Blog By mariam | 24-11-17
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While hiking, you might have come across some special trees that appear to have been bent.
According to the national American Forests webpage, across the U.S. there are many trees that are oddly shaped, with their trunks having odd kinks in them or bend at strange angles.
Some of them appear simple quirks of nature but most of these trees are the landmarks that help guide indigenous people on their way.
The trees were bent and tied down such that they would continue to grow around the ties. This method was popular with Native American tribes as per the website.
“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"
Not all bent trees are from this type of historic trail identification. The Bent trees usually have a bit of a knob or a “nose” at the bottom of the bend.
You can also find the markings or “cuts” from the straps that were holding the tree at a curve.
This is to help point to the proper direction and was created by cutting them off the end and stuffing it with charred bark.
There are an estimated 1,000 bent trail marker trees all across the United States of which some are 150-200 years old.
This means that their lifespan is coming to a close and they are more likely to be destroyed by the expanding human population.
Hopefully young people and old move out to explore these incredible bits of American history before they’re gone