ever wish you had a friend who had Manzanita trees growing in their backyard, and you could ask them to throw a few twigs into a box and ship it to you cheap? after trolling the web for a while, I found a fellow named Jeral who lives between several national parks in Southern California and has a firewood collecting permit that allows him to pick up Manzanita wood in State parks that can be used for resale to his Florist supply customers. when he can find the time, Jeral hikes around the area over the weekend to see what nice wood pieces he can find. so I described to him the type of branchy 12"-18" twigs I wanted for my fish tank, and the following weekend he found some for me. a Month earlier, I wrote manzanita.com for such twigs, and for a "sample" box of 4-5 twigs, they wanted $40 shipped,
but Jeral gladly took care of it for only $15 dollars; he generally likes to charge $10 per pound including ground shipping. now before you go canceling your manzania.com orders, let me clarify something.
Jeral's inventory is very unreliable, his shipping is slow, and he takes his time replying to emails. but if you can patiently wait till he finds what you describe, and can relax while waiting for shipping and email confirmation, then Jeral can save you a considerable amount of cash from his 92539 zip code.
you can contact Jeral directly at: cooleycraftATgmailDOTcom or visit his ebaY store;
Jeral first emailed me this photo of the twigs he had collected;
he offered to sandblast for a small fee, but I preferred them red.
a dozen days and emails later this 1.5lb 20x10x10" USPS box arrived;
Jeral admitted he was not happy how the box arrived and
told me he's working on getting a UPS ground account.
here are the twigs against an 18x26" tray
I bunched them up the way I hoped to display the twigs,
then I soaked the twigs in a 7gal container with warm tap water
and a cup of kosher salt, changing the water every 2 days.
on the 2nd and 4th day the water was pretty tea colored,
but by the 6th day most of the tea color was gone.
the twigs sink very easily after only an hour immersed.
I then rinsed off the salty water and put the twigs in my 18" high tank.
over the next Month I will experiment with different mosses to give it a
tree like appearance, or simply leave it red and bare so the foreground
plants nearby don't get deprived of light. I'll update this post in a few
weeks, with a moss covered twig photo should I like the end results.
use this link to see how the twigs look with my entire 29gal tank in the frame.
If you inquire with Jeral, please do me the courtesy of posting
on this thread so I get an idea what response this thread has
generated for his newest customer base of planted tank nuts