entry one hundred and seventy seven
Timberrific Greetings, tree lovers!
If you happen to be popping to Poland any time in the near future, I have some curious trees to tell you about that are unique to the “Crooked Forest”, found in western Poland near the town of Gryfino.
Amongst thousands of other straight pine trees, approximately 400 with an unusual 90-degree bend at their base can be found. Estimated to have been planted some time in the 1930s, the cause of this unfamiliar growth still remains unknown, but some unusual – and not so – ideas about their formation have surfaced over the years.
The first idea (which is relatively plausible) is that this area of trees was flattened by tanks travelling through the area during the start of World War II. The trees would have been 7-10 years old at the time that they experienced the damage, which would coincide with the time period during which Eastern Europe was experiencing increasing pressure from both the Russian and German sides. There is an argument against this theory, however: there is no clear ‘path’ of damaged trees and most surrounding specimens appear unaffected.
A second notion that surfaced is that heavy snowfall could have flattened the trees for a prolonged period of time, which – combined with a long spring melt – could be capable of permanently shaping the trees. Like the first theory put forward, it would seem strange that only this particular patch of trees was affected – as heavy snow would have affected the other young trees in the area, surely.
The final sensible idea proposes that the trees’ curvature is a man-made phenomenon, which makes reasonable sense considering the consistency of the curves. It is suggested that during the 1930s, local farmers planted and manipulated the trees to use them as a natural material for building furniture or ships, an idea which is supported by literature from the time.
Like most other unexplained phenomena, there are also some more ‘out there’ explanations for this conspiracy, which suggest that the trees could have been bent by an unusual gravitational fluctuation, or even… aliens! (cue spooky X-Files-type music…)
Whatever the cause, the local town was devastated during World War II, meaning that whatever is responsible for this set of deformed trees will remain a mystery for the foreseeable future.
When I found out about these crazy trees, my initial thought was that they would create great curved cabinetry; however, after realising that these are soft pine rather than sturdy oak, I think we’ll have to stick to our existing methods for creating stunning wooden kitchens and super-duper solid wood kitchen doors.
Ta ta for now,
The deTerra Diarist.