What is driftwood and where does it come from

driftwood art for sale

Everyone who loves the sea will fall in love with the driftwood lying quietly on the beach. They may not have the same colorful colors and complex patterns as shells and stones; however, after careful selection and transformation, driftwood can also transform into a natural wood art piece to help you decorate every day of life.

Mountain collapse, riparian erosion and man-made felling… may all be the cause of driftwood formation. When floating in the water, driftwood is where the birds rest, providing habitat and food for fish and other aquatic life. If the time of soaking in the water is long enough, the driftwood may completely decompose, return into nutrients in the water, and re-add to the material circulation of the food chain. However, wood blocks that are not completely degraded are sometimes washed along the water to the shore. This is the driftwood we will see on the beach, on the river bank or on the lake

The shape of driftwood is very colorful, and it also has different textures depending on the wood. Large driftwood is a good habitat for small animals living by the water. They are very unique and beautiful in shape, but because they are too large, it is difficult for ordinary people to process and use them. Smaller driftwood is also very common. If you can find some beautiful small wooden blocks when you go out to play, you can use them to make natural household items or artworks.

Between people and driftwood, there is a moving relationship – in the Norwegian legend, the earliest ancestors of humans, Ask and Embla, were transformed from two driftwoods. Near the Arctic Circle, driftwood was once the main and even the only source of timber for the Inuit and other tribes – because they lived on the north side of the forest boundary and were unable to cut down trees for daily use. This tradition was not changed until frequent trade activities between European merchants and Inuit were established. Traditional Inuit canoes are also made of driftwood and animal leather.

Where does driftwood come from?

1.The collapse of the mountain : After the earthquake, typhoon and heavy rain, when the mountain collapse occurred, the soil on the hillside land loosened and collapsed, causing the trees on the slope to fall. The fallen wood will drift to the lower reaches of the river with rain and soil and stones, forming driftwood.

2.Erosion of the riverbank: the erosion of the river bank is faster at the turn of river than the straight line, and the river is widened, causing the trees planted on the side to fall down due to the loss of soil, bare roots, and then the wood will follow the river. Flows downstream to form driftwood. Riverbank erosion is the biggest cause of driftwood formation in Japan.

3.Demolition: Demolition is the most important human factor in the formation of driftwood. How do you judge that driftwood is cut by the stolen group? We can observe the roots of the driftwood. After the roots are cut by the saw, the cross section of the wood will be flat, and the annual rings can be seen, and the roots are not visible. Such driftwood is caused by artificial logging;

Driftwood is not rubbish! It can “turning decay into magic”

There are many uses for driftwood, and it is a pity if it is just disposed of as garbage. If you make full use of driftwood, you can also reduce the deforestation of the forest, leaving the world a green.

  • Biomass fuel: The driftwood is concentrated and, after proper treatment, it can be used as a raw material fuel, as a raw material for thermal power generation, and the amount of ash and sulphur produced by burning wood will be higher than that of lignite or peat of the same grade. It is also low, so it can reduce air pollution. The carbon dioxide produced by the burning of driftwood can be offset by the carbon dioxide absorbed by the photosynthesis of the wood during planting. It should be noted that not all driftwood can be used to burn, driftwood that has been soaked in seawater, and may produce dioxins when burned.
  • Japan is classified according to the size of driftwood chips, 1.5cm, for different purposes: less than 1.5cm of scrapscan be used as an animal feed additive, and mixed with mud, plant seeds, sprayed on the hillside collapsed ground, transformed It is an organic fertilizer that can be reconstructed and restored by collapse. Scraps larger than 1.5 cm and not soaked in seawater can be used as fuel for biomass energy generation, while larger pieces of wood can be scattered on the park trails, making it more comfortable for people to walk on the trails.

Application in agriculture: After driftwood is processed into crumbs, it can be used as a medium supplement for growing mushrooms or strawberries. Driftwood itself can be made into organic fertilizer, and burnt wood can be reused as fertilizer.

Artwork: The diversity of driftwood brings endless possibilities for artistic creation.  it is possible to “make the wood into magic” and reuse the driftwood for a new life

So, what kind of art can these drifting woods that seem to be “plain”? The answer can be said to be endless. Because of the long soaking in the water, the driftwood has a rounded and unique texture that fresh wood does not have. A small driftwood alone may not be so special, but with a lot of pieces combined, with a little clever idea, you don’t need too much carving and polishing to creative woodcraft. Let’s take a look at the driftwood artworks of many hand-made people. Can you find inspiration for hands-on production?

Related :12 best driftwood decor ideas

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