my manzanita twig purchase photo essay
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 ;)
Nice. Thanks for the heads up. =)
Anytime you ship a large box like that without support on the inside of the box for the walls of the box it will collapse. It's a simple fact of physics and the way these parcels are handled by ALL shipping firms.
As someone who ships a few parcels now and then I have also found there is a HUGE difference between inexpensive packing tape and good packing tape. But even with that if you have nothing but air under a box flap it's very easy to separate it from the packing tape.
Postal regulations actually require 2" of packing material around the item. Take some cardboard and make a box that will hold a brick. Insert brick and mail. Box will arrive just fine. Take the same box and mail empty. Chances are the box will arrive smashed. You can do the same thing with UPS and get the same results. That's way many vendors learn to pack boxes TIGHT and use the correct packing material.
When I used to order a lot of domestic cigars they were packed in such a way that once you opened the box and removed the boxes of cigars you could not get them all back into the box with the packing material used. Kind of like digging a hole and then filling it with the dirt you removed. You always end up with extra.
Very nice twigs!
Question: Is there a reason as to why people say to get the sandblasted manzanita pieces? Are there any problems associated with keeping the bark on them like Spypet has on his? I actually like the look with the bark on them.
Twigs look great!
Maybe I'll have to contact the guy!
Jeral emailed me this reaction to my photo essay, and to address comments left on this thread;
I appreciate the review. You might be happy to know I have upgraded my shipping methods. I purchase boxes wholesale & ship via UPS or Priority Mail only. The structural integrity of the store bought boxes I get now are much greater then was used on your USPS First Class shipped order. Thanks for the pictures you posted as I especially like seeing the final results!
There is no link to his shop here.
The thread is 5 years old, chances are the link is dead and Jeral may even no longer be in business.
Ah. Sorry, I should have checked the date.
or it could the reverse and even more grave! :O
check out bloomsandbranches.com (not affiliated) - great manzanita branches for relatively cheap - pick the sandblasted so the red doesn't flake off (and it will!). I've bought 4 huge (24-30") branches from them and they're wonderful :)
You're very welcome!
here's a pic of them in my 55:
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