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Harvesting and Processing Waatabiig,

Spruce Roots




Roots are located in ground near surface close to trunk

Spruce roots are unearthed near surface in dry, open ground. (TD)

Various tools are used to dig out the roots

Once a portion of root has been unearthed, it is possible to gently excavate lengths of roots by digging carefully with a pitchfork or shovel alongside the root. (TD)

length of spruce root exposed

Harvested root on ground. (TD)

Wayne holding harvesting spruce roots

Mass of harvested roots ready to be processed. (Tim Frandy)

Roots and bark piled in back of pickup truck to bring back to shop

Roots and bark loaded in truck to be taken back to Wayne's home. (TD)

Processing the root

Watch Tim Frandy demonstrating how to split roots:


Root splitting

Roots in a pot of water heating to loosen outer skin

Boiling the roots is a way to loosen the outer bark layer. Once the roots have been processed, they can be stored dry or soaked to keep them pliable.

roots in barrel soaking

More processing of roots later in the building process.


Wayne posing with finished prow

Wayne with some of the decorative root lashing added to the prow. (TD)

completed canoe, viewed from prow


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