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What are the most useful wild plants of the Eastern Woodlands region of North America?

 
pollinator
Posts: 497
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
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What are the most useful wild plants of the Eastern Woodlands region of North America? They don't have to be edible. I ask, so I can put them in my Food Forest.

I already figure American Rivercane, Basswod, Oak...
 
pollinator
Posts: 1249
Location: Green County, Kentucky
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I don't have time to say too much, but I think chestnuts should be at the top of your list.  While it's true that the American chestnut has been decimated by blight, there are some cultivars becoming available that are resistant, and there are crosses with chestnuts from other continents which are very resistant and have larger nuts, too.  

Black locust, while it doesn't have much edible on it (the ephemeral flowers are supposed to be edible, but my trees are too tall for me to be able to reach the blossoms.  I have some young trees growing up, and maybe someday we'll get a chance to try eating the flowers), does have extremely rot-resistant wood which has many uses.  It is also very easy to grow, and casts a light shade which would be great as an overstory with plants underneath that don't care much for full sun.  They can also be coppiced, potentially providing a steady supply of poles and small-diameter firewood, and black locust makes very good firewood.  Black locust is also suitable for a great many different regions and climates, growing across much of the United States, even in dry climates.

If I have a chance, I'll come back later and add more.

 
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Eastern Hemlock...you can tan things with it...

Spruce...Spruce gum is a gum that never loses its flavor and stays chewy until your great Grandchildren are in College...and it makes a nice tea as well.

Beech...not only does it attract deer for hunting purposes, but since the leaves stay on the trees all winter long you can have something to wipe with while going #2 in the forest. Everyone laughs until it is February 4th, snow is a foot deep, and you just made your own "log" and you would kill for beech leaves. Incidentally basswood and their big leaves are great in the summer for this.

Maple: Maple syrup anyone?

Yellow Birch: You can drink a minty tea right out of the tree in Spring. You can set the bark on fire in the dead of winter for the most spectacular fireworks display, and it makes the hardest baseball bats. (they no longer use ash for this reason)

Blueberries/Black Berries/Raspberries/Strawberries

 
pollinator
Posts: 156
Location: Henry County Ky Zone 6
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Elderberry, Paw Paw, Mulberry, Black Walnut and Hazelnut, common Serviceberry and Saskatoon, northern Pecan seem to grow without much fuss or pop up on their own.
 
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Location: 04267
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chaga and wintergreen. Wilderness survivalist specialist Tom Brown says that wintergreen is the king of medicinal herbs. Both chaga and wintergreen are cancer cures
 
pollinator
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Location: Central Virginia USA
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Golden seal, honey locust, ginseng
 
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