Friday, August 14, 2015

Resilient Arbutus menziesii

Arbutus menziesii (madrone) have a preference for sunny dry spots and hence are a common tree along shoreline bluffs often growing along the bluff edge. That habit means they do fall off the bluffs. But their tolerance for drought conditions and disturbance allows for survival and even thriving under extreme conditions of nearly being uprooted as demonstrated by this tree.     

Another nearby tree had recently broken off due to the structural strain along with some wind but was still alive sending up new growth from the broken off trunk. I have seen this same habit in burned over areas with madrones and sites where madrones were cut down.

Geology note: in the above image the base of the bluff is sandstone bedrock overlain by glacial drift. 

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