Type of Wood
Here in northern Wisconsin, our balsam fir trees grow tall, straight and in abundance. We carefully select specific balsam firs that are being overcrowded by the taller, more dominant trees as these are forced to grow upward due to the lack of sunlight available in the under story. Though they try their best, these younger and more slender trees (perfect for making tipi poles) would eventually die from lack of sunlight. This is a perfect example of using a renewable resource that would otherwise eventually end up wasted on the forest floor.
We harvest all of the balsam firs used for our tipi poles by hand. This is done by cruising the timber, selecting the tallest and straightest trees, hand cutting them, removing the limbs with a hatchet, and transporting them by hand to an awaiting trailer to be hauled to our wood yard. Because they are hand selected and hand cut, there is no use of machinery in our harvesting process. Due to our non-invasive and non-disruptive methods, the absence of the trees that we collect is hardly noticeable.
We carry poles of many different lengths and diameters. Some customers prefer very slender poles for easier transport, while others want poles of the same length, but with a larger base and tip (mainly used for back yard set-ups). Once erected, they are typically left up for long periods of time. A slender, lighter pole would be more prone to sag, resulting in a loose canvas. The base of the average pole is 3"-4" with tips of 3/4". There are many questions to answer during the ordering process, simply to ensure that you are receiving the poles that best suit your needs.
Price Per Pole
Number of Poles Desired
Most tipis with a diameter of 18 feet will look best with a 15 pole frame and 2 additional poles for the smoke flaps. Any tipi larger than 18 feet will require an additional pole for each additional foot.
Care of Poles
To increase the longevity of your tipi poles, we highly recommend the application of two coats of a wood preservative. We use a combination of four quarts of boiled linseed oil to one quart of mineral spirits. These products can be easily found and purchased at any hardware store. The mineral spirits are used to thin the linseed oil which, in turn, helps the wood to absorb the preservative on a much deeper level. This results in more water resistant poles that will last several additional years. Upon receiving your new set of poles, you may want to lightly sand the wood before applying the preservative. This helps the canvas to glide up the poles when you are erecting your lodge.
When not in use, always try to store the poles in a dry place, out of the weather, and in a position in which they are supported to avoid warping of the poles. We do offer to preform the task of finishing your poles for you. This includes sanding the entire pole, shaving a pencil point on the butt end, and thoroughly oiling the poles. The cost of this process is an additional $13.00 per pole.