Kissing Timber | Exterior My Window

Fused ash timber (picture from Wikimedia Commons)

28 November 2023

If you happen to’ve spent lots of time within the woods probability are you’ve see timber kissing. The fusion of their trunks in what appears like a kiss known as inosculation from the Latin phrase for kiss.

College of New Hampshire explains the way it happens:

Inosculation occurs when the friction between two timber causes the outer bark of every tree to scrape off on the level of contact. The timber reply by producing callus tissue that grows outward, thereby rising the strain between the 2 timber. This strain, together with the adhesive nature of sap or pitch that exudes from the injuries, reduces the quantity of motion on the level of contact. The cambia layers from the 2 timber are available in contact and the vascular tissues develop into linked, permitting for the change of vitamins and water.

— UNH: Inosculation: Making Connections within the Woods

Although I’ve seen fused timber a number of occasions, I’ve just one picture of a pair “kissing,” fused twice at Raccoon Creek State Park in February 2015. The date is notable as a result of that hike can be the final time I noticed a long-eared owl.

Two timber “kissing” twice, Raccoon Creek State Park, 8 Feb 2015 (picture by Kate St. John)

An excessive case tweeted by Science lady @gunsnrosesgirl3 jogged my memory of the phenomenon. The smaller tree on the left doesn’t contact the bottom and is totally sustained by the bigger one which’s holding it up. The embedded tweet under doesn’t present that the smaller tree is lower off so click on right here to see a bigger picture.

Some species usually tend to “fuse “kiss” as a result of their bark is skinny. Take a look at this listing of seemingly suspects at Wikipedia.

(credit are within the captions)

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