Why is driftwood so expensive? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Why is driftwood so expensive?

Why is drift wood so expensive? It seems to me like a dried out piece of wood is only a little more valuable than a green one, so like... 50c. Yet A small piece goes for $20! Whats going on here?


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 05:06 PM
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Driftwood isnt just dried out, it's created by a cycle of wetting and drying over a long period of time. It's only expensive because people are willing to pay for it- take a trip to the river and you can usually get some for free.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 05:22 PM
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Somebody has to collect it, sort it, clean it, etc. Stuff like Manzanita can't be found just anywhere either, so that demands a certain premium.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 05:27 PM
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Manzanita:

The wood is notoriously hard to cure, mostly due to cracking against the grain, giving it few uses as timber. The slow growth rate and many branchings further decrease the sizes available. Some furniture and art employ whole round branches, which reduces cracking and preserves the deep red color.
The dead wood decays slowly and can last for many years, on and off the plant. Sunlight smooths and bleaches manzanita to light grey or white, rendering it superficially akin to animal bones. Because of this and the stunted growth of many species, manzanita is often collected in its more unusual shapes, giving it the nickname mountain driftwood.
Manzanita wood is also used as perches for parrots and other large pet birds. The branches of the larger species are extremely long-lasting for this purpose.Some aquarium keepers use sandblasted manzanita as driftwood in planted aquaria because of its attractive forked growth and its chemical neutrality.

A lot more effort goes into collecting and treating wood than you would expect.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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It seems that you are right. I just assumed it was left outside in the sun for a long period of time. My fireplace wood seems to go from green to dead and dry in about a year, though I wouldn't want to use that in my tank.

So the price is because the wood that is used is chemically neutral and is, in some cases, sand blasted, before being prepared in a wet/dry process, that is not just leaving it outside?


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 06:07 PM
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Not to mention being heat treated, likely boiled once or twice and then you also have the fact that only th pieces that look good and are of a good size/shape are sold.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 12:15 AM
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The driftwood is free, you are paying for the time & trouble to find it, haul it home, clean it, and advertise it.

I'm 45 min. North of Chicago, I have 3 nice pieces that were aged in Lake Michigan. You're welcome to fly or drive out here from Boston and I'll sell the each for .50

BTW - Bring a snow shovel, I'll show you were to dig for them.


Last edited by DogFish; 02-27-2013 at 02:44 AM. Reason: sp
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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Haha. Thanks DogFish. That is very generous of you


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by DrakeScree View Post
Haha. Thanks DogFish. That is very generous of you

I'm Wicked helpful

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