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Discovering Driftwood Origins: From Tree to Shore

POSTED ON JAN 14, 2024

driftwood origins

Most of the DIY enthusiasts enjoy the satisfaction brought by making crafts out of driftwood. While we are amazed by such creation, it is important to know its origin. Driftwood is the washed remnants of trees because of wind or flood that ends up on places near bodies of water such as seashore, lakeside, etc. It could be in the form of pallets, lumber, twigs, and branches. 

Driftwood and Trees

Ever since the Norse mythology period, driftwood has been used. However, there are no trees that transform into driftwood. Naturally, a tree’s part that has been torn apart such as twigs and branches is considered driftwood.

You can customize driftwood according to your craft needs. However, the usage of driftwood varies from different tree origins. Listed below are the driftwood names and their tree origin:

Driftwood Name

Tree Origin
Mopani wood Mopane tree
Sumatran driftwood Mangrove roots
Manzanita wood Shrubs on the shore
Bogwood No tree origin; it’s a submerged wood
Cholla wood Upright cactus
Tree root driftwood Root of any tree on the shore

Read More: Types of Driftwood You Should Know About

Furthermore, If you are planning to make driftwood a craft for an aquarium, it is best to consider what is a safe driftwood or not for aquatic species. The following are the safe driftwood and plants to use for fish tanks:

• Marsh Root

• Mopani Wood

• Bogwood

• Manzanita

• Cholla Wood

• Redmoor Root Wood

• Jangle Wood

• Malaysian Driftwood

• Spider wood

• Bonsai Tree

• Tiger Wood

• Sumatran

Is Driftwood a Tree?

large driftwood

The most commonly asked question is “Is driftwood a tree?” And we are here to give light to that question. Driftwood is a part of a tree, it may be a branch, root, or trunk, that has been fallen and washed away from the tree. It had fallen and washed away due to wind and storm. These driftwoods are commonly washed on seashores and lakeshores.

Is Driftwood a Specific Type of Wood?

Driftwood is not a specific type of wood. Instead, it is a part of a tree that has been fallen and washed. The wood that becomes driftwood might come from different tree species. Its appearance depends on a certain type of driftwood. Also, the driftwood color is influenced by weathering, exposure to elements, and age and decomposition. To conclude, driftwood is not a specific type of wood but rather a part of the tree that is weathered, worn and has been carried away by water for a long or short period. 


Above all, if you are interested in collecting or decorating driftwood, you should be mindful of its source or origin so that you will know how to use it properly, and also the law of collecting driftwood in your area. If you fail to do so, it might be used as the wrong material. Just like in making driftwood a decorative material in aquariums. Since it requires a specific type of driftwood and if you use the wrong one, aquatic species living in that aquarium might be put at risk.


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