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Author Topic: Bent Over Spruce  (Read 441 times)

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Offline Corruption Logs

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Bent Over Spruce
« on: April 12, 2020, 01:19:20 PM »
While snowshoeing around on our property yesterday I found 2 thin spruce bent over in a big arc. I've seen this many times with other spruce in our valley, I just never took a picture. A little lower in elevation from us there is a large Aspen stand where I have seen similar arcs happen to thin aspen shoots. 

It seems that all the branches on the spruce in these pictures have the branches on only one side, which all hang down. The skyward side of the arc is almost totally clear of knots.
I have never taken the time to notice this distinction on other spruce or aspen I have seen. I'll post an update next time I see another example.

Does anyone know why this happens? Could it be a deformity or soil problem?



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Offline JJ

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Re: Bent Over Spruce
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2020, 01:58:36 PM »
Ice storm.
I have bunch of trees like that.

    JJ

Offline Corruption Logs

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Re: Bent Over Spruce
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2020, 02:04:39 PM »
We don't really get ice storms up here. 
Most of our snow storms start off with some graupel (dip n dots), and we get a little bit of hail in the summer. But thats about it.
The storms don't seem to affect the trees immediately next to them either.

Online thecfarm

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Re: Bent Over Spruce
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2020, 03:53:27 PM »
Mother Nature just culling out the bad trees.  ;D
The trees will reach for the sunlight and grow tall and thin.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Bent Over Spruce
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2020, 04:07:10 PM »
I wonder if they are smaller suppressed trees growing partly shaded by the larger trees beside them? That's why they have branches on only one side, the other side is shaded. Then when you get a a good snow load on only one side, the weaker tree gets bent over?

Like Cfarm says, it's Mother Nature doing a bit of natural thinning. That little grove of trees is a bit too crowded, you can see the larger dominant trees, and a number of skinny suppressed ones in the centre of the group. There is only really space (light) for the larger ones.  
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Bent Over Spruce
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2020, 09:30:24 PM »
Snow loads from heavy wet snow. Tree stems are too thin or weak to hold the snow load so they bend over. 

Offline Corruption Logs

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Re: Bent Over Spruce
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2020, 02:49:25 PM »
I wonder if they are smaller suppressed trees growing partly shaded by the larger trees beside them? That's why they have branches on only one side, the other side is shaded. Then when you get a a good snow load on only one side, the weaker tree gets bent over?

Like Cfarm says, it's Mother Nature doing a bit of natural thinning. That little grove of trees is a bit too crowded, you can see the larger dominant trees, and a number of skinny suppressed ones in the centre of the group. There is only really space (light) for the larger ones.  
I think this seems to be the most likely. We have a very crowded stand. Everything was clear cut about 140 years ago during the mining boom in our valley. Without competition from old growth, everything grew up thick all at once. Now we are seeing the ramifications.
On another note, the bent over trees seem to be solidly set into this arc. I see some cool projects coming to be from them soon.

Offline Klunker

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Re: Bent Over Spruce
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2020, 12:50:47 AM »
I had tornadoes go thru the area about 2 years ago. Stuff knocked over and bending smaller stuff (4-6" dia) like OP's picture. Mostly Shagbark Hickory.
They don't come back after cutting the offending blow overs off them. I have a White Oak that I pulled back up straight and tied it in position. It's been about 8 months since I did that. I figure I'll let it grow this summer and see if it remains straight up if I cut it loose this fall.

I'll be surprised if we don't get a heavy snow or ice storm one day and it takes all the bent over stuff down.

I'd cut it out but I'm swimming in firewood as it is.

Offline Treeflea24

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Re: Bent Over Spruce
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2020, 01:10:04 PM »
I've seen the same thing here, except with walnut, and had the same questions.
Mine were after a wind storm. Trees were permanently bent over, but not evidently broken. These ones are still pliable, like a springboard. Seems analogous to severing or over-straining a tendon or some kind of tension structural member. Some pics below.
Some of mine were bent over blocking a trail. I cut the 'top' third of the bent tree off and the trunk sprung back up to ~45░, enough for clearance. Ive left it alone since and it has sprouted a bunch of branches, all on the sky-facing side of the trunk.

Klunker - your experiment of tying up the oak to see if it can regain it's posture - Im doing the same thing, on about the same timeframe. In my case I had a honeylocust next to my bent over walnut and I used that as a terrible looking girdled-topped-and-dethorned totem pole stake to tie it off to. Picture of this setup is below. I have low expectations for this to work though, and I have a feeling it will droop right back over once released.

 


 


 



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