Husband and wife trees

Feb 2005

Thirteen years ago in February, we had snow and I was fascinated by a pair of intertwined beech saplings. Over the years one tree has dominated and has perhaps doubled in circumference whereas the subservient tree, if that is the right term, as hardly grown at all. The two trees have grafted together. The layers of vascular tissue under their bark, or the cambium, have merged. This natural grafting is fairly common where two boughs touch and have been referred to as ‘kissing’ or ‘husband and wife’ trees. Although these trees in Cliff Rigg Wood are in what is more like a full embrace. The scientific name for the phenomena is to inosculate which derives from the Latin for a kiss osculum.
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