Old tree, new tree

Lenny La Rue, IPA

Sacramento, United States

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Artist's Description

This is what happens in the dense forest when a tree is cut down but the stump is left intact. Seeds fall on the top of the stumps, mix with water and other stuff that’s also fallen there, sprout, and seek a stable water supply by sending out roots down the outside of the stump. I passed this same phenomenon a dozen times with different types of stumps and different kinds of volunteer trees on top. In one of the strangest sights of all, a tree that had been blasted almost to the base by lightning, left a gutted stump with most of one side gone. What was left was a partial circle of just the outer rings of a large dead tree. On this precarious perch, a seed germinated on a platform of less then three inches but send down a monstrous root around the outside and down through the center of the burnt out shell of the original tree!

The new trees have a great head start towards the forest canopy and eventual direct sunlight over all the seedlings that had sprouted on the ground as usual. With the very large sizes of these new ‘external’ root systems, it looks as if the loss of the original tree from beneath them wouldn’t matter much; they’ve created a toughened root system that will eventually become a traditional root system, supporting the tree.

Outside Fort Bragg, California along one of the trails directly from the ocean upstream, you’ll find these wonders!

Special thanks to the Red Bubble group Trees for the additional inspiration to make this a more informative post. :-)

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roots stumps trees volunteers

Artwork Comments

  • sweetscent62
  • LindaR
  • totty23
  • Lenny La Rue, IPA
  • handprintz
  • Lenny La Rue, IPA
  • sweetscent62
  • sweetscent62
  • Jan Landers
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