Appalachia Celebrating Appalachia Videos

Chewing Pine Rosin in Appalachia

pine rosin

I talked about pine rosin in my latest video. Pap told me folks used to chew it like gum when he was a boy, but I never got my nerve up to try it!

Have you ever heard of chewing pine rosin?

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  • Reply
    Jan Lambert
    November 21, 2020 at 8:58 am

    Folks down here in south west Georgia chewed it. My mother was a fan. If it gets on you, just use a bit of peanut butter to clean it right up

  • Reply
    November 20, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    My Dad had me to try it once. Once was enough, I didn’t care for it because Mom gave me Juicy Fruit sometimes and it was much much better.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    No I have never heard of that. But I use to chew on Birth. Daddy said they chewed on it to clean their teeth.

  • Reply
    Kenneth Ryan
    November 20, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    In early days the land surveyors cutting out and establishing the boundary lines of land would set pine knots for corners. The surveys crews would have more than enough to carry on their surveys without having to carry materials to set for corners. Pine knots could be found all over the south without any trouble, so they would just whittle out a pine heart stake, set it for the corner, and state in the deed description, “set pine knot for corner.” As a surveyor retracing these old deed descriptions, we find these old pine knots set for corners all the time that were set back in the 1800’s and are still in excellent condition to this day.

  • Reply
    Rascal Barnett
    November 20, 2020 at 11:56 am

    We used pine rosin to patch small holes in tin roofs or anything else for that matter,,,when I was ah kid weren’t no Walmart’s or Ace Hardware around so we made do with what was handy.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    November 20, 2020 at 11:13 am

    Hadn’t thought of this in years. Sweet gum resin was what I knew about chewing. I have heard that pine needles can be used to make a tea–I love how pine smells so that might taste good.

    Enjoy your videos so much–feels like we visited on your porch!

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    November 20, 2020 at 10:34 am

    The smell of pine rosin takes me back to my early school years. A row of pine trees lined our playground and on warm sunny afternoons we sat on the soft needles, rested and talked, until time to go back in the classroom. Usually we returned with the sticky resin on our fingers. That smell, to this day, reminds me of happy, carefree times.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 20, 2020 at 9:44 am

    I’ve got to tell you about something I discovered when I cut some trees around my garden several years ago. There was four-six inch scrubby pine trees shading one side. I girdled them at first, planning to cut them after they died. They didn’t. Big blobs of resin oozed out of them and filled in the cut. They turned yellow but after two years still hadn’t died. I decided to cut them and just let them lay there in a pile. Now the story!
    One quiet evening, about six months later I was working in the garden. I began to hear faint snapping or popping sounds when I approached the far corner over where the pine trees were laying. The sound was like you hear when you put milk in Rice Krispies. It was coming from the general direction of those pines and the closer I got the louder it got. I looked and poked around trying to find the source of that weird little noise. It got dark on me and I had to give up.
    The next day I went by to the garden determine to find that noise. The noise was still there, in area of those pines. I decided to drag the trees away so I could see what was under them. Well the noise stopped when I started moving the pines and started back again after they moved. It had to be in the tree itself.
    I know there bugs that eat the cambium layer of bark on pine trees after they are cut. We called them wood sawyers. They were excellent fish bait. The bark on those trees was starting to come loose so I peeled back a piece and there it was, a little white grub of a thing with big pinchers on one end. The trees were full of them.
    I knew the grubs could be there but I didn’t know you could actually hear them chewing.

    • Reply
      November 20, 2020 at 9:53 am

      Ed-one time Uncle Henry had a saw mill set up at his house, maybe he borrowed it from someone I can’t remember but it was only there for a time. He had a bunch of pine logs laying near the road that he planned to mill. I remember hearing that same sound you described coming from those logs. I haven’t thought about those gnawing worms since the day I heard them until I read your comment 🙂

    • Reply
      Mike Teeple
      November 21, 2020 at 5:36 am

      I had the same experience walking my tobacco fields back in the 80s. Ive seen some big tobacco worms but when they get much bigger than your thumb, you can actually hear them chomping. Considering each leaf of Dark could be worth 50 cents or more you dont need those crazy looking Caterpillars eating your profit.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2020 at 8:36 am

    I never chewed pine rosin, but I did chew sweet gum rosin a few times. I really didn’t like it. It was something my daddy said he had done when he was growing up. I think you had to scrap the bark off a spot on tree and then wait for the sap to jell. It has been a long time.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2020 at 8:08 am

    If I had pine trees I would try chewing some rosin. I have plenty cedar trees and not one pine tree on the farm. My parents used pine kindling to start fires. I cut kindling many times when I was growing up and don’t recall seeing any rosin on the big pieces I cut from.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    November 20, 2020 at 7:58 am

    Well, if you liked the taste of old Listerine (the sorta yellow version) you might like pine “rosin”. It has a turpentiney taste of course. Surprisingly enough, the inner bark of a pine tree is more tasty as it is not so strongly turpentine and is even a little bit sweet. But don’t get me wrong. I am not a pine rosin chewer. I can’t recall ever chewing it like gum, though I suppose I have. We used pine rosin as fire starter or a primary ingredient in homemade salve.

    I’ve read that up in the northern forests folks chew spruce gum. I guess Southern Appalachian boys might have as well if they were up in the high pastures above 3500 feet or so. I expect Jim Casada knows about that. I have never had opportunity to try it but I wouldn’t mind taking a sample.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2020 at 7:44 am

    i knew lots of people that did this. i never tried it though.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 20, 2020 at 7:09 am

    I’ve never chewed pine rosin but it seems to me like it would be very bitter and incredibly sticky!

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    November 20, 2020 at 6:24 am

    I remember some boys chewing pine rosin at Antioch school late ’40’s early ’50’s. I never tried it!

    • Reply
      sheryl paul
      November 20, 2020 at 8:49 am

      I did, it would seep out of the trees, my cousin and I would get a piece and chew til our jaws got tired. Our mothers would have been horrified.

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