Saturday, March 25, 2006

Tree Stumps

I have always adored tree stumps. Nursing stumps are certainly a source of beauty and wonder with all the new life bursting from the decaying matter. Stumps are also great fun when they’re all lined up… sort of like rock-hopping.

Whenever I see a tree stump, I immediately try to envision how things must have looked when the tree still stood. Huge stumps are even more compelling. Seeing just a small echo of what was once a towering monster is always great food for the imagination (as well as the local fungi).

It’s also fun to count rings on tree stumps, provided they are still visible. Stumps are a wonderful source of tactile candy. As you run your fingers along what used to be the heart of a tree, you can almost feel the fruit of the earth still pulsing up through the silent fibers.


  1. I love looking at some of the really, really huge ones out here in the Pacific Northwest. Much bigger and older than anything I saw in the midwest!

  2. Enjoyed your posts which are much different than mine.

  3. Trailhead, I totally agree. No matter where I go, the forests of the PNW will always be my favorites!

    Godknows, thank you! I like your posts for the same reason. They give me a great opportunity to learn more about Viet Nam, and all those wonderful dishes always look SO delicious!

  4. Tree stumps tell us so much about the past, for example the weather conditions, and I remember as a school kid being fascinated to learn that you can tell the age of a tree by counting the rings.

  5. Crystal, you are so right! You know what's really cool? Dendrochronologists are able to make positive use out the atomic attack on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945.

    These detonations have left a radioactive marker on trees around the planet at the same instant in geological time. Dendrochronologists can find this marker in trees of different diameters in different locations around the globe to help in determining the ages of trees and forests.

  6. PS - This is just one of the many things that scientists can do with tree-ring analysis. They are able to use this type of analysis for environmental comparisons, and to track the rise and fall of pollutants and other environmental changes over time around the world.


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