Sunday, July 3, 2022

Got Worms?


Catalpa worms are considered to be exceptionally fine fish-bait.
Catalpa worms, that is.

List of Rot-Resistant wood from Wood Handbook: Wood as an engineering material- General Technical Report 113- USDA Forest Service
Among the species adapted to wetlands, Baldcypress, Catalpa, Atlantic White Cedar and Northern White Cedar and Honeylocust.

If you were concerned about "carbon" and wanted to sequester or sink carbon you would be well served to choose tree species that produce rot-resistant wood species. There is much more bang-for-the-buck in logs that take 120 years to decay vs. 10 years to decay. Decay releases much of the sequestered carbon back into the atmosphere.

If you are a small-holder with an insatiable demand for fence-posts and rough construction would also be well served to have a plantation of species that produce rot-resistant wood.

Looking at my area-of-operation, the biggest leverage is in the potholes and wetlands that are currently filled with Silver Maple, Cottonwood and dead/dying ash trees. In theory, it is possible to replace them with Baldcypress, Catalpa, Honeylocust and Overcup Oak (and its hybrids) with Black Walnuts along the margins.

The Catalpa with exceptionally nice form is in the center of the frame.

There is a Catalpa tree with exceptionally nice form at the corner of Main Street and E. Broad Street. I may have to collect some seed pods from that tree.


  1. The catalpa worms can be frozen in which case their color and texture are preserved for later use as an effective bait. I've heard apocrypha about them still being alive after thawing but I am dubious about those claims.

  2. My house sits on some Mesquite posts. I'm running up on the life limit of them. I'm sure they've been in the dirt for at least 120 years...

  3. I never saw them come to life after freezing, but we used to snap them into bits while frozen to make more efficient use of them. I suspect that may have kept them from reviving.

    They made wonderful bream bait.

  4. somehow in Cajun country 'catalpa' morphed to 'kah-TOB-ler' and yes, we recognize them as a fine panfish bait.

  5. The original owner of my place planted a fence on the north property line some 100+ years ago with Honey Locust and they are still strong and rot free . I have a sweet patch about an acre in the forest of huge Honeys that are at least 140 feet tall and they are all growing strait as an arrow . I will start harvesting them soon for some building projects while trying to spare all the saplings around them . Folks visiting have remarked about my rules for walking/quadding in the forest making sure to not damage upcoming trees of value . They just don't understand the value of a three foot Black Walnut tree .

  6. Yep, those are prized in the south for bait! Bass love 'em!!!

  7. We had a catalpa tree in our back yard in Virginia. It would drop all of its leaves at once on the night of the first frost, and if you didn't rake them up quickly they would mat and kill all the grass over a few weeks.

  8. My father grew a Catalpa on our property in Gainesvile, Fl., when I was a kid just for that purpose.


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