As the summer simmers down, the temperatures drop and our desire to go out and explore increases. Before you head out, let us tell you a little bit about one of nature’s hidden secrets.
We will talk about bent trees and what they are.
The American Forests Website says that they are a trail marker used by the Native Americans. They strapped them down thus allowing them to grow to make the bend permanent.
The website tells us that this was actually popular with Native American Tribes all throughout the land, and that, this has been around years after the trees have been bent.
“Native Americans would bend young trees to create permanent trail markers, designating safe paths through rough country and pointing travelers toward water, food or other important landmarks. Over the years, the trees have grown, keeping their original shape, but with their purpose all but forgotten as modern life sprang up around them.”
Don’t take every word for granted though. Not all bent trees point towards something. There are a few important things (details) which you need to know and keep an eye out for, if you are going to find the differences.
A lot of the trees you’ll see while out in the wilderness, are mother nature’s work (an example is the above illustration). Many trees bent by the Native Americans (many moons ago 😊), have a distinct nose, or a notch that cuts out at the end of the bend (as you can see above). This was made by a piece of the tree in a hole, which then allowed the tree to literally grow around it.
To add to the nose, here’s another thing which can help you differentiate nature and man-made markers. If you glance the top of the inner bed, you will also be able to see scaring which were created by the straps who were placed when the tree was still young.
Not to be the bearer of bad news, but, a lot of these trail marker trees are between a century or two old. That means that their lifespan is coming to an end, and the likelihood for them being destroyed by the human population is big.
So, with that in mind, the Mountain Stewards came into existence. It mapped more than 1000 bent trees all over the country and put on to paper exactly where they are.
With some luck, a lot of people will head out and see these astonishing bits of American History before they’ve vanished.
As an addition, we’ve included a real-life bent tree which is located in Georgia in the video below. Hope you enjoy it!