"Elevated Tree Stumps" Penrose Point State Park Off The Beaten Path Tip by glabah
Penrose Point State Park Off The Beaten Path: 1 reviews and 5 photos
"Nurse Logs" are what happens when a tree grows out of the remains of an older, dead tree. The nutrients being released from the old tree help nourish the growth of the new tree.
As the old tree decays, the new tree is left with an eccentric root pattern that may at times leave the basic trunk of the tree elevated.
Penrose Point State Park as a number of such "elevated" tree stumps where decayed trees have simply vanished, and new trees have taken their place. Due to these being somewhat unstable trees due to the root structure, unfortunately in many cases the tree has to be taken down to prevent a hazard to park visitors. In other cases, the trees have been left as-is.
All of these photos have been taken inside this park, and provide a good illustration of how these trees form out of old stumps:
1. A small tree gets started by seed inside the stump of a much older tree.
2. The roots grow around the old stump, and eventually go into the ground, leaving the old stump as only partially in support of the new tree.
3. Eventually, the roots nearly completely surround the old stump, allowing it to continue to decay, while the new tree gets its nourishment directly from the soil in its new roots.
4. When the stump is completely decayed, the new tree is left suspended in mid-air, supported only by its roots. The old stump is only known by the shape of the root structure of the new tree.