Five Points Trail Guide Sign 13 - Darkness, Light and Multiple Trunks

The difference in tree canopy is visible when you walk out of the coniferous forest into the deciduous forest. Deciduous trees tend to produce a more dappled shade and grow further apart, whereas the shade in a coniferous forest is thick and dark. This makes it quite obvious that these areas would be suitable for different species.

Walking into this part of the trail can be dark and spooky, but don’t let it fool you! It is only dark because the needles on these coniferous trees are very dense and the trees grow very close together.

Now we meet the triplets. These three trees are growing from the same root system! Multi-trunked trees form when the original stem of the tree was damaged, broken or browsed by animals resulting in new stems sprouting from the roots. Often, these stems are all similar in age and size. This phenomena is common in trees that grow in floodplains, such as Willow and Silver Maple because they are often damaged during floods. This is also common after a logging operation, where more small trees are damaged and re-sprout from stumps.