Sunday, February 9, 2014

Zombie Tree

One theme I can't emphasis enough is that trees don't want to die.  Over millions of years, these large woody plants have found ways to overcome all kinds of ordeals.  We often try to predict tree failure and mortality by quantifying visible and perceived damage.  If said damage exceeds some measurable threshold, then that tree is often slated for removal.  But trees don't always fall in line with what we think is so certain.  Take for instance the tree pictured below.

At some point in time this tree met with some accident.  Significant area of trunk circumference was damaged.  Upon initial inspection, most of us would probably not give this tree much chance of survival.  Now there is no telling how long ago the damage occurred, but if you look closely you'll see the extensive amount of wound wood growing over the damaged area.  Some may say this is unprecedented, but I say it's a tree showing us that there are exceptions to every rule, and those exceptions seem to be exceptionally common in arboriculture.

The arrows highlight areas of the tree where wound wood is forming around extensive trunk damage exceeding 30%  of trunk circumference.