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Indian Marker Trees Bent by Native Americans Being Identified and Preserved

Indian Country Today Media Network

Trees bent by Native Americans known as Indian marker trees were young trees that were made to mark trails and landmarks in their home areas.

American Indians or Native Americans were known to bend and reshape young trees so their odd growth would mark certain trails and landmarks.

Now historians are indentifying and preserving these native works of art in an effort to provide a history and chronicle the “living archeology”

What they’ve verified so far is nothing short of amazing.

Steve Houser, an arborist with the Dallas Historic Tree Coalition, said of the trees “If they could talk, the stories they could tell”

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and these living trees have a plethora of just that. Knowing that they grew and survived, coupled with the fact that have garnered such use for Native Americans, groups like Mountain Stewards based in Georgia are ready to protect and maintain these amazing trees.

Take a walk through the fantastic and stunning trees used by American Indians to mark their trails.

Alabama

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Michigan

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Missouri

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Georgia

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Tennessee

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South Carolina

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Wisconsin

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Indiana

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Illinois

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Colorado

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Wallace Coffey, former Comanche Nation chairman said “It’s something that you want to hug and say, ‘Hey, there was a time in your life when you were special to us and now you are still special and look how beautiful you are.’”

Colorado Park Ranger Jeff Wolin even said that the Utes bent the ponderosa pines to mark a trail all the way to Pikes Peak.

Earl Otchingwanigan, Ojibwe tribal member said “A lot of people don’t recognize what they are and they’re a really important part of the history of this country”

Small wonder that so many of us who call the outdoors our second home probably walked right by one these works of native art and thought, “What was it that caused that tree to grow that way?”

Well, wonder no more, and prepare yourself for a new adventure the next time you take a hike somewhere in North America. Out there waiting for you is a trail you’ve never trodden, and that trail has already been marked by some of the greatest hikers in history: our Native American brothers and sisters.

All photos via Great Lakes Trail Tree Society

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Indian Marker Trees Bent by Native Americans Being Identified and Preserved