My Sunday Trees entry for today will focus on both natural and man made difficulties for trees in the Piedmont area of North Carolina. Thanks to Becca Givens for hosting this weekly photo challenge. You can find her blog On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea by clicking on the link. Then you can explore other Sunday Trees posts.
Let’s start with a man made difficulty first. The featured image is of a beautifully shaped tree on the side of Lake Brandt road in Summerfield, North Carolina.
What you cannot see from this angle is the back of the tree that has been cut back to prevent interference with the power lines on that side of the road. Here is a side view.
Half of the growth has been lopped off to prevent downing of the power lines in windy or icy weather. The Piedmont area of NC is subject to freezing rain in the winter, and tree limbs often crack under the weight of the ice and bring down power and telephone lines.
The second difficulty I want to highlight is that of bagworms. Certain varieties of trees are apparently very tasty to this species of moth/caterpillar, so as you drive along the highway, you see some trees infested with these bags while others are completely clear. Here are some shots to give you an idea of how the trees are challenged.
By the end of September, these trees will probably be completely stripped of leaves as the larvae feed.
The third difficulty is that of vines. In particular, I want to highlight the poison ivy vines that can grow up the side of a tree. They look very fuzzy and are really quite dangerous to touch with unprotected skin.
Here is a picture of a vine hanging down from the upper branches that I highlighted by using my flash.
The trees, however, just seem to ignore all of these difficulties and keep right on growing. This is not the case for the following difficulty from which the tree cannot recover.
When water backs up and creates a swamp around mature trees, the trees rarely survive. Here are a few pictures of trees in their last stages before tumbling down into the swamp.
Eight years ago, the larger trees had bird nests for hawks in the upper branches. Now those have disappeared because the trees have become to unstable to support the nests.
I will leave you with a little levity and color. I spied a red-spotted purple butterfly landing almost at my feet and had to snap a picture for everyone to enjoy.
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