Eating TREE BACON like a BEAVER with Viking AXE! | Cambium Survival Food | Tormund Giantsbane

Tree CAMBIUM or INNER BARK is touted as a survival food, but how PALATABLE is it really? Can you just dive into the WOOD and get your fill like a BEAVER?

Thanks to Riot Axe:

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Not only will I cook TREE, but I will also start a FIRE from scratch using a BOW DRILL. I will use a home made custom VIKING AXE like Tormund from Game of Thrones to help chop down a pine tree to get at the ‘delicious’ layer of bark!

Is tree cambium or inner bark good to eat or totally gross? Is tree bark palatable. I will show you how to eat inner bark of a pine tree.


Cambium contains about 1000-1200 calories per kilogram. As well as being fried, it can also be dried and pounded into a flour or added to stew or soups.

Traditional diets of Indigenous peoples of Canada show that they ate about 35 species of plants with inner bark, cambium and sap.

The most common are in the Pine Family including True Firs balsam fir, or Canada balsam, grand fir fir, and Pacific silver fir.

Other include Slippery Elm, Black Birch, Yellow Birch, Red Spruce, Black Spruce, Balsam Fir and Tamarack. Of all the contenders, Pine seems to be the genus of choice.

The inner bark of balsam fir was grated and eaten by the Montagnais of Quebec. The inner bark (cambium and secondary phloem) of Engelmann spruce was occasionally eaten by the Nlaka’pamux and Chilcotin of British Columbia.

The most important food derived from lodgepole pine, however, was the inner bark, including cambium and secondary phloem tissues, which was an almost universal food of the
Interior peoples of British Columbia. The edible tissue is said to be at its prime for harvesting only for a very limited time in spring, the exact interval being determined by elevation and local weather conditions. It was and is usually obtained in late May or early June, when the sap is running and the cambium and surrounding tissues are thick and juicy. This is about the time when the new needles are expanding and the pollen cones in full production. Sometimes local testing is required to determine whether the harvesting time is right. For harvesting, the bark is removed and the ripe cambium tissues scraped off the
exposed wood in long, fleshy ribbons 2-3 cm (about 1 in.) wide and up to 60 cm (2 ft) or more long. Special prying implements were used to remove the bark and scrapers, traditionally made of caribou antler, deer ulna or rib, or shoulder blade of deer or bear, were used to harvest the edible tissue.

More recently, a sharp knife, or a tool cut from the curved side of a tin can, has been used as a scraper. A basket or container placed at the bottom of the tree is often used to “catch” the edible ribbons, or “pine noodles” as they fall. Sometimes, if it were later in the season, the edible portion is scraped from the inside of the bark after it had been removed. Usually only a rectangular portion of the bark 1 to 2 m (about 3 to 6 ft) from the ground is removed, and the tree will continue to grow, the scar gradually growing over. There are many, many examples of such “culturally modified” trees in the interior of British Columbia, although recently, the practice of harvesting inner bark has been discouraged by Forestry management officials, and few Indigenous People still use this food.

The edible tissue was usually eaten fresh, as it was gathered, or shortly afterwards. When freshly harvested, it is sweet, juicy, and
somewhat resinous, but when left it is said to discolor quickly and
“go sour.” Sometimes, however, it was dried for winter, when it would be soaked in water before use. Some people like to add sugar to this food, making it even sweeter. The Gitksan name for it translates as “tree fat.” Bears are said to relish the inner bark of lodgepole pine, and sometimes one can see where they have scratched off the bark to get it.

The Chipewyan of northern Saskatchewan and the Woods Cree of east-central Saskatchewan sometimes ate the fresh inner bark of jack pine.

Ponderosa Pine, or Yellow Pine was harvested in spring and eaten in the same manner. The Flathead were said to have used it even more than lodgepole pine inner bark. The best tissue is said to come from young trees, before they have produced cones, and the food could also be harvested from the twigs and branches of older trees. The tree would be tested first to make sure
the sap was sweet, then the bark was removed with a special tool. The edible tissue was scraped from the wood or the inside of the bark pieces. It was usually ready two or three weeks before. Lodgepole pine inner bark. It was eaten fresh, or stored briefly, and was sometimes roasted and dried for winter.

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