Posts filed under ‘Survivor Tree’

Survivor Tree Unseen

Sometimes the full extent of a tree’s harsh environment can not be fully appreciated until after the tree’s death. Times of drought and fire scars are documented in the tree’s rings. Or how about this tree? When the wood was being burned, it became pretty clear the tree had encountered a fence in its younger days. There was a piece of barbed wire inside!

Barbed Wire Fire (Photo courtesy of artsufartsu)

January 27, 2010 at 7:07 pm 3 comments

“Tide Compare” – Hopewell Rocks

The entrance fee for Hopewell Rocks at the Bay of Fundy is good for two consecutive days to allow visitors to see the rocks in both high and low tide. There are a number of potential “Tide Compare” combinations on Flickr, but I’ll share just one. This comparison is courtesy of Jim Loftus, who visited the park in 2005.

Hopewell Flower Pots: Low Tide and High Tide
(Photo courtesy of Jim Loftus)

July 29, 2009 at 5:00 am 6 comments

Survivor Trees: Bay of Fundy

Every 25 hours, 100 billion tons of water moves in and then moves back out Canada’s Bay of Fundy. With the water level changing on average 35 feet daily, it is one of highest tides in whole world.

The tides, along with glaciers, wind, ice and a whole lot of patience have created unique rock formations along the shoreline. The formations are called “Flowerpot Rocks“. Why? Although these rocks are isolated and are often surrounded by water, trees continue to grow on top.

Tenacious, determined and, most of all, beautiful. Meet the trees of the Bay of Fundy.

Lover’s Arch (Photo courtesy of YYZDez)

Flowerpot Rock (Photo courtesy of Marcus Frank)

Survivor Trees (Photo courtesy of Nancy Cleveland)

You can visit some of the Flowerpot Rocks in both low tide and high tide at Hopewell Rocks park. More information can be found at the park’s website.

(Hat Tip, Ryan Somma)

July 28, 2009 at 5:00 am 2 comments

Hungry Tree: Upper Manhattan

Anytime we spot a hungry tree, we spy a survivor tree in the making. Here’s one from Upper Manhattan, courtesy of Deirdre Mahoney.

“I’ve always been amazed by the life force of this tree. How many beings do you know who could live with a rod going through their midsection, as well as fencemarks on their skin, with the fence embedded in their flesh?”

Photo courtesy of Deirdre Mahoney (charmante)

July 14, 2009 at 7:08 pm Leave a comment

Festival of the Trees – Edition 37

Welcome to the 37th Edition of the Festival of the Trees. When we think about the chestnut blight or sudden oak disease or the woolly adelgid, small organisms that fall great forests, we are reminded of the fragility of trees. Although that is important to remember, trees can also offer up great examples of resilience, of resolve, of determination and the will to live. This month’s issues focuses on those examples. The Survivor Trees.


“Strength Through Fire”
(Photo by brims1285)

Nigel Lendon at shares photographs and memories of a mangled eucalyptus tree that survived a serious brush fire at Austalia’s Mount Ainslie. Even though the tree was little match for a recent chainsaw, Nigel notes, “…it’s a survivor. These trees have the capacity to re-grow from the most unlikely remnant parts.”

The Apple Lady at the Daily Apple shares facts about the resilient Sequoia. Her photographs include impressive shots of trees that were hollowed out and scarred by fire, but continue to grow.


Tree of Knowledge
(Photo courtesy of lc-duplex)
This month, Vespa Nat from Time At The Top was struck by a banyan tree in Darwin, Australia. It was originally planted in 1898 and is known as the Tree of Knowledge. It’s weathered not only three separate cyclones, but the bombing of Darwin during World War 2 as well. Vespa Nat writes, “As I stand in front of these trees I think of the comfort they give me. Not just from the shade they throw where I can escape the hot tropical sun, but through the things they remind me of. Stability, flexibility and life.”


Cipresso del Kashmir di Isola Madre
(Photo courtesy of Luca Zappacosta)
On their travel blog Jon and Rich describe their visit to Northern Italy’s Isola Madre and seeing a 200 year old Kashmir Cypress tree. In 2005, the outlook did not look good for this tree. A rare tornado hit the island and uprooted more than 200 trees, this one included. An international team of specialists leapt into action. A helicopter carried a crane to the island and the tree was lifted back up. It survives today.


Borden Oak
(Photo by Mr. G)

Glenwood Cemetary Live Oak
(Photo courtesy of Hugetepic)

The Borden Oak is no stranger to natural disaster. It survived the Great Galvenston Storm of 1900 and more recently, Hurricane Ike. Many trees in Galvenston, Texas weren’t as lucky. This month the Houston Chronicle reports that thousands of dead and dying trees will need to be removed.

Cindi Barker of Southern Exposures shares a happy ending in Houston– a beautiful live oak that made it through Ike. Concerned about your trees? Pam Brown at Planting Pinellas writes about how to protect trees during hurricane season.


Tree in the Libyan Sahara
(Photo by 10b travelling)
Mike Putnam of Pacific Coast Stock posted about a hike in the proposed Badlands Wilderness Area in Oregon. He shares stunning pictures of old growth juniper trees. Some of the trees have thrived in the desert climate for over 1000 years. When talking about deserts, Bahrain’s 400 year old Tree of Life warrants noting. It survives isolated in the desert with no known water source.


Mysore Fig Tree
(Photo by leeleblanc)
On the opposite side of the spectrum, Life in Bonita Springs, writes about the 113 year Mysore Fig Tree. Living in Florida, the tree has endured multiple hurricanes and has the scars to show it. But cold weather was the tree’s real test. In the 1980s, the unusually low temperatures caused significant damage to the tree. It was believed to be dead, but revived. A few more hurricanes later, the tree is still going strong– 93′ tall, 130′ crown, 40′ circumference.


Sapsucker in Action
(Photo by jessicafm)
Sometimes a tree’s challenge comes in small packages. Utah Savage posts about a fond childhood tree that happens to be Salt Lake Valley’s largest green ash tree. It survives thanks to aggressive treatment for the green ash borer. Rock Paper Lizard shares a Western Hemlock Tree that has attracted the attention of sapsuckers. Meanwhile, A Birder’s Report contains lovely photos of woodpeckers and a hummingbird feeding off an oak tree. If you hope to help your own trees survive the affection of sapsuckers, Steve Nix at the Forestry blog shares some tips.


Chandelier Tree in May 2009
(Photo by The Wata)

Some trees grow in hard to reach places and by the luck of their residence, they escaped mankind. Namely, the logging industry. Saratoga woods and waterways speculates that is the case with the old growth hemlocks in Mianus River Gorge outside Bedford, New York.

On the other hand, some trees have to face mankind head on. Man and the Tree shares a collection of Drive-Thru Trees. His collection includes the 315 foot Chandelier Tree. Roughly seventy years ago it had a tunnel carved in it. It is very much alive today.


“City Life”
(Image by cathairstudios)
Next month’s host, Trees, Plants and More, shares the hardships of two city trees in India. First off, a queen’s crepe myrtle blooms between wires and cables. And then, an “urban banyan”, possibly with manicured roots, adjusts to life with neighbors. If you didn’t catch it in Festival #29, be sure to check out local ecologist‘s post on the urban trees restoration in Sarajevo.


A-Bomb Survivor Nagasaki
(Photo courtesy ofof meggomyeggo)

The damage from the atomic bomb to Hiroshima and Nagasaki was extensive, but the very next spring, trees budded. This month on TGAW, I covered the stories of two A-bomb survivors– the Phoenix Trees in Hiroshima and the Sanno Shrine Camphor Trees in Nagasaki. Hiroshi Sunairi of Tree Project has organized a more extensive Slideshow of Hibaku (A-Bombed) Trees in Hiroshima.

Today, progeny of the A-bomb survivors are planted all over the world. Hiroshi Sunairi’s Tree Project is a blog dedicated to following the stories and the progress of those seedlings (You can also request seeds of your own!).


Pine Sharks
(Photo by Lorianne DiSabato)
Perhaps one of the least publicized threats to trees are sharks. That’s rights – sharks. I didn’t think there were many trees that would have to face a shark attack, but Lorianne at Hoarded Ordinaries shares some compelling evidence.

It is with great confidence I know these are not the only Survivor Trees out there. If you encounter such a tree, blog about it! And be sure to submit your post to a future Festival of the Trees. : )

Next month’s Festival of the Trees will appear at the India-based blog Trees, Plants and more. Send links to ringsofsilver09 [at] gmail [dot] com by the 28th of July. A special focus on summer fruit-bearing trees is planned, but all tree-related posts are welcome.

June 30, 2009 at 11:50 pm 19 comments

Survivor Trees: Nagasaki’s Sanno Shrine

By Jerrold
Last Call for Survivor Tree Links!
This blog is hosting the Festival of the Trees on July 1st. Please submit any related posts, articles or photos about resilient, determined or inspirational trees!

Two months after the atomic bombing, Lieutenant R.J. Battersby photographed Nagasaki. He captured a non-denominational devastation. Cathedrals and shrines were dealt identical fates. And no discrimination was given between the creations of mankind and the creations of Mother Earth.

Within a radius of one kilometer from ground zero, men and animals died almost instantaneously from the tremendous blast pressure and heat; houses and other structures were smashed, crushed and scattered; and fires broke out. The strong complex steel members of the structures of the Mitsubishi Steel Works were bent and twisted like jelly and the roofs of the reinforced concrete National Schools were crumpled and collapsed, indicating a force beyond imagination. Trees of all sizes lost their branches or were uprooted or broke off at the trunk.

U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey: The Effects of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, June 19, 1946.

Amazingly, some structures in the first kilometer radius remained standing. Nagasaki’s Sanno Shrine, only 800 meters from the hypocenter, had three survivors.

Nagasaki Sanno Shrine
Nagasaki (Sanno Shrine boxed), October 1945 (Photograph by Lieutenant R.J. Battersby)

First, one of the shrine’s torii gates remained. Well, part of it, anyway. After the blast, the torii balanced on one leg. The other leg was flattened, amputated, with the rest of the shrine. Nearby, two 500 year old camphor trees. Like the torii, they weren’t fully in tact. Their upper portions were ripped away as were many of their branches and all of their leaves.

Nagasaki Sanno Shrine (Cropped)
The Sanno Shrine Survivors – One Legged Torii and Two Camphor Trees (Photograph by Lieutenant R.J. Battersby)

Today, all three Sanno Shinto Shrine survivors are still standing. When the neighborhood rebuilt and more modern buildings were constructed, the One-Legged Torii was preserved as a reminder of the forces that once tore through the city.

One Legged Torii (Photograph by EKSwitaj)

The two trees were once two of the largest camphor trees in the entire city. Topped by the blast, today they are only 10 meters tall. Height, however, does not equal vitality. As the tree’s leafed canopies can testify to– the trees are flourishing.

Sanno Shrine Camphor Tree (Photograph courtesy of meggomyeggo)

In 1945, the trees were symbols of hope and a new beginning. Today, they contribute to another message.

The trees recovered, and seedlings were sent far and wide by children wishing for peace. These second-generation trees are now growing healthily at schools and in towns throughout Japan. Over time, no matter what ill winds may blow, we shall never relinquish our commitment to a future that is free from nuclear weapons.

Tomihisa Taue, Mayor of Nagasaki, August 9, 2007

One of the second generation trees resides in the Wellington Peace Garden in New Zealand. “It is a testament to the hope that peace can triumph over war,” Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast stated in 2005.

Back in Nagasaki, the original camphor trees and the One-Legged Torii bear the scars of traumas past and stand with determination.

The creations of mankind and the creations of Mother Nature carry on.

June 28, 2009 at 4:00 pm 4 comments

Revenge of the Fallen – Survivor Trees in the Making

By ebygomm
Calling All Survivor Tree Links!
This blog is hosting the Festival of the Trees on July 1st. Please submit any related posts, articles or photos about resilient, determined or inspirational trees!

On Wednesday, Ryan and I drove an hour and a half to meet friends for supper and then go see Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on IMAX. Dinner was delicious. The company was great. The Transformer-inspired Slurpee we had for dessert was phenomenal.

I wish I could have as such kind comments for the film.

As poor as I found the movie to be, there was one scene I did thoroughly enjoy. It is an extended fight between Optimus Prime and Megatron. It is in full IMAX format and takes place in a forest. The scene captivated me every bit as much as I suspect Megan Fox’s short shorts captivated the male audience members. You see, as Prime and Megatron battled it out, the trees around them took a Ardennes-caliber beating. Trunks were ripped apart, branches were stripped, large trees were uprooted, all with robotic ease.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Still
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – Battle in the Forest

As I watched, I realized– when the dust settled from this great bout, some of those trees would rebound. Their trunks would scar over. They’d leaf again. They’d slowly take back the cleared forest. I was watching Survivor Trees in the making!

(That is, of course, assuming the Autobots were successful in staving off the Decepticons. Even Survivor Trees have their limitations.)

The forest trees weren’t the only ones in harm’s way throughout the film. In the excruciatingly long finale in the Egyptian desert, more trees found themselves in the middle of the action.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Still
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – Trees in the Crossfire

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Still
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – Tree with Bumblebee

You may hear about the unpleasant racial connotations in the film, but on the upside there were some revelations about gender. For example, did you know it’s physically impossible for attractive women to run without holding someone’s hand? Throughout the final battle Mikaela was constantly gripping someone’s hand. When it wasn’t Sam, it was Major Lennox. It may seem like she is handicapping herself, but consider this– At least she was more mobile than the trees.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Still
Mikaela and Sam – Slightly Less Rooted Than The Trees

My friend Christina moved to Germany in 2002. Since she’s relocated she has become increasingly aware of how Germans are depicted in film. “Have you ever noticed how many bad guys are German?” she once asked me, “And I’m not just talking about World War II.”

Perhaps Revenge of the Fallen has revealed what my Germans will be.

June 27, 2009 at 2:16 pm 1 comment

Survivor Trees: Bahrain’s Tree of Life

By stevevoght
Calling All Survivor Tree Links!
This blog is hosting the Festival of the Trees on July 1st. Please submit any related posts, articles or photos about resilient, determined or inspirational trees!

So far, the Survivor Tree series has highlighted trees that recovered from bombings– Hiroshima and Oklahoma City. But a tree does not have to survive man-made tragedies to be impressive. It could just merely survive.

Take the case of the Tree of Life (Shajarat al-Hayah), located in the Middle East’s Bahrain. With only 3% of the country’s land arable, a vast majority of the landscape is desert. The environment is harsh to say the least– extreme temperatures, no fresh water, few nutrients. A great deal of the land is barren of any vegetation at all. And then… in the middle of the desert… with no visible water source… stands a single tree. A 400 year old tree at that.

Tree of Life in the Middle of the Desert (Photo by swamibu)

To really appreciate the Tree of Life’s uniqueness and isolation, view it from above (Hat Tip, Ten Thousand Trees). The satellite images in Google Earth capture just how far the tree is from other vegetation and water.

Tree of Life captured by GeoEye Satellites.

Zoom in and out for yourself.

How the tree managed to flourish for four centuries remains a mystery, particularly that pesky question about water. One thing’s for sure. It’s definitely a survivor!

P.S. The Tree of Life is one of the contenders for the New 7 Wonders of Nature. You can vote for your favorite nominees through July 7.

June 23, 2009 at 5:00 am 3 comments

Helping the Survivor Tree Survive

It made it through the blast of a 4,000 pound bomb. It made it through the investigation process and the construction of a national memorial. Now Oklahoma City’s Survivor Tree has an another element to face.

Tourists. 🙂

Helping the Survivor Tree Survive (Photo by blmurch)

June 18, 2009 at 1:00 pm 2 comments

Survivor Trees: Oklahoma’s Survivor Tree

By craig
Calling All Survivor Tree Links!
This blog is hosting the Festival of the Trees on July 1st. Please submit any related posts, articles or photos about resilient, determined or inspirational trees!

In 1995, a truck bomb went off in Oklahoma City, tearing through the Murrah Federal Building. 168 people were killed, 800 more were injured. And in the parking lot, stood another victim– an American Elm tree.

Survivor Tree, 1995 (Photo by NASA’s Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team)

The tree weathered the nearby blast of a 4,000 pound bomb. It also made it through the investigation– It was nearly cut down so that evidence could be retrieved from its branches and trunks. It was spared and quickly the tree became a symbol of strength and resilience.

The fact that the tree survived the bomb blast that killed so many transformed it from a mere tree to a talisman for the comfort of all who survived.

It seems to proclaim to all who enter the hallowed site and will pause a moment to listen that the senseless act of destruction perpetrated by the few will not be the final word. The very fibers of its bole seem to radiate hope for the future just as a lighthouse sends its light into the dark night.

University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, May 16, 2000

Today the tree is known as the Survivor Tree and is a key part of the Oklahoma City National Memorial. A sign at the base of the tree reads, “The spirit of this city and this nation will not be defeated; our deeply rooted faith sustains us.”

Survivor Tree, 2008 (Photo by amacemon)

Derivatives of the Survivor Tree have spread. A clone of the Survivor Tree stands in Rose State College, which lost 17 of its graduates in the attack. Survivor Tree seedlings are also available for purchase from the American Forest’s Historic Tree program. When the Survivor Tree’s time does finally come, its genes and its spirit will surely continue on.

June 18, 2009 at 5:30 am 3 comments

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