Saturday, May 12, 2012

Moose Tree Nature Preserve: Why the name?

The "Moose Tree"
All photos by Jonathan Schechter

The Moose Tree is an oak tree with a strange growth on the trunk that looks like a moose's head!
It is actually a growth known as a gall, tissue growth within the tree that is stimulated by fungi, insects or bacteria It's not harmful to the tree and  this oddly shaped tree gall is a delight for children at the preserve. 
And that answers the question posed in  my Oakland Outdoors hiking column in the Sunday, May 13th edition of The Oakland Press that explores the trails and landscape of Lake Orion Community School's Moose Tree Nature Preserve.

Below, more tree images from this 35 acre sanctuary in Lake Orion, Michigan.

High winds have created windthrows: large trees that in their death support new life.

A large leaning black cherry is supported by his 'brother' oak.

New red maple leaves sprout from a stately old red maple at the swamp's edge.

Another large ash tree has succumbed to the Emerald Ash Borer

The preserve's trees provide habitat for countless species and ring vernal ponds

Home sweet home for the eastern chipmunk!


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