November 1, 2020 -Memorial Tree Update

The Memorial Tree is remarkably healthy!

The Memorial Tree in Felton Covered Bridge Park was not expected to survive damage inflicted by a vandal last June. However, it recovered with unexpected efficiency and vigor, at a time of year when growth should have been decelerating prior to autumn. It is as if the vandalism never happened.

The worst of the damage is nearly healed.

After unsuccessfully attempting to poison the Memorial Tree with salt, the vandal sliced more than half way through the trunk in three places. The worst of these three slices is nearly healed. Another has already healed over. The third is so efficiently healed that the scar is barely visible.

This damage is already healed over.

A gardener who maintains Felton Covered Bridge Park installed a cage of chicken wire around the lower portion of the trunk to hopefully dissuade the vandal from attacking the Memorial Tree again. The trunk is sturdier and would be more resilient to such vandalism than it was last June.

This damage healed over so efficiently that it is difficult to find. The scar is barely visible near the top of the picture.

Prior to the vandalism, the Memorial Tree had grown vigorously through spring, and was already decelerating its growth for summer, as is normal for the species within a natural habitat. By late summer, it would have been expected to concentrate resources into dormant terminal buds prior to defoliation through autumn and dormancy through winter.

Instead, the Memorial Tree responded to the vascular distress associated with the vandalism by suddenly and unexpectedly accelerating vigorous vegetative growth until it was compelled to decelerate by cooling autumn weather. Instead of producing such growth below the damage, as is typical, the determined little Memorial Tree expanded its developing upper canopy.

More than half of this vigorous growth developed after the Memorial Tree was vandalized.

The Memorial Tree has recovered so efficiently that it will likely require only minor grooming while dormant through winter, to remove a few overly vigorous stems from the lower canopy. Minor stubble remains to promote trunk caliper development. The trunk may no longer need binding. The stabilizing lodgepole should remain for at least next year, even if it is unnecessary.

All this new growth will be groomed while dormant through winter.

Members of the Community offered to replace the Memorial Tree after it was vandalized and not expected to survive. Fortunately, replacement will not be necessary. This little Memorial Tree has survived other forms of damage, and is determined to continue to survive and flourish.

4 thoughts on “November 1, 2020 -Memorial Tree Update

  1. Reblogged this on Tony Tomeo and commented:

    Even If I had time to write an article for today, which I do not, I would like to share this article from my other blog at Felton League. It is a surprisingly pleasant update regarding an unpleasant incident that involved a Memorial Tree in Felton Covered Bridge Park. It incidentally complies with the ‘Horridculture’ meme for Wednesday.

    Like

  2. Yes, and unexpected. Friends and neighbors had offered to replace the tree, but I delayed doing so until autumn, and until I knew that the tree would not survive. It responded like this instead.

    Like

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