Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fallen Tree on Creek Bank

Another tree down. I understand that abuses perpetrated by previous landowners have left Blue Jay Barrens with thousands of deformed, diseased and damaged trees and that it will take decades before all of these trees fall and are replaced by healthy trees, but it still bothers me each time I see a new fallen tree. This individual is now bridging the creek and its change from vertical to horizontal could begin a long chain of events that could cause major disturbances in the landscape.

I believe there is a law of attraction at work with all falling trees. It seems that a falling tree will invariably come to rest against a neighboring tree. This fallen tree is not large, but the angle at which it rests is putting a lot of pressure on the supporting tree. This could destabilize the support tree enough to cause it to fall in the future. Its falling will probably cause it to come to rest on another tree and the process will continue.

Eventually the tree will fall into the creek and cause a new water flow pattern that could redefine the entire creek channel.

This is a multi-trunked tree. One trunk fell while the other remains upright. The fallen tree carried with it a segment of sod that had previously protected the bank from erosion. The resulting wound in the soil will erode quickly. It’s hard to predict how much the falling of a single tree will cause the bank to change.

The surface of the wood is discolored and disfigured where the two trunks shared contact. This could be an indication that the remaining trunk will soon follow its mate over the edge.

The disappearance of trees from this bank has been an ongoing process that will probably continue for some time. Trees that once grew lower down the slopes have long since fallen and vanished. At some point in time, the area will stabilize and new young trees will have a chance to grow into healthy giants. I like to imagine people visiting here a couple centuries from now and admiring the huge trees that have developed.


  1. HI Steve...I seem to feel bad when I see a tree downed with roots torn from the a death!!
    Some of those trees look like there not long for that ridge!!
    It must not help too that the ground is so dry!!

  2. Hi, grammie g. I also hate to see fallen trees. However, I love to roll over old logs and look at all the neat stuff underneath or watch a Pileated Woodpecker tear away at an old rotten log. I guess I must have a love/hate relationship with fallen trees.