|Florida Long Leaf Pine Trees|
Depending on where you live, Long Leaf Pine Needles may be growing near your home. This tree is available throughout the southern United States from Virginia to Gulf of Mexico. The botanical name is Pinus Palustris.
In other parts of North America there are other versions of a long leaf pine needle. Many people use Tory Pine, Canary Island, and Guatamalan varieties with success. If you are not able to find them locally you can buy them on the internet from basket suppliers, Etsy sellers, and Ebay.
When I first made a Pine Needle Basket, I bought a lb. of Tory Needles on Ebay and they worked wonderfully.
|The start of my very first Pine Needle Basket |
My first basket was my Quan Yin Basket utilizing a soapstone relief of the Chinese Goddess Quan Yin. I used Tibetan Bone Beads from an antique Tibetan Rosary I had collected years ago. The needles I purchased on Ebay worked well but were expensive. I wasn't going to be able to make very many baskets this way.
After my initial trials, I went for a trip to Florida last winter and I noticed all the long leaf Pine Trees. I started collecting needles locally, on Merritt Island. At first, I just picked up any old pine needle I found on the ground by roadsides.
|This is a few minutes of collecting done |
after a Wind Storm - Merritt Island, FL 2012
|Look for the lighter fresher looking|
Needles near Pine Cones in Parks
where the grass gets mowed.
|Florida Long Leaf Pine Needles collected|
on Merritt Island, FL 2012
The color of the needles can range from a light tan to a deep walnut color.
|My first Basket - Quan Yin, done with |
Tory Pine Needles purchased on Ebay
I recently collected some short pine needles in Massachusetts which are short and very fine. I plan on experimenting and making a basket with them soon. I will keep you updated on the progress using the shorter needles but I do believe I will be able to use them, I will just be feeding my bundle more often.