28 July 2009

An undead tree

Remember this beech tree that had fallen down sometime at the end of last year in the park near my house? I had been assuming since then that it was a dead tree. About 10 days ago I was standing on it (it forms a nice natural bridge over a small creek) when all of a sudden it dawned on me that its "dead" branches were covered with green leaves. Imagine my surprise.


I walked back and forth on the trunk several times to convince myself that the branches with leaves didn't belong to some other nearby tree; they do belong to the tree that is lying more or less flat on the ground.

Even though the main trunk broke, some roots remained intact and buried. Obviously, they are providing enough water and whatever else a tree sucks out of the soil to sustain itself.


I wonder how long it will continue to live like this. I will provide updates.

See this post for an update on the status of this tree.


xoggoth said...

Beeches seem to take a lot of killing. My bet is that it will be flourishing for many years.

Odd how pines are so fragile by comparison with common deciduous trees. Enthusiatic pruning often seems to do for those.

DPC said...

In one of David Attenborough's 'The Private Life Of Plants' episodes, he talks on similar fallen trunks that eventually give rise to a row of other daughter 'trees' growing out of the main trunk; these eventually grow adventitious roots and become independent. I'm not sure what the concerned species was, but the hardy beech seems like a good candidate for this phenomenon to occur.