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Friday, June 8, 2012

The Downside of Natural Dyeing

This is a picture of me harvesting dead branches from Osage Orange trees in 2003.  I  only took dead branches for my dye project, knowing that there was ample dye in them to color several pounds of yarn.  Today I returned to take pictures of the trees to accompany a little story about their value as a dye plant and found that they had been cut -- all of them.  They are regenerating from the roots and are about my height now, so this took place several years ago.  Nothing else has been disturbed in this area, so who ever cut them, must have been thinking of chipping the wood for dye.

It breaks my heart to see this kind of destructiveness.  Osage Orange is not an endangered species and they are very hardy so I think they will survive.  But it is senseless and wasteful to have cut the four or five mature trees you see in the top picture.


I have been open about where I find my dye plants.  I fear that my information about these trees may have led someone to cut them down.  I'll be more careful in the future and I hope that my message to collect dye plants respectfully will be heard.

1 comment:

  1. It has been suggested by several of my friends that the culprit in cutting the trees may have been a woodworker rather than a natural dyers. That would explain why the entire trees were cut down. It makes me feel a bit better to think that natural dyers wouldn't have been so destructive.

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