Mystery of the Stripped Trees

Sitting outside for half an hour once a week can do interesting things to a person. It’s more than bug bites and getting your pants dirty. You have time to sit and look at the natural world indifferent perspectives. I’ve found that blocking out all other distractions help you see things you would’ve never paid much attention to.

Tree from the WCC Hardwoods

Tree from the WCC Hardwoods

The second time I went to sit outside I had to look for disturbances. I noticed things such as fallen logs, damaged plants, and the most interesting to me were tall standing trees with stripped tree bark. There was one tree that had pulled into my attention, but the more I looked around I found that there were many just like that one.

After this observation I thought I should make some inferences. I instantly thought there may have been something wrong with this environment causing the tree bark to strip. I questioned whether the bark stripped all together or if it fell piece by piece. The next inference I made was that the organisms in the woods may have eaten and broke down the bark. Later after my science teacher Mr.Long had reviewed my observations and inferences he brought an idea to the plate.

Mr.Long questioned if they were just dead trees, which are called snags, or if they were affected or diseased trees from pests. I decided to expand on this idea. I researched and found that on icwdm.org squirrels often leave markings on trees. They strip the tree bark and the marks are usually ½ an inch wide and 6 inches long. The markings I saw on the trees in the woods were much longer and wider than that. I looked around more and nothing really gave me an idea on how or why this was taking place with so many trees in the woods. I felt as if this was something that needed to be observed and explored a little deeper than the surface. For further answers I’m going to have to look back at the trees and record more observations from my original observation.

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3 thoughts on “Mystery of the Stripped Trees

  1. Did you ever consider that animals are stripping the trees to make shelters for themselves? All of your inferences are great ideas but I’ve seen squirrels, and other little creatures, taking bark from trees before! Very interesting to think about!

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