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Author Topic: Are Saserfas trees an invasive species?  (Read 3046 times)

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Offline bowman316

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Are Saserfas trees an invasive species?
« on: April 28, 2012, 06:03:22 AM »
I'm pretty sure that what these trees are that keep popping up in my woods.  They like to try an start up where the woods meets the yard.  And they grow in clusters.  When you cut into one, the saw dust smells very unique.  Its hard to explain, but it smells kinda sweet, and like something you would wanna eat. 

These guys just seem kinda like vines, you let em go unchecked and they will take over.  Just wondering what you guys thought about Saserfas trees.  I only cut a few of em down, to make a new road in the woods. 

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Are Saserfas trees an invasive species?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2012, 07:06:38 AM »
Sassafras isn't an invasive species, especially in MD.  An invasive species is one not native to your area.  Sassafras is a native species.  It actually makes a decent lumber, and usually fetches red oak prices.  But, you need enough to make it worthwhile.  You can use the roots to make tea, and its the basis for root beer. 

There is always some species that is looking to overtake open areas.  That is called a pioneer species.  Your sassafras may be coming from birds that eat the berry, then sit on  limb, and deposit the seed to the ground below.

If you want an example of an invasive species in your area, there are alanthus from the tree side, multiflora rose as a shrub, European bittersweet as a vine, stinkbugs as an insect. 
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Offline thurlow

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Re: Are Saserfas trees an invasive species?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2012, 08:16:43 AM »
I love sassafras, though I don't find many trees around 'here' large enough to make a decent log.  Most of what I've sawed are in the 12-16 inch range.  The wood is very 'neutral' in color and easy to work with.  Have turned a bunch of candle holders this Winter.........some of it from sassafras. 
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Offline bama20a

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Re: Are Saserfas trees an invasive species?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2012, 08:38:36 AM »
When small the bark is a bright green,& the leafs is got 3 prongs,As it gets bigger the lower part turns brown,But the green will move up higher as it grows.Also the best way to tell is dig up the roots & smell of it.As Ron said it will smell alot like root beer,
I made my first tea this year from it the other day. 8)Me & my wife likes it,But not everyone has a taste for it.Mark,,,,,,
It is better to ask forgiveness than permission

Offline bowman316

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Re: Are Saserfas trees an invasive species?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2012, 02:47:33 PM »
That bittersweet vine is really a PITA. 
It likes to team up with the grape vines and Virgina creeper to kill the walnut trees. 

I think we have let the woods creep out about 20 ft over the years. 

Offline tyb525

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Re: Are Saserfas trees an invasive species?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2012, 02:50:40 PM »
Around here buckeye is the invasive species throughout the wood.

Sassafras smells like fruit loops to me.
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Offline samandothers

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Re: Are Saserfas trees an invasive species?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2012, 12:05:41 AM »
Many of the trees I have seen in SW Va. appear to have leaves that may have different number of lobes on the tree.  You will see 3, 2 and 1 on the same tree.  I remember my grandmother making the tea and I really enjoyed it.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Are Saserfas trees an invasive species?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2012, 08:25:14 PM »
... An invasive species is one not native to your area.

The term invasive is not related to whether it's native or not. There are native species that are invasive. They're usually not as much of a problem, since the ecosystem has already adapted to them. Exotic species are ones that are not native. If they are also invasive, they are known as exotic invasives. The "exotic" part seems to have been dropped in references these days when most people are talking about the problem.
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Offline logman

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Re: Are Saserfas trees an invasive species?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2012, 09:34:03 PM »
I made spiral stairs out of sassafras for my timber frame home I built in Md.  A friend had about 4 very large trees, about 18" or bigger.  It is pretty wood and smells good when you are working it.  Tea from it is considered a carcinogen now though I believe.    I made it a few times when I was younger also.
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