Trees are such a normal part of our life today, we don’t typically think twice about them. We look at them, think they are pretty or take a minute to enjoy the shade they provide, but looking at them as a means of survival is not typical. After life gets shaken up and everything changes, trees will take on a whole new meaning.
Trees will be valuable parts of our survival after a collapse. When the grocery stores have empty shelves and the pharmacy is wiped out, you need a backup source of food and medicine.
What’s that got to do with trees you ask? Well, trees are a source of food and medicine! All those trees you walk by on a daily basis are keeping a secret. They are extremely valuable tools in a post-apocalyptic world.
Those statuesque, leafy parts of the landscape aren’t just good for burning and keeping you warm. They can heal you and they can feed you a nutritious meal that will help keep you strong and healthy as you learn how to live off the land.
The following are 10 trees every prepper needs to know about to help them survive after the fall.
We will divide them into two categories. One for trees that can provide you with a steady supply of food and one for trees that can be used in various ways to treat illnesses and injuries.
A special note about fruit trees: Most fruit trees need a pollinator, meaning you generally need two fruit trees of the same family to get fruit. There are some self-pollinating varieties. If you are planting trees on your land, make sure you plant the trees close enough together for them to get pollinated.
1-Walnuts are hearty and very nutritious. They can be eaten raw or tossed into a meal or dessert for extra flavor and crunch. A quarter cup of walnuts packs close to 200 calories. Calories are a big deal in a survival situation. Nut trees require long growing seasons and are best grown in warmer climates. They can be found in the wild, but are generally planted in yards or farms.
2-Citrus trees like orange or lemon are bountiful and will keep you happy for months. The citrus fruit can be eaten raw, dried or used to make a healthy cup of juice. Lemon juice is regularly used for food preservation. It can be used to cure meat that is going to be dried. Citrus trees are generally only found in warm, southern climates.
3-Cherry trees come in many different varieties. The cherries make great snacks fresh or dried. Save the pits to plant more cherry trees. Cherries can be fermented to make a nice, flavorful wine. A cherry pie will be a serious luxury in a world that will soon forget what some pastries and baked goods tasted like. Don’t forget to make some cherry jam to put on the shelves to carry you through a long winter.
4-Pears. Pears are tasty and fairly easy to grow in any climate, which makes them a favorite in the orchard. A little pear juice can help cure constipation and other digestive issues.
5-Apple trees are prolific and very easy to grow. There are many varieties to choose from. Apples can be preserved in a variety of ways, which makes them a favorite for preppers. They are also high in nutrition. Plant several trees to ensure you have apples all winter and plenty of extra for making into sauce, juice, pies and so on. Apple cider is an excellent solution to harmful bacteria in the gut that causes intestinal upset.
6– Birch trees will grow in moist soil and can readily be found around lakes and rivers. The white bark of the tree helps them stand out. Making a tea from the leaves of the birch tree can help cure kidney infections and kidney stones. Rinsing your mouth with the tea can help cure mouth sores and infections. The birch tea can also be used to treat skin rashes and eczema.
7– Beech trees have long been used to treat frostbite. Wrapping a frostbitten area with the bark from a beech tree can aid in healing. A poultice made from the leaves of a beech tree can be used to treat burns. A tea made with the leaves can be used to treat headaches.
8– Elm is a favorite in the natural medicine world. A poultice made with the leaves of the tree is an excellent healing agent for deep wounds. It is the go-to remedy for treating gunshot wounds. Drinking a tea made with the leaves will do wonders for bone health because of the high levels of calcium. The tea is also helpful in treating digestion problems and intestinal issues.
9– Alder is the tree you want when you are dealing with high fevers caused by illness or infection. A tea made with the leaves and bark will help break the fever. The same tea can be used to soothe and reduce hemorrhoids. The alder tree is an astringent and useful in washing wounds to speed healing and reduce the risk of infection.
10– Maple trees are very common and can be found in almost any climate. The bark from the tree can be brewed in a tea to help soothe bronchitis. Grinding the leaves into a poultice and placing them on tender breasts of nursing mothers will help soothe the pain and swelling.
Knowing how to use the trees is helpful, but you also must know how to identify the trees in the wild. Include a tree identification guide with your emergency supplies to refer to when you are not sure. If you have property that you plan to stay on, it would be wise to plant these helpful trees that could just save your life down the road. The food and the poultices you get from the trees will be a valuable commodity that you can use to barter with to get other items you need.