While many of the photographs of the autumn leaves have been spectacular this season (and with 2020—being 2020—everyone could use a break), here’s a look at what’s below the canopy.
Am I just hungry?
Does anyone else see a stack of pancakes? If so, shouldn't they be growing in a sugar maple? A white oak with a split trunk and conks growing in between.
What's a Story Without a Twist?
The next picture—that of an ancient maple’s twisted trunk—caused me to do some research. At first, the twist in this tree made me think it was two trees grown together as one. (And I haven’t totally abandoned that theory.)
But it made me wonder: Do certain species tend to have twisted trunks? I can’t think of a single silver maple of any maturity—from New York to Ohio—that didn’t have some to considerable twist in its trunk.
So, I did some research.
One website stated outright that there aren’t any species of trees with trunks that always twist, but (and this theory was backed up per another few websites) any twisted tree's trunk was more the result of growing (meaning harsh winters and high winds) conditions.
Perhaps that’s true—but I suspect there’s a notable correlation between tree species that can survive in those bitter environments, and thus it seems like certain species' trunks will twist more than another because they can grow in those hard-to-survive places.
This last picture shows a chestnut oak (also and perhaps more commonly known as a rock oak) with a split trunk with its two trunk twisted around one another.
What caused the initial split in its trunk so many years ago? Soil conditions? Weather conditions? Deer browsing? Other? Hard saying.
Nonetheless, it shows a fascinate twist to behold.