's because removing the cambium layer will stunt the trees growth at best and can easily kill it at worst the cambium is where the tree's nutrients are transported up from the roots and into the leaves and so without the cambium the tree will quickly starve

since trees are such a slow growing and valuable resource the cambium should not be harvested under normal circumstances it is just not worth harming or possibly killing a tree for a simple snack so here are the only two circumstances that want you to harvest cambium under number one if a person finds themselves in a survival situation and they need something to eat number two if the tree is already being harvested for firewood or lumber today I will be harvesting some pine cambium and although I'm not in a survival situation I will be returning to harvest this pine tree in the near future I used my axe to carefully shave away the outer layer of bark being very careful not to accidentally remove the delicate cambium layer you in a survival situation it is better to remove small patches like this from several trees rather than harvesting all the way around a single tree a tree can recover from having a small patch of cambium removed but it will die from having its cambium removed from all the way around however in a survival situation it's best to harvest whatever

is available human life takes precedence over trees in the case that the tree will be harvested for materials anyway you might as well harvest as much cambium as you possibly can from it now that the cambium layer is exposed all I have to do is gently shave it from the tree cambium feels soft and a little gummy it is also very easy to bend and it is very easy to peel away from the tree after starting a cut it might be hard to see in the video but the wood of the tree is slightly more yellow in color than the whitish looking cambium it's pretty easy to tell the difference between the two layers since cambium is easy to peel away but the wood itself will barely peel at all in a survival situation probably the best way to eat cambium is straight from the tree from my experience I find that pine cambium can vary slightly in taste and texture sometimes it's mild in flavor and easy to eat other times it can taste quite bitter and is a little harder to chew I've noticed that cambium gathered in the dead of winter is likely to be the most pleasant and easy to eat but since I haven't eaten much cambium myself I

can't confirm if that's generally the case for all cambium but whether it tastes good or not cambium contains a good amount of nutrients to keep you going if need be you may want to chew the cambium to extract the nutrients and spit it out or you may want to swallow the cambium to have something in your stomach there are pros and cons for each but if you want to cook the cambium you can make a sort of tree pasta by tearing the cambium into strips so that they loosely resemble noodles and boil them boiling the cambium will make it easier to eat and a little more palatable to taste when you're done eating your tree pasta make sure to drink the water that they were boiled in as well pine cambium has also been collected dried and ground into flour in countries like Sweden and Finland this pine flour has been used to make pine bark bread for centuries today however I'll be frying my cambium strips in olive oil with salt until they turn brown and crunchy I call them cambium chips and they don't taste all that bad but I'll give you a fair warning hot oil especially over an open flame

can easily ignite this would obviously destroy your precious batch of cambium in a heartbeat believe me this has happened to me before so be very careful if you feel the pan is getting too hot or if you see the oil smoking you'll probably only have seconds to remove it from the flames before it ignites cambium chips definitely have a pine flavor to them but if the batch of cambium is a mild one the flavor mix is quite well with oil and salt it's an acquired taste for some but I really like it