The Red Alder, located by lowland streams and swamps, is a fast growing
tree that prefers poor soil because it doesn't need soil nitrogen. Over
time the Red Alder improves soil structure and fertility around the
base of the tree. The Native Americans had many uses for this flavor
free wood. They would make spoons, dishes, and used it for the smoking
of salmon, because of its rich oily skin. Dyes were also created from
the Red Alders, the bark would be transformed into a dye using various
techniques. The dyes were then used on their fishing nets, so they would
not be seen by the fish.
slow growing tree is the largest of its family. The Western Red-Cedar
resists highwinds, rot, and insects very well and commonly lives to
be over 1000 years of age. The bark was used to make warm clothes when
woven; when plaited it made efficient roofing, mats, hats, blankets,
dishes, and ropes.
The Douglas fir grows strong, straight, and fast.
The tree was named after David Douglas who was supposedly "the first
person to discover the Douglas Fir". However, the tree was discovered
well before David was even alive. The Native Americans chewed the sap
and used the thick bark as a fuel.
This forest tree often presents a lacey canopy because the needles
are mixed in length.The Western Hemlock is one of the more prominent
species in older forests. It is considered a late successional tree
often replacing the towering Douglas Fir. The bark of the Western Hemlock
produces a rich tannin which can be used for water sealing, stoping
bleeding, and to prevent chapping.
known to the Quinault Indians as " The Basket Tree" because
they wove long shoots of the tree into heavy baskets for hauling wood
and other heavy items. The Vine Maple's seeds fall from the tree with
a helicopter like motion to gain distance from the tree in a breeze.
Western White Pine
The Western White Pine was struck a crippling blow by the logging
industry because its wood was in high demand. Another factor that contributed
to the diminishing population of the White Pine was "The White
Pine Blister Rust" which was a fungus introduced by the logging
industries. In fact, you most likely will not see many of these trees
and the ones you do see are probably young and not in the best of health.
The Salal Berries rival Huckleberries in flavor with less a acidic and
a more spicy flavor. North-west tribes have used them in baking cakes,
breads as well as storing others in skunk cabbage leaves to enjoy
during the winter months.
The Oregon Grape is one of the more sour grapes and is often mixed
with a sweeter varieties in baking. Early pioneers used the Oregon
Grape to make their jellies and wines. Native Americans gathered the
roots of the Oregon Grape to create yellow dyes and teas used to soothe
a sore throat or stomach.
Also known as "Wild Blueberries" or "Wortleberries"
the Huckleberry is a favorite to bears, birds, Native Americans, and
hikers. There are twelve diffrent species of the Huckleberry found in
The Red Elderberry is not to be idlely munched; they should be cooked since
a raw berry may cause nausea due to the presence of cyanide producing
glycosides. However, once boiled these berries have been known to make
good jelly or wine.
Native Americans found the straight branches of the Ocean Spray valuable
for making arrows, fishing spears, roasting tongs, drum hoops and
cradle hoops. although the branches first had to be prepared with
fire to create "ironwood" or "arrowwood".
These delicious berries resemble a juicy rasberry and are mixed
shades of yellow and scarlet regardless of ripeness.
The Thimbleberry resembles soft fuzzy Rasberries.
Self-Heal is known by pioneers, Europeans and Native Americans for
its various medicinal powers. These medicinal powers included healing
wounds, sores, and chapped skin.
Hikers are attracted to the pleasant fragrance of the Vanilla Leaf.
The fragrance can last a long time when the plant is dried.
The Leaves of the Pipsissewas were used as a remedy for bladderstones.
Herbalists still harvest them in the north-west some times a bit excessivly.