TD-40

Tree structures? My experience from yesterday.

27 posts in this topic

I encountered these yesterday while hiking into a remote river in Idaho to go fishing where I did see a footprint about four years ago. There are no trails in the area. I walk straight through the thicket to get to my destination and have take this route several times in recent years.

 

The aspens... I don't know what to think because as you can see some of them in this little area were pulled down while others in the area were not. I show some of the breaks up close. However, I did see quite a few aspens that looked like this in the larger area as I continued my hike so I tend to think that they were not intentionally pushed over. I wonder what force of nature may have done this.

 

The pines were the most interesting because they had clear breaks about halfway up and some of them looked like they had been stacked on top of each other... Biggie?

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One more picture

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Why doesn't Photobucket work anymore?

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Edited by TD-40
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I have been trying all morning to get this last picture added to the thread:

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Forest forensics is a good subject to study up on for all Bigfooters and skeptics alike. Your photos are very cool. But in order to deconstruct the meaning of what we are looking at it becomes necessary to know the compass direction toward where the trees fell. Winds in the winter are different than in summer and storms come from different directions along with snow loads and ice events. The conditions of one tree may be such that it was more likely to succumb to forces where it's neighbors did not.Forest forensics also talk about the age of downed trees as well as the splits at the base that are shown in a couple of picks. I'll do some review of the two books that I have to see what I can find.

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All the downed trees were pointing in an east/southeast directiom.

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Well, we can start with this perhaps. These are AVERAGED wind directions so don't really include individual storms, downbursts, microbursts, ice storms, dereche events and other short term high wind situations. This is not anywhere near a full answer as you know but it's a start just to get a feel for seasonal wind direction readings month to month:

 

https://wrcc.dri.edu/htmlfiles/westwinddir.html

"Prevailing wind direction is based on the hourly data from 1992-2002 and is defined as the
direction with the highest percent of frequency.  Many of these locations have very close
secondary maximum which can lead to noticeable differences month to month."

 

Idaho Prevailing Winds- Monthly Averages.PNG

 

 

 

 

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My rule of thumb on this is that if I can imagine how natural forces could do it,  they are most likely the reason for the fall.    I often stand for 5 minutes looking at something suspicious, before I  figure out how it could have happened naturally.   If you want to think everything is BF related, it is not hard to talk yourself into that but you are in most cases likely to be wrong.    While winds may be prevailing or strong winds normally from a certain direction,    thunderstorms produce strong down draft winds that radiate out in all directions from the thunderstorm.     I have seen down tree patterns that look like a bomb went off in the middle except for a patch of trees right in the middle still standing that were under the center of the storm.  

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This article should finish setting the stage for Idaho. After that it comes down to the actual trees and 'lay of the land' itself on a more local level:

https://www.weather.gov/boi/climatesummary

 

I can easily see the cause of the tree break in your last image.Now I'm ready to study your photos. 

Edited by hiflier
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I have seen lightning break trees like that and not leave burn marks. The trees just explode. But the trees did look like they had been stacked. These are not elaborate tree structures but still seemed odd to me and I didn't not see others.

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The tree running across and behind the tree on the left and the tree on the right in the last photo was the lever point. When wind caught the thin  fallen tree it snapped right at the crossing point where it's trunk contacted the crossways tree. That horizontally crossed tree being pinned couldn't give way to the falling tree which then broke off at that lever point. I'll look at the other photos and see what's up. Usually trees lying in one direction are an obvious sigh of a strong wind event. The fact that needles are still present though brown says the trees were downed about two years ago. I would look for a strong storm that occurred in spring or summer that had a minimum 35 mph wind load in 2015.   

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33 minutes ago, TD-40 said:

I have seen lightning break trees like that and not leave burn marks. The trees just explode. But the trees did look like they had been stacked. These are not elaborate tree structures but still seemed odd to me and I didn't not see others.

Yes, they do look very odd. Very good chance these are exactly what you think they might be. Nice eye, TD-40! Good finds, and keep looking!

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Here are two examples that I ran across on a camping trip in Northern Maine in '06. Definitely high wind events as these two groups were pretty large trees. BTW, these B&W photos were taken with an old 1970's Pentax K1000 thumb winder film camera. Yep, I was old school then- still am:

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Edited by hiflier
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Are there any chances of ice storms in the area?  The bent aspens got my attention.  The pines - well, seen a lot of them like that in my time, so I'm less apt to think anything peculiar is going on there.

 

An ice storm along Minnesota's North Shore of Lake Superior in late March 2009 coated birch trees, and everything else, with up to two inches (five centimeters) of ice! An accumulation of a quarter inch (half a centimeter) or more can cause severe damage. Because tree limbs were completely glazed over, the weight of all the ice bent the more supple trees but snapped the more brittle species. Due to their high surface-to-volume ratio, trees are more susceptible to damage during ice storms than during many other severe weather events.

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TD-40  Check out this thread for more tree "stuff": 

 

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           I find this a very interesting topic.  Thank you for the photographs.  To me, the photos show damage almost undoubtedly caused by high velocity wind damage in a "frozen" forest.  The wind chart suggests strong winds from the NW consistent with a Siberian down flow. 

        Anyway, as WSA surmises, "there is something ...."  In our experience, windfalls of interest tend to fall in a tepee like manner, or next to a larger tree to make a "shelter" that a roughly six foot man can stand under.  It took me years of studying one before I thought, "this was a birthing place!" 

          I can go on and on about this having grown up next to forest land with a long history of "BF" reports.  My best two clicks of "shelter" downs are on the other computer.  Sorry.  One was found by Todd Neiss in the upper Clackamas, and one by me in the central Oregon Coast Range. 

        Just my opinion from wandering the forests with nothing to do but look at "stuff" and think about it.  Joe Beelart, near Portland, Oregon 

Quick edit:  I had a feeling the southern Idaho wind locations probably don't apply to the location, but that was just my guess; if wrong, I apologize. 

Edited by joebeelart
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