Resin is different to sap. Coniferous trees produce resin when they are damaged and over time the sticky substance slowly transforms into bark. If you have spent any time in a coniferous forest you may have seen it oozing from trees. It's important that we do not damage trees by collecting resin, so by following the steps below we can collect from the correct types of tree making sure to only remove excess resin that has been overproduced.
01. Choosing a Spot
Look for forests where there are areas of mature evergreen trees. These will be tall (30ft +) with large trunks. Spruce and Pine seem to be the most active resin producers. Resin is produced when trees become damaged, either by human or natural activity. Therefore search for forests with areas exposed to high winds or on steep slopes.
02. What to look for once you're there
The image above shows resin pumping from a wound in the tree. This type of excessive production is what you're looking for. Fresh resin is shiny, smells strongly of pine and is soft. This is by far the easiest to collect and your time is better spent finding suitable trees rather than scraping around for small amounts elsewhere.
03. Not like this...
When it comes to collecting the resin, leave the actual wound in the tree alone. The resin in this location is healing the tree and should be left to do it's job. Concentrate on resin that has poured out of the wound — if you're stabbing or levering resin out of place you're probably not being all that nice to the tree.
04. Like this...
Place your container against the tree trunk below the excess resin and scrape downwards into it. If required you can use a gentle cutting motion to slice the resin off the tree. If you've found a tree with a good source make sure to check it all over — often these productive trees will have several spots.
We’re interested in where the actual resin comes from as well as the resin itself. If you have time record your hunt with a few photos. You can either mail them to us or if you're putting them on social media tag them with #woodstowaves.
05. Clean Up
Whatever knife/scraper you use will be very difficult to clean and should probably become a dedicated resin collecting tool. If you need to remove resin you can use turpentine or acetone — turpentine being the more planet friendly of the two.
07. Get it to our workshop
If you have a collection pack now is the time to fill out the resin data sheet, seal up the bag and get it back to us using the enclosed envelope. If you're going solo then a ziplock bag in a strong envelope and sent to the address on our about page will work.
08. We'll take it from there
We will then filter, refine and use your resin to create a batch of wax from which you will get a very very healthy supply for your own use. Provided we have your details you will be listed as a collector on our site and on the bars themselves.
Whether you're wondering about how to start or have questions about how you're getting on you can always reach us on firstname.lastname@example.org