Beautiful Manzanita

March 18th, 2008

Manzanita WoodGWAPA recently ordered a large box of manzanita wood from to divide up and auction at our next couple meetings. While there are many fantastic driftwood choices available to aquarists, manzanita is one of the most interesting because there is such a variety of different looking pieces, all from the same tree.

Depending on the part of the tree used, the color of the wood can vary from a light tan to a light orange or dark brown color. Native to the coastal regions along the west coast, manzanita is a fast growing evergreen that is a renewable resource in that region. Sometimes more like a bush than a tree, one of the strengths of this wood is that there are usually many uniquely branching pieces available. In addition, the thicker branches are usually gnarled and twisted, providing plenty of natural character to use in your aquascape.

The branchy pieces are perfect for tying moss to, effectively softening them, or nice to invert, creating the effect of a tree limb hanging low over and into the water.

Manzanita Wood

There are a few things you need to know before putting manzanita into your tank. First, you definitely need to soak it, as it does release a fair number of tannins initially, and will float before becoming water logged. Most branches will sink after a few days of soaking, but some are stubborn, and may take weeks to fully water log. Also, when purchasing or collecting manzanita, make sure that you have the bark removed, preferably sandblasted. If you follow these simple rules, manzanita is beautiful and versatile wood to use in a multitude of aquascape styles.

Manzanita Wood

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