Long time readers understand that I don’t know what I’m talking about here, and this post will do nothing to change that fact.
Look closely at the above photo. This is a fallen snag out at Roundrock — one that is especially handy to sit upon and ponder the complexities of the universe. Notice how the tree had twisted in a spiral when it grew. This is not the same as the spiral scar a lightning bolt can leave. Rather, this is the growth pattern of the tree. I’d read somewhere that this is called a basal twist, but I’ve not been able to learn much about that.
What causes a tree to grow in this spiral pattern? Is it genetic? Soil or nutrient conditions? Is it something that happened to the seedling — something Freudian that left it with a twisted psyche? Could the weather have caused this? Crowded growing conditions?
When I’ve looked for other trees — living or dead — with a basal twist, I have generally been able to find them here and there in our woods. I’m not sure if this is common to certain species or whether the affliction is universal in its tastes. I’m not even sure if this is an affliction at all or if the spiral makes the tree stand more strongly. This fallen snag certainly looks as though it had a long and full life.
I like to walk through the forest and read the tales in the trees. What tale does this tree tell? Perhaps someday soon I can sit on this log and ponder that complexity.
(We’re still in Oregon . . . I hope.)