July 28, 2011

Wounded Trees of the Wet Mountains

Trees are damaged in various ways. This big Douglas fir on a high point has been struck by lighting, which left a long scar down its trunk and produced profuse "weeping" of sap.
It's easy to see what happened to this little white fir. (Hint: It had four hooves.)

Here are a fir and an aspen, both with similar kinks in the trunk at points higher than my head. The snow never gets that deep, so what happened to them?


Darrell said...

There is (or was, I saw it nearly 30 years ago) an aspen forest on the SE flank of Mt. Elbert in which every tree has the same kink in the trunk, at the same height, far above head height. I'd wondered if it might have been because of an avalanche at one time.

Janeen said...

Interesting. If the kinks were at ground level I'd say it was related to soil creep, but given their height above ground I'll go with Darrell and guess avalanche (or maybe ice storm). One that occurred years back when the trees were shorter and more flexible.

Chas S. Clifton said...

It's not an avalanche zone. Ice storm or heavy snow load one year? Possibly.