Freaky "Crooked Bush" near Mayfair, SK, Canada!!!

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by aspenglo53, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. aspenglo53

    aspenglo53 Active Member

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    North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada
    I thought you might like to see a real freaky side of nature. I could have spent hours photographing these aspen trees!

    These trees do not grow normally! They twist and turn at every angle possible. Apparently, much scientific research has been conducted on-site to determine the reason for their strange growth pattern. As far as I know...it's still a mystery!!!

    Enjoy! Andrea
     

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  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Presumably they're all a single clone, regenerating by root sprouts, in which case it could be considered as a cultivar (much like e.g. contorted Hazel Corylus avellana 'Contorta').

    You could probably propagate it and start selling it, lots of people seem to like plants like this.
     
  3. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member 10 Years

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    It's a grove of quaking aspen, which probably is all offsets of one plant. I read that there is another grove of similar crooked Populus spp, probably P. tremuloides, that exists but can't find it online with a quick search.

    The P. tremuloides across the road is a normal straight trunk grove of aspen.
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I had heard about these in one of the guidebooks once upon a time -- intend to visit it next time I travel through the area. Do you have directions?
     
  5. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member 10 Years

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    http://environmentalism.suite101.com/article.cfm/preserving-the-crooked-trees-of-saskatchewan

    This may help, David. No actual directions, though. They are right; there are a load of hits on google for this topic. One of the youtube comments has some jerk mouthing off about destroying the grove for a lark. Aside from the grove being on private property, there do seem to be environmentalists and other scientists interested in this grove, plus there appears to be a bit of mystique and oral legends about it.

    Fascinating.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    If it's genetic, as stated at above link then the clone could in fact be grafted and made into a cultivar. This would have the benefit of conserving it, unless it eventually died out in cultivation (as cultivars may do, due to various factors). But propagules growing in parks and gardens here and there would not have the same impact and interest as the original grove remaining in an intact condition.

    The cultivar name 'Pendula' exists for a rare, female weeping form already in cultivation. It was known in 1838, in American commerce by 1854.
     
  7. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    There is a similar grove of trees, though not so pronounced in their contortions, on the drive up to the summit of Steens Mtn in Oregon.
     
  8. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Wouldn't it make more sense to get rooted sprouts, so that it is on its own roots, rather than grafted? A graft wouldn't preserve the clone beyond the life of the stem, and root sprouts it sends up would be normal. One on its own roots would continue ± indefinitely.
     
  9. aspenglo53

    aspenglo53 Active Member

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    Daniel...I am attaching a Google screen capture of the Crooked Bush area. I can write up exact directions for you later tonight. There are signs now posted on the roadsides to guide you.

    Yes, the aspen bluff right next door to the crooked bush is totally normal. Over the years, people have dug up seedlings to take home. Rumour has it that these seedlings grow normally.

    While it is on private property, the owners are happy to share it with you provided you follow a few listed rules and use the boardwalk.

    Many of the older trees are dead or dying now. The younger trees are fighting with other native undergrowth and are not growing as fast....but still growing just as crazy.

    There are lots of local legends and "booga-booga" tales related to the Crooked Bush. I find them fascinating in all seasons. Andrea
     

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    Last edited: Sep 2, 2010
  10. aspenglo53

    aspenglo53 Active Member

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    I hope I'm allowed to submit a few more pictures!? Andrea
     

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  11. aspenglo53

    aspenglo53 Active Member

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    3 more that just make you scratch your head in wonder!!! Andrea
     

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  12. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Many weeping variants of both coniferous and broad-leaved trees grow like this. Trained up to have a straight trunk at first or grafted on top of a straight trunk the branches can then droop from some height.

    It would not surprise me if the earlier P. tremuloides 'Pendula' and this form were very similar.
     
  13. CMW

    CMW Member

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    The University of Saskatoon had seedlings of these trees for sale in June. I made a quick run up to 'Toon town and was able to pick up two. They were complete trees when I picked them up. They were advertised clones. Here is a pic of them after a couple of months on the first day of September. Will most likely need new pots come spring.
     

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  14. aspenglo53

    aspenglo53 Active Member

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    Good luck with the seedlings! Better give them LOTS of growing room as you never know which way they'll go! Andrea
     
  15. CMW

    CMW Member

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    My thoughts exactly Andrea. I'd like to see these trees in about 5 years time. I'm still not sure which way they will weep.
     

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