These Trees Are Used By Native Americans For A Purpose That Has Incredible Meaning Behind It

The average person can most likely identify only a few types of trees, like an oak or a pine. There are some trees, however, that you can’t help but pay attention to when you come across them in the wilderness.

Native Americans refer to them as “marker trees.”   These natural structures were a way for  to communicate important information from nation to nation. You can always spot a marker tree by its curved trunk. Marker trees are becoming harder and harder to find.  Thanks to Dennis Downes, these gorgeous landmarks will be preserved for years to come. Check out the images below to learn more about these mysterious trees and the special purpose they served in Native American cultures.

Hundreds of years ago, Native Americans navigated the land without any help from Google Maps or Yelp.

Trees Used By Native Americans 1

They relied on nature to help them find their way and send important messages to one another.

Trees Used By Native Americans 2

Have you ever seen a tree shaped like this?

Trees Used By Native Americans 3

They’re called “marker trees” or “trail trees,” and they held a wealth of information for Native Americans. Believe it or not, these trees were manipulated to grow in specific directions.

Trees Used By Native Americans 4

Members of different nations would use these trees to mark borders and guide travelers toward food and water. This tree stands in between two neighboring nations, which explains why its trunk points in two different directions.

Trees Used By Native Americans 5

They pointed out everything from plants that could be used for medicine to sacred burial sites.

Trees Used By Native Americans 6

Marker trees situated near rivers would indicate areas that were safe to cross.

Trees Used By Native Americans 7

Different nations had their own unique shapes to communicate a variety of messages.

Trees Used By Native Americans 8

Just like the highway signs we use today, navigating the dense forests of early America would have been difficult without marker trees.

Trees Used By Native Americans 9

Native Americans were highly skilled when it came to following trails created by animals. Unfortunately, they needed to begin forging their own paths, and marker trees were the best means they had at their disposal.

Trees Used By Native Americans 10

Oaks, maples, and elms tended to make the best marker trees.

Trees Used By Native Americans 11

When settlers from Europe landed in America, they, too, learned how to read marker trees.

Trees Used By Native Americans 12

There aren’t many marker trees around today, but that hasn’t stopped Dennis Downes from sharing their fascinating history with people.

Trees Used By Native Americans 13

Downes founded the Great Lakes Trail Marker Tree Society to preserve these national treasures wherever they grow. He even conducts demonstrations that show people how saplings were shaped into marker trees.

Trees Used By Native Americans 14

Here’s the process, broken down step-by-step:

Trees Used By Native Americans 15

So, the next time you walk through the woods, make sure to be on the lookout for marker trees. They’re living pieces of history that many people will never notice.

Trees Used By Native Americans 16

Check out this video for even more information on these fascinating trees:

(Source)

If you know someone who might like this, please click “Share!”