Groups Work to Save Aging Trail-Marking Trees

Group documents nearly 2,000 trees

By Jamie Stengle
|  Monday, Apr 2, 2012  |  Updated 10:50 AM CDT
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Groups Work to Save Aging Trail-Marking Trees

Flickr/GollyGforce

Trees bent like the one above could have been bent intentionally by Native Americans.

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The pecan tree, more than 300 years old, stands out from the others in a forested area of Dallas, a 25-foot segment of its trunk slightly bowed and running almost parallel to the ground before jutting high up into the sky.

It, like numerous others across the country known as Indian marker trees or trail trees, was bent in its youth by American Indians to indicate such things as a trail or a low-water creek crossing.

Those working to identify the trees say their mission is becoming more urgent as the years pass and more are being lost to old age.

The Georgia-based nonprofit group Mountain Stewards has been compiling a database of the trees, so far documenting about 1,850 trees in 39 states.

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