If You Come Across A Bent Tree In The Forest, Immediately Check Your Surroundings



Now that the summer heat wave has come and gone, the prospect of outdoor exploration has become a lot more palatable than before. The cooler temperatures allow us to spend more time outdoors and while it may be tempting to simply grab your hiking boots for your next expedition without reading any further, there are a few things that you need to know about the bent trees you are bound to come across in the forest.

American Forests has a helpful website that is designed to warn hikers about bent trees and what they signify. If you see a bent tree, this typically indicates the presence of a Native American trail. The trees are bent because the Native Americans in the region tied them down, which allowed them to grow in this unique manner and ensured that the bend would become a permanent feature.

This tree bending method was used by a variety of Native American tribes and by bending younger trees, they were able to create a series of trail markers that could not be removed. Thanks to this technique, they were able to create safe paths and point the way towards important landmarks, as well as areas where food and water can be found.

However, it is important for readers to remember that all of the bent trees that they come across cannot necessarily be attributed to the actions of Native Americans. Bent trees may take place because of Mother Nature and if the tree was purposefully bent by Native Americans, there will be a very noticeable notch or nose that can be found at the end of the bend that is created.

If you would like another foolproof method for differentiating between a tree that was bent by Mother Nature and one that was bent by Native Americans, then take a closer look at the inner bed’s top part. Trees that were bent by Native Americans will have scarring in this area because of the straps that were tied around them when they were younger.

Those who wish to learn more about these trees are urged to check out the following video, so that they can see one of these trees for themselves. The Mountain Stewards also offers additional information about the bent trees in our nation’s woods, by mapping out the locations of over 1,000 bent trees and letting hikers know where to find them.


log in

Become a part of our community!

reset password

Back to
log in