I briefly saw a photograph, but was unable to capture it so I can’t do an image search on it. And many attempts at googling have utterly failed me.
The picture showed a long driveway (I think it wasn’t paved with asphalt or the like, just beaten dirt, maybe?) running between two lines of trees. My impression was it was a private way leading up to some substantial house/manor/building of some kind. The trees had NO branches or forks for a significant height, maybe six or eight feet? It’s hard to be sure because there was nothing else in the frame to gauge the size by.
Clearly this was a deliberately created way, the trees were evenly spaced apart from one another, and formed a straight line along the drive on both sides. The trees were substantially grown but not aged, as in, they looked to be of normal trunk width, versus being sapling or gnarled or twisted by happenstances over many decades.
But what really struck the eye was that the bark on each of the trees changed from one color and texture to another in an abrupt straight horizontal line, with a somewhat darker line between the two, as if it were a scar? Still guessing, but the dividing line was maybe four feet above the ground.
From the ground up to the ‘scar’ the trees has fairly dark gray, ordinarily rough bark – not shaggy or peeling, just with areas irregularly higher or lower than other bits. From the scar up, the bark became many shades lighter and much smoother – almost as smooth as birch bark, but nowhere near that white.
It looked for all the world as if someone had grown a tree for a while, then lopped it off vertically at three/four feet or whatever and grafted on the upper part of an entirely different species. And done this over and over, to create two solid lines of these altered trees to act as a showcase for their house access road.
The thing is, I’ve never heard of anyone doing that, as a horticultural technique.
My initial ‘mental interpretation’ on seeing the picture was that someone had cut around the tree at that height and then peeled off all its bark from that point up but
- I’m pretty sure that girdling a tree like that would simply kill it quite quickly
- There was no diameter difference between the trunks above and below the scar, which surely there would have to be if you’d peeled off the original bark?
I know this doesn’t ‘matter’, but it was just such a baffling sight. I’ve seen many pictures of trees that had been pollarded or coppiced or had other varieties grafted onto them or been topiaried in various ways, but I’ve never seen or read of anything like this being done on such a large scale.
Does anyone recognize what I’m trying to describe?