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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Abnormalities in the woods

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

We have all seen them.

Some individuals have even taken photos of them.

Perhaps you even have one growing in your yard.

I know we have one growing on our farm.

By now, you are probably wondering what I am referring to.

I am referring to twisted and weird shaped trees.

Every so often, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources puts out a booklet of "weird" trees.

This booklet contains one example for each county.

The latest edition, "Invasion of the Weird Trees," just came out and is available by going to the publications list on the Indiana DNR website.

This is the fifth volume of the booklet, and they are already taking submission for the 2016 booklet.

If you think you have a tree that would be considered "weird," then snap a photo of it and send it and your contact information to your local District Forester.

The current weird tree in Clay County was submitted by Sheila Ter Meer.

The tree appears to be connected about 10-feet in air to another tree.

The current weird tree in Owen County was submitted by James Grubb.

This tree looks like a needle and has a rather large area for you to loop the thread through it.

Other weird trees found throughout the booklet include one growing through a piece of farm machinery, trees that curve and some with interesting knots on their side.

If you are wondering what might have caused the abnormalities, then I have some information for you.

In the situation of trees growing through objects, it is probably the case that the object was placed on the tree thinking that it will move higher on the tree as it grows.

However, that isn't the case because the tree grows from the tips and increases with width.

As it increases in width, the tree essentially consumes the object and embeds it within the trunk.

Trees that are curved could be the result of trees adjusting to reach for sun or due to damages.

For instance, if the tree initially started to grow to the side because it was tied down, it will eventually twist and curve until it is growing straight up toward the sun.

The same process occurs with other plants.

On a slightly different note, I would like to encourage anyone interested in bees to think about joining the beekeeping club that is forming in Owen County.

The next meeting will be Nov. 6, 2012, at 6:30 p.m., at the Owen County 4-H Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall.

They are planning on doing a "Winter Feeding Workshop" -- with demonstrations on candy boards and possibly a few alternative sources (such as fondants, sugar bricks, and "Mountain Camp Method").

If you have any hives or would like to learn more about beekeeping, please attend this meeting.

As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture or natural resource topic, then please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly at smith535@purdue.edu.

Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* Nov. 6 -- County Holiday, Extension Office closed,

* Nov. 6 -- Owen County Beekeeper Meeting, 6:30 p.m., Owen County 4-H Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall,

* Nov. 7-8 -- Veterans and Agriculture: Opportunities for Employment, Entrepreneurship and Enrichment. Cost is $125 for two days or $95 for one day, in West Lafayette. Call 1-800-825-4264 to register,

* Nov. 12 -- County Holiday, Extension Office closed, and

* Nov. 13 -- MarketReady Indiana, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Cost is $60 in Bloomington. Call 812-349-2575 to register.

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