Sunday, October 17, 2021


The tree stump that refuses to die


The stump that wouldn’t die
Normally when you cut down a tree and leave a stump, it dies. Eventually it rots and other plants begin to grow from the “nurse” tree. But notice that nothing grows from this Douglas Fir stump near Crater Lake. That’s because it’s still very much alive.

The reason is because before it was cut down its roots had grafted onto its next door neighbor, also a Douglas Fir. So when the tree got chopped down, no problem, it just kept on going, sort of like the Energizer Bunny! 

. . . And in case you have ever wondered, the Douglas Fir is named after David Douglas, a Scottish botanist and collector who first reported the extraordinary nature and potential of the species. But, alas, there is more to the story: the tree’s scientific name, Pseudotsuga menziesii, honors a rival botanist, Archibald Menzies. This doesn’t seem fair to me, but that’s the way it is.


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