I was walking the boundaries of a 78 acre tract of land I have for sale in Perry County, Alabama and found this amazing witness tree.
A few days ago, my friend Robert King, an agent with AlaLandCo, posted an article that talked about witness trees and arborglyphs in Bankhead National Forest. It is striking that I read that article and found this tree in the same week.
The 78 acre hunting tract joins the Talladega National Forest on several sides. As I was walking the east boundary of the property, I came across this large tree, which I take for a tulip poplar (I am not a forester). The tree was so large that I had to reach around it twice just to measure its girth.
A witness tree is one that has been marked in some way to indicate the location of a property boundary, some significant land mark, or cultural event. A tree that bears drawings from Native Americans or others is called an arborglyph. In the picture above you will notice that someone made marks in the tree with an axe or other sharp instrument. The tree bears many markings. Some other trees that have been culturally modified are called “trail trees“. These trees have a sharp curve in them, that usually point in a specific direction or indicate that water or shelter is close by.
Witness trees are becoming increasingly rare, particularly in West Alabama. Alabama has an active logging industry, and the sheer age of these trees means that we are losing more and more of these historical artifacts as time passes.
I suppose it is inevitable that many of these trees will be lost to disease, storms, logging, or old age, but everyone who is interested should have the opportunity to see how forest boundaries were marked before the advent of modern survey equipment, barbed wire, and the gps.
This particular witness tree is located about 500′ off the north side of Perry County Road 23, along the Talladega National Forest boundary. If you would like more information about the location of this tree or land for sale bordering the Talladega National Forest, please contact me.
I strongly believe that owning land that joins a National Forest or management area is a great investment. They are some of the best neighbors you can have. Please call me for all of your rural Alabama land needs.