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Swampturtle
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07/21/2018 07:39AM
My current side hobby is to locate, photograph & document Native American trail marking trees where I live & when I travel. Sometimes they are called elbow trees, lop trees, bent trees & are distinctive in shape (see website for pictures). They mark ancient portages, trails, resources & headwaters. Sometimes they also mark boundaries. They mainly are made of hardwoods, but I found a large birch recently that was newly recorded in the BW.

If you find any in your travels & want to have them documented please contact Don at Mountain Stewards. If you know of a tree, you can search the website to see if it is already documented. This project is something that has been driving me & in less than a year I have located 5 newly documented/previously unknown trees. Many locals know of their existence, if you see one, you are likely not to forget it anytime soon. As time goes by these ancient trees are succumbing to natural age related downfall, weather events & urban sprawl. Enjoy them & preserve them for the future.

Thank you to Lindentree3 for your information on MS which lead me to Don, I sent him pictures from my recent trip to the BW & found he had lead a group of scouts almost 40 years ago. Small world.

Mountain Stewards
 
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LindenTree3
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07/21/2018 09:33AM
Nice, do you have pics of the new trees you found?

Ps, glad I could help, I'm going to keep my eye open for them now.
07/21/2018 10:58AM
Very interesting and please keep submitting updates. I will keep my eyes open for possible trees.
airmorse
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07/21/2018 11:07AM
I've seen trees like this!!!

Now I need to remember where.
Swampturtle
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07/21/2018 11:22PM
I should mention that on the MS website as new trees are added, they show up in the bottom cue. So as I will update here, they will be added to the proper locations there. I check back frequently to see if there are any new photos in the areas I am navigating on his site. Make sure to get coordinates so he can plot the tree appropriately. I've used pins on google earth, works great.

I should also mention Don lead the Boy Scouts thru the BW for 90 miles or so, about 40 years ago, he has fond memories of his trip of a lifetime.

I have been in email touch with Bob from Northwoods Memories who makes the bulletins that document the pictographs in the BW. He is indeed working on his book & retiring from ground searches. He is handing the baton, if you will, to others. The footnote of his book is going to be a list of areas he can no longer explore with undocumented pictos that he needs info on to update his book & research along the way. He did not focus on the marking trees in his travels, although he knew of them.

**One tree he knew of was on Quetico Lake pointing to the Beaverhouse outflow. He does not have documentation of this tree & said there was another one he had heard of, but had no idea where it was. He was checking his files, but I haven't heard anything. Don said he only has 2 trees recorded in Minnesota & mine is one of them.
Swampturtle
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07/21/2018 11:42PM


First one I found, in NY, off trail pointing down a boundary ditch towards headwaters of an important river a couple miles away. Xmas day, I nearly fell down when I saw it. It points dead on, it's amazing how accurate it is. I am sure there are more since the river is a good ways away. The bright light in the background is a sod farm, the tree is located in a protected area...otherwise it would have been gone. First marking tree to be recorded on Long Island, there are lots in Upstate NY, Don was shocked we had any here...there are more, I am trying to get them on the map. Little by little...I hike & these areas are tick magnets, so I take precautions.
Swampturtle
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07/22/2018 12:00AM


Minnesota, BW triple birch
I've seen this tree on 2 separate trips, but did not know truly what I was looking at..this last trip I finally got a pic of it & knew right away it was the real thing. There is another tree to the North, only a few feet away that is a large birch that swoops like a big curve in the same direction. I believe the swoop tree indicates resources since the area is loaded with beautiful wild rice. I did not get a picture of that tree. Nina Moose River 96 rod portage on the way to Agnes, points towards Nina Moose Lake, but is located close to the North end towards Agnes. I am only giving this specific info because I'd like a pic of the swoop tree because I believe they are related..but will leave that up to Don to decide.
onepaddleshort
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07/22/2018 07:44AM
This is an interesting topic that I discovered some years ago. We have a tree on our hunting land that at least "perhaps" a marking tree. But I have to wonder about some of these. The top age listed for a birch tree is about 140 years. It would have to be a sapling in order to tie it down and get the bend in it so let's say it has to be about 10 years old in order to accomplish that. So that would mean a birch tree at the end of its lifespan right now would have been bent around 1890-1900. Anyone core these to get an age on them? Would Native Americans still have been marking trees in the BWCA at that time? I don't know, just wondering. I'm going up the Moose River on Monday, I'll see if I can find it and get a photo of the swoop tree.

All the lob trees are gone. Or are they? That would be very interesting too if there were any remaining.

The photo is of a maple on our property that I've always wondered about. It isn't horizontal like most of the examples but I saw some on the linked web page that were not horizontal too so it rekindled my curiosity about this one. From the looks of it this one has a lot of age to it so it makes me wonder.
Banksiana
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07/22/2018 09:40AM
I would question the age of the birch tree in the photo. Judging by the trees on my land (near Ely) I'd guess the age of the birch shown to be 20-60 years.
07/22/2018 10:12AM
Swampturtle,

Very interesting topic.

I have seen lob marking trees on my travels but never knew what they were all about. Thanks for posting.

I sent this Trail Marking topic to my brother in Cary, NC who teaches an Honors Biology High School Course. He is planning to include your Trail Marking topic into one of his lectures this fall.
Swampturtle
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07/22/2018 10:19AM
Onepaddleshort
Thanks for your picture, you never know...go ahead and send it along to Don & he may possibly be able to verify it for you. There are certain markings that help him identify and age trees. Thanks for looking out for the swoop tree, both trees are on the West side of the portage trail (on the rapids side). Looking forward to seeing your pics & I mentioned the swoop tree to Don. Yes, I do believe they do core samples. Birch trees are rarely used because of exactly the reason you mention, they don't last forever.

There was a thread about the lop trees on this site a few years ago, I'll include it here when I find it. Those were made (I believe) by loggers to mark their way by taking branches off the top of pine trees just under the crown so the tree looked like a lollipop. Due to the top heavy nature & how they were trimmed & their locations on points of land...most succumbed to the elements & high winds. I do wonder if any are left.

I have a 3 more trees to post that are on the Tallmadge trail, Don was able to let me know the approximate age of them & I was shocked they were indeed from the 1700's. We have a rich history here on Long Island...I paddled the Nissequogue river on Friday, one of my favorites. It was once a Native American settlement, fresh water river runs to the Sound-its tidal & brackish & has a unique ecosystem. I decided to paddle around the midden (shell) islands which are full of life. In that area are a concentration of terrapins...the smiling turtle...they were actively hunting & popping their heads up all around me.

The area the triple birch tree is in has never been logged due to a fire that made some of the area undesirable to log, all around that area are trees that are some of the largest I have ever seen of that type in the BW. I did not measure the tree or guess the age, I simply noted it's location, exceptional shape & identifiers & submitted it to Don for his expertise.



tumblehome
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07/22/2018 10:59AM
The birchbark tree is not a marker. In a forest overall they have a short lifespan. They rarely grow longer than 60 years and are prone to drought and disease which also limits their age.
In the northwoods only white pine and cedars live to an age where there could possibly be any chance of a tree being a marker. And then it would have had to survive many nearly impossible obstacles to still be standing.

I have been doing some reading of modern day surveyers finding cedar bearing marker posts in the ground from the original MN surveyers of the 1850'S
Swampturtle
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07/22/2018 11:12AM
Wally13: "Swampturtle,


Very interesting topic.


I have seen lob marking trees on my travels but never knew what they were all about. Thanks for posting.


I sent this Trail Marking topic to my brother in Cary, NC who teaches an Honors Biology High School Course. He is planning to include your Trail Marking topic into one of his lectures this fall. "


That is teriffic, there are so many marking trees in NC. If I hadn't excelled in biology/natural sciences...I don't think I would have made it thru high school or life in general. 30 years later...it's still my favorite subject. I'm excited for his students, thanks!
Swampturtle
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07/22/2018 11:26AM
Banksiana: "I would question the age of the birch tree in the photo. Judging by the trees on my land (near Ely) I'd guess the age of the birch shown to be 20-60 years."

6 years ago, when I first noticed this tree it looked exactly the same as it does now, so I believe your guess that it is 20 years old is not really accurate. A forty year gap in estimation is pretty broad, but I respect your opinion because I also was wary of the birch for all the reasons tumblehome listed. Copper borers, drought & yeah...birch are fragile & don't live as long as other hardwoods. There is a fallen birch nearby that is enormous by birch standards & it's been down for a long while. There are monsters out there...and they are old, how old...I don't know.
Lailoken
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07/22/2018 12:48PM
Wow, so basically you are looking for a tree that was manipulated in its growth pattern? I'll be on the look out and also going to Wabakimi in Sep and will photograph any that I see there.
Banksiana
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07/22/2018 01:12PM
I gave a broad estimation because I don't know conditions in this site. I have trees on my land that have achieved that degree of growth or more in twenty years- thus my low end. I agree the forty year gap is broad, but even on the long end that doesn't put the tree into active Native American land control. Birch is considered a hardwood.
Swampturtle
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07/23/2018 12:10PM


3 Historical Tallmadge trail "lop trees" according to local legend. These are located fairly close together. There is a fresh water pond nearby. Local research lead me to believe that settlers made these to mark property boundries. When I submitted them to Don with that info, he said that he disagreed with that determination & thought they were originally made by Native Americans & gave me approximate ages. (If you are interested in the local history, google Tallmadge trail & read about George Washington, Benjamin Tallmadge, Benedict Arnold & the revolutionary war.)

Swampturtle
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07/23/2018 12:30PM
Banksiana: "I gave a broad estimation because I don't know conditions in this site. I have trees on my land that have achieved that degree of growth or more in twenty years- thus my low end. I agree the forty year gap is broad, but even on the long end that doesn't put the tree into active Native American land control. Birch is considered a hardwood."

Thanks for the correction, I meant to say "other hardwoods" & I made an edit. I agree with your opinion that it might not be as old as it needs to be to be what it is & at the same time I respect Don for his expertise. It just seems like it's an anomaly with its hollow end, right angles, abundance of wild rice in the surrounding areas, the obvious portage, the direction it seems to point to, the convergence of rivers & lakes in the area. Maybe it's just a coincidence & something fell on a sapling years ago or someone like Benny Ambrose who possibly had that type of knowledge made it. Maybe contacting the Ojibway tribe & asking them what or if they know about it would shed some light on it. Like the trees themselves as people age, the information may be lost. After I find a few more trees here on LI, I may attempt to make contact with our local tribes (also descendants from Algonquin). Right now, it's a side hobby & interest of mine, I am no expert & I certainly appreciate all the input.
ThreeRivers
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07/24/2018 09:24AM
I will dig up a photo for you of a large old tree, starting to rot, just off the Appalachian Trail in NW Virginia I came across three years ago. Tree must be well over 100 yrs old along a ridge line. I have the geos for it as well.
onepaddleshort
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07/31/2018 03:53PM
I kept my eye out on our trip that I just returned from. I did not find your birch on the 95 rod portage though I did look. However I found this one directly across from the Lac La Croix pictos pointing pretty much directly at the moose pictos (I didn't attempt to get out of the canoe so I had to estimate from the water). I don't know if it could be old enough but some of the oldest trees in Wisconsin are growing on the north side of a rocky shoreline in Door County. It's possible. Add in what it's pointing at and I think it almost makes probable.
tumblehome
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08/01/2018 08:08AM
onepaddleshort: " I don't know if it could be old enough but some of the oldest trees in Wisconsin are growing on the north side of a rocky shoreline in Door County. It's possible. Add in what it's pointing at and I think it almost makes probable.
"


Looks like a 30 year old pine. Germinated maybe around 1980's to1990 +/-. There are pretty noticable growth spaces between some sets of branches. And there are some pretty tightly spaced branch sets too indicated that this tree while it did have some good growth years, it also had some slow years of growth.

How so? New branches grow each spring below the top bud of the tree. It is easy to get a rough idea of tree growth and age. Looking at a white pine. A white pine will grow three feet a year with good soil and rain. Maybe only 6" during poor weather years.

when you are in camp, look at young white pines around you and you will see the growth spurts of the tree by the spacing between the branches. Of course, as a tree ages, it's not as easy to see but for trees under 30 years or so of age, you can get a pretty good estimation of it's age.

This photo is a good example showing branch growth annually. It's a really small tree but it's the best example I can find quickly. You can follow this simple growth pattern for a tree for many years. One years growth is the space of the trunk between the branches. Count the sets of branches on the pine and you can estimate it's age.



This image pretty clearly shows the spacing between branches and the trunk growth by year.
onepaddleshort
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08/02/2018 06:49AM
I just read a new book by John Bates called, "Our Living Ancestors ". I also attended a hike with him in an old growth forest in Wisconsin. What I used to think about aging trees was completely upended. I had to let some things I "knew" go. So perhaps this has clouded my perspective, or on the other hand, perhaps it's giving me a new window to possibilities.

In the late 1980's they discovered that, while we usually consider old growth forests to consist of huge trees, we had old growth forest of cedar trees on the Niagara Escarpment. Cedar trees that are only 10 foot in height yet aged at over a 1,000 years old. Until fairly recently nobody had a clue that trees that old were growing there.
Link

According to John, research is showing that in old growth forest what we would consider a sapling maple tree, something 5-6 feet high, can spend a hundred years barely growing just waiting for a grandmother tree to fall and open the canopy to let enough light in for it to shoot to the opening. I still find this hard to believe but he spent 15 years putting this book together so I have to think he spent a great deal of time gathering research.

So I'm guilty of looking at this tree growing on the north side of an island, struggling for light, its roots wiggling for purchase in nothing but rock and only a few inches of soil, and thinking "maybe?". I get that this is a white pine and not a cedar. I have no idea if white pines can grow at incredibly slow rates in difficult conditions as the cedars of the Niagara Escarpment. I'm just sharing that my perspective on the age of trees has been changed in the last few months, and how I'm even entertaining the possibility.

tumblehome
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08/02/2018 07:42AM
Onepaddleshort.

Good info on your last post. I agree 100% about stunted old trees. Many cedars often grow for hundreds of years with almost no noticeable growth. The stately cedars we see in the BWCA are often many hundreds of years since they only grow inches a year at best even under ideal conditions. Counting growth rings in cedars can sometimes not be done with the human eye. Cedars also will rot from the inside out and are often punky in the middle so counting the age is not possible. I know of many groves of cedars where they are 300-500 years old.

And I don't want to beat a dead horse, but back to that white pine. If that tree was, say, 300 years old, all of that is before it was altered since we see many branches on the lower end of that tree and can easily count growth spurts between the branches. And... the lower dead branches will rot and die off as it ages and those lower dead branches are not 300 years old.

Sadly, the days of 1000 year old cedars or 300 year old white pines are past us. Why? White tailed dear. They love cedars more than any other food source, next is white pine buds. New cedars are not growing, new white pines are not growing unless man caps the buds until they get past browsing height. The deer hunters want more deer. But it's at the expense of our forests. Something to think about. There are far more deer now than before colonial settlers. I live in the northern forest and observe first-hand how they changed my acreage. The only white pines I can get to grow have a fence around them.

The only food source they love more than a cedar is chestnuts, but those are gone from the blight. White tailed deer are still programmed to eat them and if you were to toss chestnuts (raw, not roasted) out at the deer, they will go insane over them.

Tom

bobbernumber3
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08/02/2018 07:50AM
How do you know the difference between a native American marking tree and a tree that is naturally deformed? I assume most "bent" trees occur when a large tree falls on a sapling that then continues to grow.
onepaddleshort
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08/02/2018 08:22AM
bobbernumber3: "How do you know the difference between a native American marking tree and a tree that is naturally deformed? I assume most "bent" trees occur when a large tree falls on a sapling that then continues to grow."

I have no idea. I don't know if you can. I would have paddled past this and not given it a second thought if it wasn't pointing directly at one of the most significant Native American pictograph sites in the BW. I had this vision that you'd be paddling along and this tree was there to get attention that there was something on the opposite shore. At the very least it's quite a coincidence that it naturally ended up pointing directly at the pictos.

Swampturtle
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08/03/2018 09:49PM
ThreeRivers: "I will dig up a photo for you of a large old tree, starting to rot, just off the Appalachian Trail in NW Virginia I came across three years ago. Tree must be well over 100 yrs old along a ridge line. I have the geos for it as well."

Looking forward to seeing your tree photo, that's great news. Check on the Mtn Stewards site to see if they already have it listed..if not..send it along to Don.
Swampturtle
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08/03/2018 09:52PM
onepaddleshort: "I kept my eye out on our trip that I just returned from. I did not find your birch on the 95 rod portage though I did look. However I found this one directly across from the Lac La Croix pictos pointing pretty much directly at the moose pictos (I didn't attempt to get out of the canoe so I had to estimate from the water). I don't know if it could be old enough but some of the oldest trees in Wisconsin are growing on the north side of a rocky shoreline in Door County. It's possible. Add in what it's pointing at and I think it almost makes probable.
"


Thanks for looking, I hope you enjoyed your trip. I love that area of the BW. The triple & swoop are there..my trip mate walked right past them 2x and was looking for them. I had to point them out.

There are a few places that describe how the tree is "thonged". I will have to find a picture & put it up so people can compare. I like your tree, it is highly unusual & it does stick out as a swoop/pointer. Is it a genuine marking tree? (I have no idea-but I am new at this). It doesn't look as old as it should be, but after reading the latest posts I am understanding more about trees that may be aged, but not look their age due to the competitive forces of nature. The base looked smooshed & more like it was almost broken with perhaps the trunk of a tree thru the loop, very interesting & thank you for posting your picture. I can also see how paddling along it would point you right to the pictos.
Swampturtle
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08/03/2018 10:24PM
onepaddleshort: "bobbernumber3: "How do you know the difference between a native American marking tree and a tree that is naturally deformed? I assume most "bent" trees occur when a large tree falls on a sapling that then continues to grow."


I have no idea. I don't know if you can. I would have paddled past this and not given it a second thought if it wasn't pointing directly at one of the most significant Native American pictograph sites in the BW. I had this vision that you'd be paddling along and this tree was there to get attention that there was something on the opposite shore. At the very least it's quite a coincidence that it naturally ended up pointing directly at the pictos.


"


This part of the Mtn Stewards site explains a bit more about how they are formed. If you look around this site, there is lots more info to draw from including core samples & how these experts were shocked by the dates they were getting, much older than they even imagined.

Thong/trail/marker trees

Sometimes you can see that the tree was manipulated, sometimes not. I have a pic of a cedar on Gebeonequet lake that is something I considered questionable, I never considered it a marker tree, just someting shaped by time, wind, water. I'll post it when I get a chance. Maybe I'll send it along to get checked out by Don. The 2 photos I added with the 3 (lop) trees together on the Tallmadge trail are from the mid 1700's.
Swampturtle
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08/06/2018 01:48PM
After work on Sunday morning I decided to take a ride past an old cemetery on my way home. An area I have driven by hundreds of times & wondered about this tree. It is located on another North-South road that cuts thru the island from Sound to Bay/Sea & skirts a river that leads to another salt water body East. I got out & paid my respects to some of the oldest graves/families on Long Island, names I recognize as having a long, rich history here. First English record of the land was 1693. It became a town in 1793. The first burial 1798. In the same cemetery, only feet away from this tree & in line along the road is a really large oak with a strange gnarled base that looks manipulated. I'm going to send along that pic to Don too, I'll include it here if it gets the okay.

I am going to submit this to Don with coordinates later tonite. To my surprise this tree is not included in a rudimentary list/photos I found in a LI Botanical newsletter from 2001. None of those trees have been recorded by Don, so my search continues...



Edit: I got a message from Don, this tree is the real thing, going to be added to the website.
Pinetree
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08/09/2018 10:40PM
There is a book I have on LOB trees in the BWCA. I will check on it tomorrow.
andym
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08/10/2018 12:28AM
Swampturtle, where on LI do you live? I grew up on Strong's Neck which was settled by Europeans in 1655. I'm guessing you aren't far away from there given paddling the Nissequogue.
Swampturtle
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08/10/2018 07:47AM
andym: "Swampturtle, where on LI do you live? I grew up on Strong's Neck which was settled by Europeans in 1655. I'm guessing you aren't far away from there given paddling the Nissequogue."

Aah, Setauket area..you are right, I am close. I grew up in Port Washington (Cow Neck), now live in Ronkonkoma.
Swampturtle
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08/10/2018 07:59AM
Pinetree: "There is a book I have on LOB trees in the BWCA. I will check on it tomorrow."

Cool...
Pinetree
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08/10/2018 08:39AM
Pinetree: "There is a book I have on LOB trees in the BWCA. I will check on it tomorrow."

Its called Lob Trees in the Wilderness pertaining to the BWCA,it talks about LOB trees but much of it is about presettlement of the area etc.
Not about subject at hand as much as I thought. It mentions the trees and native Americans use but than switches to a variety of subjects in early years.
andym
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08/10/2018 10:36AM
Swampturtle: "andym: "Swampturtle, where on LI do you live? I grew up on Strong's Neck which was settled by Europeans in 1655. I'm guessing you aren't far away from there given paddling the Nissequogue."


Aah, Setauket area..you are right, I am close. I grew up in Port Washington (Cow Neck), now live in Ronkonkoma. "


Yes, very close by. I will keep an eye out for such trees on my visits back there.
Swampturtle
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08/10/2018 06:16PM
Pinetree: "Pinetree: "There is a book I have on LOB trees in the BWCA. I will check on it tomorrow."


Its called Lob Trees in the Wilderness pertaining to the BWCA,it talks about LOB trees but much of it is about presettlement of the area etc.
Not about subject at hand as much as I thought. It mentions the trees and native Americans use but than switches to a variety of subjects in early years."


Thanks Pinetree, Glad to hear you checked it out. That book is on my list of things to read.

Here is an old thread on Lob trees.

Lob tree thread

Andym
I have maps from LI Greenbelt for the Paumanok Path (I probably should update them again). It is a known Indian trade route that is 125 miles long from Montauk to Rocky Point. After I find the trees listed in the botanical bulletin & Cathedral Pines, I want to head East to hike that path.
andym
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08/11/2018 07:01AM
That's really interesting. I wasn't aware of that trail but will keep it in mind for future visits. Thanks!
08/13/2018 08:02AM
Wow. This is new to me! I'll definitely be keeping an eye out in my future travels! Very interesting.
Swampturtle
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06/24/2019 12:01PM
Took a ride the other day & decided to take a better look down a road that I read in an old publication had trail marking trees. I traveled this road in the winter & did not see them, so was a bit discouraged..but not done searching or researching by any means. The more I look & research the more info & ancient trees I have found & documented. These 2 are in someone's front yard on Long Island, NY. Lived there 21 years, thought they were interesting & nice to sit on, had no idea about their history..till now. Super nice people, they let me photograph them from their driveway. Don from Mtn Stewards says they are the real deal & will be added to his website soon. The street they are on was a winding footpath at one time & the direction of the arms of the trees heads towards a pond.


nofish
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06/24/2019 02:50PM
How can someone determine the nature of the trees simply from a photograph?

I've seen many trees with these characteristics. I can't imagine every single one of them is the real deal.
Swampturtle
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06/24/2019 07:44PM
nofish: "How can someone determine the nature of the trees simply from a photograph?


I've seen many trees with these characteristics. I can't imagine every single one of them is the real deal."


You can read the information on the website listed above to get more familiar with the specific characteristics. I take several pictures from many angles to get a fuller picture. This third tree was 15' South of the U shaped tree, Don told me it was not a trail marking tree. I was surprised, but I trust his judgement, also it does not have all the characteristics.

Banksiana
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06/24/2019 08:49PM
I apologize but most of this seems ludicrous or delusional.
Swampturtle
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06/24/2019 09:32PM
Banksiana: "I apologize but most of this seems ludicrous or delusional. "

Apology excepted.

I haven't posted in a while on any thread, I used to enjoy & learn so much here & comment. Now I'll lurk. I used to buy BWCA shirts & hats every year, now I won't. I contributed a lot to the cooking threads including adding all my recipes & dehydration methods. I started learning here & developed my own way to tackle any meal & tweak it for canoe camping. I thInk perhaps I am done now updating this thread too. I'll stick to sending my info to Don & celebrating my finds alone. Cheers BWCA community. I am officially done de done. I'll be back to MN to trip.
Banksiana
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06/25/2019 01:12AM
I'm sorry I offended you. The problem is that the whole theory is speculative and without evidentiary support. There's not even any attempt to date the trees. As it says on the Mountain Stewards web site "these unique trees are found throughout the United States, and are generally interpreted to be trail markers from our American Indian past. But, so far, we've mostly found speculative and anectdotal (sic) reports without much scientific study." This is a weaker argument than those proposed for Bigfoot and the Chupacabra.
tumblehome
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06/25/2019 09:42AM
I'm sorry but I'm with Bankasiana on this.

I had a slight moment of believing it a little bit until birch trees got thrown in. Birch trees seldom live past 70 years so unless the Native Americans were still doing it in the 50's.........

But just because someone finds a theory ludicrous does not mean you should just walk away. I've been flamed more times than a roasted pig but I've learned that if I post on the internet, someones gonna get mad at me.

Tom
LindenTree
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06/25/2019 09:50AM
nofish: "How can someone determine the nature of the trees simply from a photograph?


I've seen many trees with these characteristics. I can't imagine every single one of them is the real deal."


True, it is hard to explain this without pics.

When a tree is small/a sapling another larger tree will fall and bend the sapling horizontally either against the ground or above the ground if both trees (Sapling and larger tree) rest against another downed tree.

Eventually the tree that fell on the sapling rots away, the sapling is still growing and the top continues to climb toward the sky.
Wala, you have a tree with a horizontal bend in it. It is hard to figure out how it got that way because the other tree rotted away years ago and now the sapling is quite large.

PS, I am not a forester, just a wildland firefighter with alot of forestry classes in college.

PSS, Swampturtle. I have enjoyed this thread the entire time and appreciate your passion for these trees.
06/28/2019 11:52AM
Swampturtle: "Banksiana: "I apologize but most of this seems ludicrous or delusional. "


Apology excepted.


I haven't posted in a while on any thread, I used to enjoy & learn so much here & comment. Now I'll lurk. I used to buy BWCA shirts & hats every year, now I won't. I contributed a lot to the cooking threads including adding all my recipes & dehydration methods. I started learning here & developed my own way to tackle any meal & tweak it for canoe camping. I thInk perhaps I am done now updating this thread too. I'll stick to sending my info to Don & celebrating my finds alone. Cheers BWCA community. I am officially done de done. I'll be back to MN to trip.
"


Sorry to hear you will not continue posting to this thread. It has been one of the more interesting threads on the board in some time.
nofish
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06/28/2019 04:01PM
I wouldn't go as far as saying this is all ludicrous or delusion. I'm sure that some of the trees really are what they claim they are. However, it seems unlikely to me that every tree with such characteristics are going to be a trail marking tree.

Some of the trees confirmed simply don't look old enough. I think its at least partly a case of people seeing what they want to see. As Linden explained there are many ways a tree can have that shape. Its also easy to find a resource that they are pointing toward. In Minnesota point a tree in any direction and its likely pointing at water, or berry patch, or ridge/hill/valley, or some other type of point of interest. Its just a matter of looking hard enough.

This doesn't take away the fact that real trail marking trees do exist. I just think a bit more scrutiny would lead to less skepticism.
Skrockl
Guest Paddler
 
06/29/2019 04:25PM
Hello, as a farm grown city gal, I find this thread fascinating.
As children we used to braid trees to mark trails, dont you think
Others also did this. Please don't stop with your posts.
Thank you.
07/06/2019 08:36PM
I’ve been keeping an eye out. Saw this at the top of Kakabeka Falls near Thunder Bay yesterday.

 
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