Extra Tall Blackthorn Knobsticks are Back in Stock

Just in time for Christmas, we are pleased to announce the return of the extra tall blackthorn knobsticks. To avoid disappointment, snap up one of these highly sought after sticks while stocks last. Just click on the image below to purchase one (use promo code freepostage at the checkout too)

Extra Tall Blackthorn sticks
Extra Tall Blackthorn sticks

Blackthorn is a rare commodity. We also have stock of some locally coppiced “blanks” for stick makers to make their own knob handled sticks, some tall shanks and some naturally grown thumbsticks.

True blackthorn has very dark, almost black with a purple/red tinge bark and when it is polished up, it looks very striking indeed.

Here is a description of our blackthorn trees in Britain (Prunus spinosa)

Blackthorn, also known as ‘sloe’, is a small deciduous tree native to the UK and most of Europe.

Common name: blackthorn, sloe

Scientific name: Prunus spinosa
Family: Rosaceae

UK provenance: native

Interesting fact: blackthorn wood has been used to make walking or riding sticks, and was the traditional wood for Irish shillelaghs.

What does blackthorn look like?

Habit: spiny and densely branched, mature trees can grow to a height of around 6-7m, and live for up to 100 years. The dark brown bark is smooth, and twigs form straight side shoots, which develop into thorns.

Leaves: slightly wrinkled, oval, toothed, pointed at the tip and tapered at the base.

Flowers: blackthorn is a hermaphrodite, meaning both male and female reproductive parts are found in one flower. White flowers appear on short stalks before the leaves in March and April, either singularly or in pairs.

Fruits: once pollinated by insects, the flowers develop into blue-black fruits measuring 1cm across.

Look out for: it is a spiny shrubby tree with black-purple twigs and small, narrow leaves.

Could be confused with: hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), without leaves. The flowers of blackthorn appear before the leaves and the spines have buds along their length, on the hawthorn flowers emerge from the same point as the buds.

Identified in winter by: the twigs are black and spiny with leaf buds along the spines.

Where to find blackthorn

Blackthorn is native to Europe and western Asia. It can also be found in New Zealand and eastern North America. It grows best in moist, well drained soil and thrives in full sunlight.

It grows naturally in scrub, copses and woodlands, but is commonly used as a hedging plant.

Value to wildlife

Early flowering, blackthorn provides a valuable source of nectar and pollen for bees in spring. Its foliage is a food plant for the caterpillars of many moths, including the lackey, magpie, common emerald, small eggar, swallow-tailed and yellow-tailed. It is also used by the black and brown hairstreak butterflies.

Birds nest among the dense, thorny thickets, eat caterpillars and other insects from the leaves, and feast on the berries in autumn.

Mythology and symbolism

Blackthorn was long associated with witchcraft, and it is said that witches’ wands and staffs were made using blackthorn wood.

How we use blackthorn

The timber is hardwearing and tough, light yellow with a brown heartwood. It was traditionally used for making walking sticks and tool parts. It burns well, and is often used as firewood.

Blackthorn is used as a hedging shrub, particularly in wildlife gardens. The sloes are used for wine making and preserves, and, most commonly, flavouring gin.

Threats

Blackthorn can be susceptible to fungal diseases which causes blossom wilt in fruit trees, and the fruits can sometimes be distorted by a gall-forming fungus, Taphrina pruni.

 

New Extra Short Folding Walking Sticks Now Available

We have increased our range of extra short folding walking sticks to ten different designs now, having just added four more to the site. The extra short sticks are for shorter ladies (about 5″2′ or under). The height is adjustable from 74cm to 82cm (29 to 32.25 inches).

This sticks are included in our special offer this week of 25% off all folding sticks. Please click on any of the images below to take a look.

Zebra Print
Zebra Print
Blue Morris Floral Print
Blue Morris Floral Print
Red Check Design
Red Check Design
Spotty Design
Spotty Design

Shortened Walking Sticks Going Cheap

A man walks into a pet shop and says, “How you got any dogs going cheap?” and the Pet Shop owner says, “No, all our dogs go woof, woof”

Ha, ha, boom, boom..

That reminds me, we have added some sticks to the extra short walking sticks page that have already been shortened and are therefore being sold at bargain prices.

These sticks have been shortened on request but then the orders were cancelled for whatever reason, leaving a cropped stick to sell. The heights range from 74cm to 85cm with the height of each stick stated clearly in each description.

To determine the height of the stick you need, stand up straight with your arms flat to your sides and measure the distance from your wrist to the ground. This is the height you need. You can do this by asking someone to help you or buy holding a tape measure and letting the end touch the ground and reading off the measurement yourself.

The choice of cropped walking sticks includes; brass plated handled, silver plated handled, two blackthorn sticks, a Bull dog topper and a bamboo cane.

There is only one of each stick available so if the size fits, then snap up a bargain today!

Some Cropped Walking Sticks at Bargain Prices

We have had a tidy up at the warehouse and have found some extra short sticks that were unwanted cropped walking sticks. We have just put them for sale on the website in the extra short section. They are all one-offs only but we can of course crop and of the standard length wooden sticks to the size you need. So if you are looking for a stick between 76 and 86cm tall then it’s worth checking out the following page: Extra Short Walking Sticks.
These sticks are all at greatly reduced prices. There’s a bamboo crook handled cane at 86cm, a silver plated cane at 82cm, an anatomical right handed walking stick at 80cm, a lovely Derby cane (which is incidentally discontinued now) at 80cm, a brass handled cane at 76cm and a plain brown crutch cane at 78cm. We also have two collectible, animal topper canes at 74cm, a chrome plated cane on a cherry shaft at 87cm and a smart Derby cane at 85cm. These are all pretty short so please do double check the height required before you buy. To help with conversions between centimeters and inches please use this handy tool on the website: cm/inches converter.
Don’t forget that as long as its a wooden shaft then we or you can crop it too the height required with a fine-toothed hacksaw.

Can I Buy a Walking Stick with a Longer Shaft than the one Advertised Online?

This is another question that we are asked frequently by email and over the phone. And the answer is yes and no! We try and keep a big range of walking sticks so that customers can buy a particular stick with a particular handle at a particular height. We like to be able to offer every combination but sometimes that’s not possible.

The cropping service we offer is to make sticks shorter than advertised but occasionally people want to make the shaft longer. Most of the canes we stock are supplied to us as one piece so that the shank cannot be made longer.

However, we do have at our disposal a number of talented stick-makers who can make virtually anything so it is worth your while to email your requirements and we will see what can be done for you. This bespoke service usually takes only a week or two and is for sticks with wooden shafts only. Please contact us on the following link:

Contact us with your walking stick enquiries

More Shorter and Longer Walking Sticks Now in Stock

We are pleased to be able to expand our walking stick stock again with some new extra short and extra long sticks available to buy online now. The extra short patterned folding handbag sticks are already proving to be popular as are the standard sized range.For taller people, we have now added a new folding seat, some extra long anatomical sticks and a very stylish  and extra strong Derby cane. These can also now be viewed and purchased from the website.