Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/526

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��Popular Science Monthly

���This tree was prniiabiy pinned down beneath a piece of heavy timber or fallen tree-trunk when it was a mere sapling

At right, a branch of an old sugar-maple has been incorporated in the body of an adjoining tree about fifty years younger

Freak Trees. How Did They Happen ?

TO the person who is not versed in forest lore the grotesquely bent tree trunks that are to be found in almost all woods are mystifying and wonder is often aroused as to the cause. Foresters will tell cjuestioners that in the case of trees in mountainous country and other sections where the snowfall is heavy, the weight of snow is responsible in most instances for the queer twists they as- sume. When a tree is young the weight of snow that falls on its braiuhcs often bends the trunk over until it is Hat lined to the ground. Sometimes it is buried

��under six or eight feet of snow and held in that position so long that when warm weather comes the tree fails to spring back into it normal position. The summer sun causes the tip of the young tree to turn upward and if it manages to withstand the Aveight of the snow of the next winter, that portion of the tree will, as a general rule, continue to grow in a nomial way. "Hair-pin" bends and other odd shapes result.

The bending over of a small tree under the weight of a heavy branch or tree-trunk that falls on it also results in producing

���these .seemingly freakish formations.

A curious tree stands on the top of Tunnel llill, Johnstown, Pa., about four miles from town. It is a sugar maple about one inmdred years old which has prolonged its own life by grafting a branch into a nuich younger tree.

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