Tree Poaching – The Latest Trend in Crimes Against Nature
It’s hard to imagine a world without trees, but already there are only 2 true forests left on planet earth. Mother nature is increasingly under attack these days, if not by industrialists and multi-national corporations, then by otherwise ordinary people who seem to have lost all connection with nature.
Tree poaching in the Redwood National Forest and other State Parks in the foggy region of Western United States between Northern California and Oregon is spreading, and park rangers are finding that burlwood thieves are doing greater levels of damage to these ancient trees, that are in some cases are over 2000 years old.
Old growth coastal Redwood trees are one of earth’s remaining natural treasures, and after the intense logging of the last couple of centuries, very few remain.
It’s appalling then to see that so many trees are being attacked and stripped of their burls, which are interesting formations of wood that form on the trunks of Redwoods, and baffle scientists. Burlwood is a complex combination of bud tissue that produces an extraordinarily beautiful deep red pattern, but cutting into the burls from the trees can kill the tree or prevent it from reproducing.
“Burl is the knobby growth most commonly seen at base of some coast redwoods, though it can also be found high in the canopy as well. Burl is a woody material full of unsprouted bud tissue. It serves as a storage compartment for the genetic code of the parent tree. If the redwood falls or is damaged, the burl may sprout another redwood tree known as a clone.” [National Park Service]
Poachers are using evermore brazen tactics, and park officials believe that this is the result of an economy in decline as well as skyrocketing rates of methamphetamine use in these area of the nation. ‘Midnight burlers,’ is the name they’ve been given by locals who are extremely upset about the rising trend.
In 2014, a massive, 400 year-old Redwood was felled by midnight burlers just to cut a 500-pound burl that was 60 plus feet up, representing the first time that an entire tree had been killed for a single burl. A tragedy.
“The burl was so massive that the thieves wound up dragging it behind their vehicle, leaving a trail of skid marks. The trail led rangers two and a half miles to the Redwood Highway — U.S. 101. They found the burl stashed beneath an overpass for safekeeping.” [Source]
The burls bring a tidy profit where they ultimately end up in the inventories of craftsman who turn the gorgeous burls into furniture and other fine products.
“A redwood tree can survive a burl being cut off, but the legacy of an organism that could be 1,000 years old is threatened, because the burl is where it sprouts a clone before dying. Sprouting from burls is the prevalent method of redwood propagation.” [Source]
Read more articles from Vic Bishop.
Poaching burls from these incredible trees leaves them scarred and can render them more susceptible to insects and disease, while also making it difficult for the tree to reproduce. Such destruction of nature for small time profit and financial gain is a yet another sign that the human race is in living in serious disharmony with nature.
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