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Author Topic: Trunk welding  (Read 2344 times)

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Offline straightree

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Trunk welding
« on: February 18, 2012, 04:47:27 AM »
I have cut some ash trees and chestnuts. Before doing the cutting the trees seemed to me quite normal, but examining the cross sections I realized that instead of having one central point, around which the growing circles went, there were two or even three central points. That led me to conclude that the cause for this was that two or tree trunks had welded into one. This was because they grew from a cut stump, and were close one to the other, and had two options: either one dominated the other, or they joined. It seems they chose the last.

My experience is not very large on logging, so it may be that this is a quite usual occurrence. Nevertheless, I have not found ever a description of this phenomenon in the literature. Is there any one around that has found this by themselves? Also I have used a terminology ("trunk welding") that maybe is not appropriate, especially considering that English is not my language. Will appreciate corrections.

There are some pictures at my Gallery.  http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=4024


Offline sandhills

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Re: Trunk welding
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2012, 12:09:08 PM »
 

 

 

 

 

 

Those are pictures from straightree's gallery, I can't help you much on explaining it but someone here will be able to, I'd like to know about it also.

Offline Reddog

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Re: Trunk welding
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2012, 12:36:46 PM »
Yes what you concluded is what happened. :)

That led me to conclude that the cause for this was that two or tree trunks had welded into one. This was because they grew from a cut stump, and were close one to the other, and had two options: either one dominated the other, or they joined. It seems they chose the last.

It is just Co-dominate/multiple stems that stayed close enough together that the cambium layer was able to bridge across and make it one stem in appearance. A process called CODIT http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compartmentalization_of_decay_in_trees

For logs it is a major defect and would make it hard to get any usable lumber out of.
In a yard tree it is also a major defect because the included bark makes the stem much weaker to wind and load stresses. The included bark may also provide a path for water to find its way in to the heart wood area causing rot inside the stem.

Offline straightree

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Re: Trunk welding
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2012, 03:42:22 PM »
Thank you to sandhills for picture loading, and to Reddog for the answer. Also thank you for the CODIT information and link to Wikipedia. I see that the process by which tree tissue covers a wound is the same that is used to fuse two stems into one.

I am a Wikipedia editor, and would like to expand the CODIT article, to mention this welding process. Is "trunk welding" an appropriate terminology?

Offline Reddog

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Re: Trunk welding
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2012, 06:01:32 PM »
Welcome to the FF Straightree!

At first I was thinking welding would not apply here, but after some research on the definition of weld :
Quote
Cause to combine and form a harmonious or effective whole

So I am not gaining any ground in my mind to argue against "Trunk welding" .  :)


Online beenthere

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Re: Trunk welding
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2012, 06:12:44 PM »
Referring to it as "welding" would be inventing a new name for a tree "growing together", which in my opinion just creates confusion in the future when trying to teach others and sort things out. "Healing into one" may be more akin to what happens. Welding is more of a process, as I see it.

That invention of a new name may, or may not be, the intent of Wikipedia.
As an editor of Wikipedia, I'd be interested in what guidelines you use to add to the wealth of knowledge that Wikipedia can offer.
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline Sprucegum

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Re: Trunk welding
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2012, 11:15:22 PM »
I agree with BT; in the tree's mind, if it had one, the growing together is an internal healing process and should not be confused with welding. I consider welding to be an externally administered joining of two inanimate bodies.

On the west coast of America Myrtle wood can be found with multiple piths and is popular in fine woodworking.

Offline straightree

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Re: Trunk welding
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012, 07:17:44 AM »
It is good to have so many answers so quickly!

It would be good to have a reference from some credited publication, with the description and naming of this phenomenon. This is what is required for inclusion in Wikipedia. I will add it as an example, and avoid a "naming".

Nevertheless, the trees that fuse into one are generally growing from a stump, and are not vertical, but usually in a V, so that the fusing is probably a process that advances gradually, along many years. We could say that the metallurgical welding is done by man, and the tree welding by nature.

Offline straightree

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Re: Trunk welding
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2012, 07:40:32 AM »
It is interesting to hear from Sprucegum that these "multiple pith" stems can also have positive effects, at least for some species, and uses.

Offline straightree

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Re: Trunk welding
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2012, 03:42:25 AM »
I have made some further investigation in Wikipedia, and finally have been successfull. The process is known as "Inosculation", and the trees are said to be "conjoined". The terms "hugging trees" and "fused trees" are also proposed. I have added some pictures to the gallery of the "Inosculation" article.

As for the CODIT article, I also added a picture, showing the compartmentalization phenomenon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inosculation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CODIT


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