[at-l] "Special" AT trees...

Jim Bullard jim.bullard at gmail.com
Thu Apr 12 21:02:47 CDT 2007


According to the article they have forgotten the skill due to a lack
of trees in Oklahoma. It does not explain the forgetting by those who
remained in the area so perhaps it has simply not occurred to anyone
to ask those still in the area but that would be a logical step in
researching it.

I remain skeptical. It smacks too much of the "Indian names" that were
assigned to various locations in the Adirondacks in years past. I.E.
There is a plaque on the summit of Mt. Marcy explaining that its
original name, bestowed by the Native Americans, was Tahawus, meaning
"cloud splitter". That notion was debunked in 1927 in the book Peaks
and People of the Adirondacks by Russell M.L. Carson pp. 57-59 where
the author explains that the name Tahawus was the invention of a
newspaper writer Charles Fenno Hoffman. He had knowledge of Indian
languages and after a visit to the Adirondacks he dubbed the highest
peak Tahawus a full month after it had already been named Mt. Marcy by
Ebenezer Emmons.

Ironically the name Tahawus is still preferred by some as its supposed
original name despite the discrepancy in dates and the fact that the
Indian word applied to the mountain by Hoffman was from a Western NY
tribe's language, not the language of the Natives in the area of
Adirondacks. Romantic notions are often so appealing that people
ignore more mundane explanations.

In future I will be paying more attention to such trees and
photographing them as a matter of curiosity. Most similar trees that I
have seen are clearly much younger than 175 or so.

On 4/12/07, pudscrawler at aol.com <pudscrawler at aol.com> wrote:
>
> I don't buy the idea that the trees were deformed intentionally by human
> hands.  Even if I did though, it seems to me that a primary source of
> information would be the Cherokee themselves.  Many eluded the US soldiers
> who "helped" them to their new homes in Oklahoma.  Their descendants are
> everywhere, but, as a tribe, they are located on the Cherokee reservation at
> Cherokee, North Carolina.  They are very careful to record and preserve
> their history.  Surely such a practice as bending tree growth for markers
> would be common knowledge among them.  Lawdy, lawdy, why not just ask?
>
> Sawnie
> (Kinnickinic)
>
>
>  -----Original Message-----
>  From: jim.bullard at gmail.com
>  To: at-l at backcountry.net
>  Sent: Thu, 12 Apr 2007 9:17 PM
>  Subject: Re: [at-l] "Special" AT trees...
>
>
> RE: The theory that the deformations were the result of Native
> American 'trail marking'.
>
> The theory suggests that it was the Cherokees who marked their trails
> in this way. The removal of the Cherokees from that area to Oklahoma
> occurred 169 years ago. That means that the affected trees would have
> to be at least 175+ years old to have been large enough saplings for
> such modification. Has anyone checked to see if these trees are that
> old?
>
> On 4/12/07, Carla & Dave Hicks <daveh at psknet.com> wrote:
> > I'm not saying that humans, native or otherwise, didn't "make" such trees.
> In
> > fact, it make sense that they did -- to mark things.
> >
> > However, to say that nature could not do it is contrary to my experience.
> >
> > I have seen far younger trees in such formations. I have seen spring poles
> > (made by deadfalls, whole trees, or just tops) survive in a bent/arched
> over
> > form. Either the main leader turns back upwards, or a branch becomes the
> > leader. After some time, the deadfall rots away and strangely formed
> younger
> > tree remains. In the north snow can do it.
> >
> > As far south as PA, deer eat the tops out of trees (or just the terminal
> buds
> > of the leader), often at some height off the ground -- while standing on
> > packed snow. Even farther south the leader, or its terminal bud, can be
> > damaged by insect, wind, etc. Again a strangely shaped tree can result.
> This
> > time it can rise straight up for some distant, make a right angle turn to
> the
> > horizontal, run horizontally for a distance, and then make another right
> angle
> > turn back to the vertical. I have cut some of these only inches in
> diameter
> > to make walking sticks.
> >
> > Chainsaw
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Linda Patton" <lpatton at mailer.fsu.edu>
> > To: "AT-L listserv" <at-l at backcountry.net>
> > Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2007 6:00 PM
> > Subject: [at-l] "Special" AT trees...
> >
> >
> > Debbie Gilbert writes some interesting newspaper articles. Here's one,
> > "Group looks to map 'trail trees":
> >
> >
> http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/stories/20070411/localnews/166713.shtml
> >
> > ~~ eArThworm
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> 10:44
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> --
> Jim Bullard
> http://jims-ramblings.blogspot.com/
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-- 
Jim Bullard
http://jims-ramblings.blogspot.com/



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