Giving Thanks for Trail Trees and Other Native Contributions

November 30, 2020 · 1 minute read
Giving Thanks for Trail Trees and Other Native Contributions

As I write this on the eve of Thanksgiving, I realize that 2020 has been a challenging year in so many ways. I think about America’s history and the history of our first Thanksgiving almost 400 years ago, and I imagine all the things, good and bad, that have brought us all here, together, at this moment. I can’t help but feel incredibly grateful and thankful for everything we have to share with one another. 

As an arborist, my mind also naturally wanders to trees. I can’t help but think about some of the interesting and helpful things the Native Amercians have shared with us related to trees. My favorite: trail trees.

While we walk through our beautiful parks, we now have all kinds of signage to guide us in the right direction!

Hundreds of years ago, however, Native Americans used trees as trail markers – bending them into distinct shapes at a young age to grow into mature and distinct navigational markers.

Even experts have a difficult time determining the difference between a trail tree and a tree that has sustained damage through a naturally occurring event like the one pictured below. Any guesses on which park you may have seen this in Richmond?

Whether a true Native American trail tree or a very distinct tree caused by a naturally occurring event, these markers can often guide us along our path.  

It’s been an interesting year, to say the least. Maybe we can think about all the events of 2020, large and small, as markers we can use to learn, grow and come together on our path in life. 

Again, I feel grateful and I am thankful for my family, my TrueTimber family and my extended TrueTimber family (You, the reader).  My best to you and yours – Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving!