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  1. #1
    Stronger than Dirt
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    Trail Marker Trees

    Hi all-

    I have seen a few threads and comments around on Indian Trail Marker trees, thong trees, whatever you want to call them. We have a few on the land we hunt, so I know the basic characteristics. The 2 last photos are a couple from the hunting land, growing in crummy hilltop rocky soils. One is dead from wildfire.

    Saw this one in my neighborhood recently. I never noticed it until I became aware after studying them, but, we are close to a creek and the Trinity River.

    Anyone know much about these?

    a.
    Attached Images Attached Images Trail Marker Trees-image-jpg Trail Marker Trees-image-jpg Trail Marker Trees-image-jpg 
    Last edited by Aharvey; 08-06-2014 at 10:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Tribal Council Member
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    This is the first I've heard of this. Do tell more.
    I've always thought of these trees as ones that have lost their central leader once. Through wind, lightning, disease, human.....
    We're not hunting for the perfect arrowhead. Arrowheads are hunting for the perfect people.

  3. #3
    Desert Rat
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    I personally don't believe any of it. Trees can grow crooked naturally. The whole thing just doesn't make sense to me.

  4. #4
    second star the right...
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    hoot owl trees... Hidden Treasure - The Hoot Owl Tree ? Treasure hunting with truth and insights; an internet 1st?

    i have read into it some. part of the difficulty of finding these are a lot of trees have characteristics that can be defined as such. key is knowing the age of the tree and area. interesting topic none the less.

  5. #5
    PhD in Arrowheadology
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    Sep 2013
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    North west louisiana
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    There was a person a few years ago looking for and marking bent trees in Louisiana. He said they were weighted down as saplings to point the direction to water. He had an article in a newspaper asking for specific size trees . There was one documented in our area.

  6. #6
    Stronger than Dirt
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    There is a lot of information out there about these trees...it's Google worthy. Tribes here in Texas have approved many trees, it's a long process. Natives would bend a sapling of a tree, see sketch below, and attach to the ground. They would mark directions to water, crossings, trails, meeting places, special areas, etc.

    Folks are understandably skeptical. Certainly trees can most likely be malformed by nature and environment. But, like the dead tree in my first post, it's rare that a tree would recover with a perfect 90 degree angle. And I'm not coming at a possible conclusion as a wishful Tree hugger - I have a Masters in Landscape Architecture, have been practicing for 20 years, and have many arborist friends and colleagues that have evaluated them and agree. but, always open to opinions!

    Indian Trail Trees
    Attached Images Attached Images Trail Marker Trees-image-jpg Trail Marker Trees-image-jpg 
    Last edited by Aharvey; 08-07-2014 at 08:56 AM.

  7. #7
    Relic Hunter
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    I read an article written some time back by a highly respected forester. He claimed basically the same thing. During his career he began studying and hunting artifacts. He said they were actually bonsai trees that, although smaller than those around them, would some times be several hundred years old. He said they would wrap the roots in several layers of hide, then surround the hide/root ball with rocks.

    I knew of one as a kid. It was about 10 or so yard from the top of the highest point of a hill, on a ridge top. If you looked along the part that was parallel to the ground, it pointed at a 30 degree angle downhill, directly at a mound/campsite several thousand yards distant. Coincidence? I don't know. Knowing, or well, what I think I know, I wish I still had access to that property. Maybe you could do some investigating to see if it looks like they have been planted such as I described?

  8. #8
    Relic Hunter
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    I got to looking around to see if I could find any of this guys writings. His name was Emmett A. Conway, and I knew he'd passed on. I'd met this guy several times back in the day, but sadly never knew his interest in artifacts until it was too late. Fortunately, his daughter is maintaining a kinda tribute website with some of his writings. Here is all I could find:

    Native American Signal Tree Discovered in Scioto valley, Ohio

  9. #9
    Knapper, not a hunter
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    About 36 years ago when I was living in Cherokee Co., GA, I found several extremely interesting books in the little Woodstock, GA library. They were records of very old Cherokee Indian stories. Some of those books discussed various ways the Cherokees marked trails and places. One of those marking methods discussed was "knee trees". I remember another one in particular that was mentioned in relation to the Cherokee Nation's depository for personal items and valuables that they could not afford to lose on the trail of tears. That story included mention of a tree that was lying across the top of a mound that I took to be a mound they created for the occasion.

    WA

  10. #10
    Relic Hunter
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    Oklahoma
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    I've found a few of these trees.....all but one of them points to a natural spring/water.
    The big tree in the upper left hand corner is pointing to something else...we metal detected near it and found some neat stuff.....It's a burr oak tree and is at least 100 years old I bet.
    Trail Marker Trees-trail-trees-collage-1024x836-jpg
    Brethren, we must go amongst them!

 

 

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