I was thinking of making a floating "raft" of freshly cut and debarked mulberry or willow twigs. But I read that it's dangerous for a pond (for fish anyway), because it releases sugars and stuff... also it will eventually sink and decompose.
Could there be a safe way of preparing such wood without years of seasoning?
A floating raft (rather tiny) could be used for growing watercress and protecting fish from predators. I know it can be made of plastic, but wood is pretty... and I do have lots of mulberry and willow that keeps growing.
Wood doesn't stay floating very long it fairly fast gets waterlogged and sinks so I'm not sure that wood is the best idea for a raft to grow plants on. Whether it would poison the fish probably depends on the size of your pond after all trees fall into lakes all the time and the fish don't suddenly die.
A little experiment that shouldn't hurt anyone... I put the debarked willow sticks in a jar with daphnia. Whatever comes out of the sticks, should be a food source for the daphnia... I dried the sticks for a few days but they're still fresh. Super lightweight and buoyant right now; they would jump out of the jar without the weight of the smaller jar. So far, the daphnia (which are food for guppies) seem happy with it, swimming around the sticks and maybe even nipping at them. Maybe I'll make another jar with the mulberry sticks, to compare.
Anne, I was thinking of getting a cold hardy bamboo for the "food forest" zone in my garden, but I was worried that it would get out of control. I'm now thinking of using reed... I saw a beautiful aquarium with reed sticks as ornament.