Tree Death

Ignite and I came across two newly fallen trees the other day on a bike ride through the hills of Kamloops. Usually, fallen trees don’t spark any interest in me, but after noticing the barbed-wire fence that ran through their stumps and a few other trees in the area, I had to wonder if that is what caused them to die… I brought a camera along on yesterdays ride and snapped a pic of the carnage. We were rushed for time so the pic isn’t very good, but it kinda captures what is going on… Any tree experts in here? Did barbed-wire kill those trees? One obviously fell into the other and they both went down.

We had riden the trail the day prior and the trees were standing, the next day they were laying across the road. I just find it interesting I guess. My best guess is that even though the tree managed to grow around the wire, it didn’t ‘heal’ and eventually choked. A tree of that size must need most of its ‘plumbing’ to survive. They still had green growth on them, but not nearly as much as other trees of similar size.


I heard that is the best way to choke off a tree for what ever reason, a tree that may be in the way or trees for future use. In the case you explained it seems that the one who built the fence lacks prediction or just thought that the tree would grow around the wire. Not a chance, it’s a very, very slow death. The long goodbye :arrow_right:

Mmm, I wish I could actually look at the tree. Is it possible that the barbed wire was nailed to the tree for a fence post? Or did the tree just grow into the wire?

The wire doesn’t look like it was wrapped around the stem of the tree, so it probably didn’t fully girdle the trees cambium layer, which usually kills the tree. Although it may not have girdled the tree though it still is a wound and a likely spot for infection. Any parasites or fungus could have gained entry through where the wire has grown into the tree and ultimately killed the tree.

Just from the picture of that broken stump I’d say that tree was dead for a long time. The wood looks rotton and not fresh. If you looked at the exposed wood you may have saw long tendrils of white in the wood. That would suggest a fungal infection. If not it could have been some sort of beatle, or perhaps the wire cut off enough of the cambium layer to actually kill it. The cambium layer is important, the outside produces phloem (the area that transports sugars and so forth from the leaves to the roots for storage) while the inside of the cambium layer produces woody material that increases the trees diameter.

Hope that helps!

No fence posts, so I assume that the wire was nailed to the trees. Couldn’t say yes or no for sure if there was any beatle chew or white rot stuff… I think it looked fairly decompossed though.