Pine– Burns quickly and will make a good fire lay in damp conditions due to it’s resinous wood. The sap/resin is usually found seeping out of the outer bark where an injury has occurred. Pine resin can be used as an artificial skin for shallow cuts and has antiseptic properties. The sap itself is flammable so caution should be observed, however this makes an excellent fire extender. Pine pitch is an adhesive that can be made by slowly heating and adding equal parts binder, i.e. charcoal or cattail fluff. Needles of eastern pine trees have more vitamin C per weight than a freshly squeezed orange. A nutritious tea can be made from the needles as they are also high in vitamin A. A collection of dead needles make a good addition to a fire lay as they are highly resinous.
Willow– Since this tree requires a wet area to grow well, this is an excellent water indicator. Leaves and inner bark contain salicin, which is a chemical compound found in aspirin, a decoction makes a decent headache remedy and chewing leaves should help a toothache. The branches are long and new growth is fairly straight, which could make arrow shafts.
Poplar– A tulip poplar is what Daniel Boone’s canoe was carved from. Although technically a magnolia, the tulip poplar is easy to carve so making a spoon or spatula is possible. Leaves and bark are very astringent so it will draw infection out and drive toxins away. Used as a fomentation it will relieve poison ivy, drawing the oils away from the skin. The inner bark provides bird nesting material as well as tinder bundles.
Oak– Very hard and a good choice to manufacture tools such as an ax handle. Oak is long burning and makes a good coal bed for cooking. Remember, fire is for heat and coals are for cooking.
Red Oak– Great for building as it handles stress very well.
White Oak– This is much more medicinal in use. The inner bark can help relieve sinus congestion and headache. Antiseptic in nature makes a good mouthwash as a decoction. High in tannin, the bark and leaves are astringent.
Birch– Bark contains oil that is so flammable is will likely burn even when wet. The bark produces thick black smoke that will drive insects away in the summer. When using open flame birch requires little to no processing to create a quick warm fire. When found in colder climates and in high altitudes, birch is plagued by a parasitic fungus called chaga. When sliced thin, chaga makes a great tinder and when made into tea it has medicinal properties. Birch is also an excellent wood to carve.