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Survival Trees: Nature's Lifesavers


Becoming a survivalist means learning how to use the resources in the wild to stay alive. And guess what? Trees are the ultimate resource! They do so much for us, like cleaning the air and keeping our ecosystem healthy. Without trees, we wouldn't have forests! So, if you want to know which trees can save your life in a survival situation, you've come to the right place. Here are fifteen amazing trees that can be your best friends in the wild.

Edible Trees

Oak trees are everywhere in the United States and are easy to spot. But did you know that they can also provide you with food? Oak nuts, also known as acorns, are packed with fats and carbohydrates that can keep you going. However, it would be best if you prepared them properly to avoid stomach problems. After cracking open the shell, remove the skin covering the acorn flesh (it has lots of tannins, which can upset your stomach). Boil the acorns for at least fifteen minutes, and voila! You have a safe and tasty treat.

Pine trees are famous for their nutritious pine nuts. These little seeds are full of healthy fats and proteins. You can eat them raw or roast them over a fire for a delicious snack. And guess what? Pine needles can also be used to make tea! Just steep them in hot water, and you'll have a warm cup of tea rich in vitamin C. It's perfect for those chilly nights in the wild.

Maple trees are known for their maple syrup, but making syrup in the wild is quite a process. Instead, you can eat the seeds of maple trees, called samaras. Eat them raw or roast them over a fire for a quick and nutritious snack.

Medicinal Trees

Black walnut trees have leaves and bark that contain anti-parasitic and antifungal properties. If you have a rash, wound, or blister, crush the hulls of a black walnut tree into a poultice. Apply it directly to the affected area for relief.

Elderberry trees are like superheroes for your immune system. You can make teas or syrups with the berries to boost your immune system. Boil the elderberries in water, mash them up, and you'll have a syrup-like substance. Just remember not to eat the berries raw, as they can make you sick.

Eucalyptus trees are famous for their leaves, used to make eucalyptus oil. This oil has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Boil eucalyptus leaves in water to make a soothing tea. You can also make a poultice by mashing the leaves and applying them to rashes, blisters, or wounds. Bonus: it also keeps bugs away!

Neem tree leaves are like magic for your skin. They have potent anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Mash the leaves into a poultice and apply it to irritated or injured skin. This will provide pain relief and help prevent infections.

Willow trees are usually found near water sources. Chew on willow twigs and swallow the juice if you have a headache, or make a poultice and apply it to an open wound. The bark of willow trees contains salicin, which can relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

Fire Starting Trees

Basswood trees are great for starting fires because their bark is rugged and easy to ignite. Look for a basswood tree if you need to create a fire by rubbing two sticks together. It's one of the best options for getting a flame going.

Birch trees are survival favorites because their bark can ignite even when wet. Peel off as much bark as you can and save it for later. It makes excellent kindling to start a fire when you need it most.

The wood from a beech tree has a low moisture content, making it easier to ignite. Once it's burning, it will provide a steady flame. Unlike other woods that burn out quickly, beech wood will keep your fire going.

Cedar trees have resinous wood that burns quickly, even when green or moist. The bark can be shredded and used as kindling or fuel. If you come across a cedar tree, grab some bark to help you start a fire.

Fatwood pine trees have resinous wood that burns intensely, even in wet conditions. The bark is also great for kindling and tinder. So, if you need a fire in a pinch, look for a fatwood pine tree.

Shelter Building Trees

Hemlock trees have branches with soft, feather-like needles. These branches make a comfortable and insulating floor for your shelter. So, if you want a cozy and weather-resistant refuge, pile up those hemlock branches.

Yew trees have dense wood, making them perfect for building shelters. The wood is super durable and can be used for other survival items like walking sticks or spears for fishing, hunting, or self-defense.

Pay close attention. Yew trees are dangerous if you eat them; they're toxic to humans; they aren’t suitable for food or medicine, so take caution!


If you ever find yourself stuck in the forest and need to survive, keep an eye on the trees around you. They're your best bet in tough times. But here's the deal: not all trees are the same, so you must know the difference. It’s best to study and be ready in advance.


Remember, trees are your allies in the wild. They provide food, medicine, fire, and shelter. So, next time you're out in nature, take a moment to appreciate these incredible lifesavers.


About Me:

Michael Hoskins (Blackfeet), a retired combat army veteran, and his wife Melissa are dedicated to promoting self-sustainability and sharing valuable life-saving skills with their community. They own and operate a 10-acre off-grid mini farm in Southeast Tennessee, where they work to bring back traditional ways of living and move away from modern materialism.


With certifications as an instructor in BLS/First Aid/AED from the American Heart Association, as well as SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) and Combat Life Support qualifications from the US Army, Michael is committed to teaching these critical skills to anyone eager to learn. He believes that in today's uncertain world, empowering others with these abilities is more important than ever.


In his spare time, Michael indulges in his passion for survival camping, honing his skills and passing on his knowledge to others. He also finds joy in Native American drumming, playing the Native flute, and creating Native arts and crafts.


Together with Melissa, Michael continues to inspire and educate others on the path to self-sustainability and traditional living.


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