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  • The burls on Redwood trees can sprout new trees that are the exact genetic copies of their host tree.

  • Burls are referred to as burr in Europe.

  • The removal of burls from giant redwoods can kill these ancient and rare trees by making them ripe for infection and disease.

  • No two burls are ever alike.

  • Pacific madrones are able to withstand strong winds because of deep, spreading root systems.

  • The burls on Walnut trees grow underground.  You won’t know how valuable it will be until you unearth the entire burl.  

  • Walnut burls are rare and valuable. The Jaguar car company sponsors a 175 acre (72 hectare) planting within the National Forest of the UK.

  • California has approximately 33 million acres of forest.

  • Examples of furniture decorated with veneer burls have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs.Oregon exports hundreds of tons of burls each year to France and Italy.

  • “Pepperwood” is a nickname for the California Bay Laurel. 

  • The name Pepperwood comes from the scent they give off when the leaves are crushed.


  • During their migration to the Sargasso Sea, eels don’t eat.  They rely on their fat reserves to fuel the long journey.

  • Female eels release between 20 and 30 million eggs once the reach the Sargasso Sea.

  • Eels have weak jaws.  To break food up into smaller pieces, they hold the food in their mouths and spin their bodies.  They have been recorded to spin 6-14 times per second. 

  • One of the reasons eels have slime: aerodynamics.  The slime reduces the amount of drag working against the eel.

  • Eels can move across land to get around barriers in a stream.

  • “Slippery as an eel” is not just a figure of speech.  Eels have a layer of mucous covering their entire body which makes them extremely difficult to capture by hand.

  • American Eels are nocturnal and during the day will hide under rocks.

  • The male American Eel grows to about 2 feet long, while the female can grow to 3-5 feet long.

  • Freshly caught eels are often kept in live boxes to get rid of any muddy flavor.

  • Eels prefer to travel during dark and stormy nights.

  • Hancock, NY is known as “The Gateway to the Delaware River.”

  • Eels can swim backward and forward.


  • A growing demand for ginseng has resulted in an increase in illegal ginseng hunting.

  • In Kentucky, you can legally harvest wild ginseng from September 1 to December 1.

  • You can tell the age of a ginseng root by the number of prongs or the number of stem scars.

  • Most of the American ginseng exported from the U.S. goes to Hong Kong.

  • Middlesboro is the only city in the U.S. to be built in a meteorite crater. 

  • The name for the Appalachian Mountains comes from the Apalachee Indians.

  • The U.S. began to harvest wild ginseng for international trade in the mid-1700s.

  • The word Ginseng comes from the Chinese term rénshēn meaning man-root. 

  • In 1788, Daniel Boone harvested about 30,000 pounds of wild Ginseng.


  • European white truffles are among the most expensive food in the world.  

  • The Amanita phalloides is responsible for over half of all mushroom poisoning cases and is commonly called the “Death Cap.”

  • Rain is necessary for a mushroom to fruit, but too much rain can make them soggy and less marketable.
  • Watch out for the Deadly Galerinas!  These mushrooms can cause kidney and liver dysfunction, and possibly death. 

  • Madrone trees can grow to 75 feet high.

  • Madrone trees can live for over 200 years.

  • The Chicken of the Woods mushroom grows in clusters and can have up to 50 overlapping caps in a single cluster.

  • The 2001-2002 mushroom crop in the U.S. totaled 851 million pounds.

  • The US increased its consumption of mushrooms from 3.7 pounds per person in 1993 to 4.2 pounds per person in 2000.

  • Hen of the Woods has been used medicinally in Asia for centuries.

  • In Japan, the Maitake, or Hen of the Woods, mushroom means “dancing mushroom.”


  • Monster worm: A bloodworm can grow to be 15” long.

  • Careful with the bloodworms.  Bloodworms can deliver a very painful bite, and even cause some people to have an allergic reaction.

  • The worming industry (both bloodworms and sandworms) is the one of the top fisheries in Maine.

  • Highest tide in the world occurs at the Bay of Fundy in Canada.  The difference between high and low tide can range up to 53 feet.

  • The highest tide in the United States occurs in Alaska where it can range up to 40 feet.

  • The shallow, slow moving water on mudflats allow nutrients to become trapped, creating some of the most productive marine habitats.  

  • The bloodworm population has declined dramatically.  In the mid 1900s, tides would yield about 4,000 worms, now the average tide yields about 550 worms.

  • Bloodworms, like fish, travel in schools from place to place.

  • Worm diggers like Jim and Andy are self-employed and set their own hours.



  • Live Box photo

    Live Box

    Ray figures out a way to keep the eagles from eating all the eels he hopes to catch.

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