Bent Cedar Over Gooseberry River
February 20, 2010
Photographer: Dale Hugo
Summary Author: Dale Hugo
This distorted cedar tree was found at Gooseberry Falls State Park in northeastern Minnesota. A number of years ago, when it wasn’t much more than a sapling, its trunk broke off as it was leaning precariously over the High Falls (the Fifth Falls) of the Gooseberry River. It then continued growing to maturity, using phototropism and geotropism to guide it along a new trajectory. It’s now about 40 feet (12 m) high and is anchored solidly to the rock face -- likely Duluth Gabbro.
This bent old gent has survived not only a rough start but temperatures that may dip to -40 F (-40 C), load-bearing layers of ice and snow, strong winds, and floods. None have seriously deterred its growth. It's a wonderful testament to the resiliency of the cedars that predominate in this area. Photo taken on August 12, 2009 near Two Harbors, Minnesota.