I snowshoed in along the 10th Sideroad the other day, one of my favourite winter walks, a fencerow of big old maples in front of fields on one side, and a large maple forest on the other. There are numerous big trees, but today I'm just going to share pictures of one.
It's about 4' thick at the base, with numerous branches reaching out over the snow- covered stone fencerow into the adjoining field, now planted with young white pine. Several of the individual branches are big enough to be old trees in their own right.
But I was fascinated by the wrinkly, cracked and crinkled bark twisted in curves, and wrapping itself around the base of branches.
There was a big knot on the side of the trunk, probably where an old smaller branch had fallen off, but now completely covered over with bark scar-tissue.
In spite of its old age, it looked very healthy to me. Horizontal branches were extending out nearly 20 feet over the fields. Have you ever tried to hold something, even just a little piece of wood like a garden rake, out horizontally at the end of your arm? I couldn't do it for long, but this tree has been doing it for 150+ years!
This big old giant just looks so dignified to me, its scarred and knot-ridden trunk strong enough to support a huge 60 foot wide canopy. there are several big round knots up the trunk where other branches have fallen off in the past.
And this is the entire tree (well most of it), in case you're interested. All the close-ups above were taken on a small area of trunk at my own eye height. I think the big old trees around the Beaver Valley are one of my favourite things. Happy New Year everyone!
In the interests of getting more of you to look at bark up close, I'm linking to: