Ask a Question forum: inosculation of trees

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TEXAS
Jbridges9376
Mar 4, 2018 9:35 PM CST
I found this tree scenario on my property and was wondering what exactly do you call the situation.... I've looked everywhere on the internet and cannot find exactly what transpired here with the oak tree changing its characteristics into the pine tree.... The oak tree exterior and structure above the conjoined area looks to be a hybrid pine trees and not a oak tree anymore.... I was wondering exactly what happened scientifically or did the genetic makeup change above this point and create a hybrid oak pine tree?


Thumb of 2018-03-05/Jbridges9376/8ebbfa

Name: Porkpal
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porkpal
Mar 4, 2018 10:17 PM CST
Interesting! What is going on at the top?
Porkpal
TEXAS
Jbridges9376
Mar 4, 2018 10:23 PM CST
Sorry I did not get a picture of the top... The trunk of the tree very slowly tapers off just as a pine tree not like a White Oaks which gets pretty narrow at the top. No big side branches like a why don't usually does just a top canopy like a pine tree... No pine cones were president On the Oak Tree upper limbs..it was bare.... But it's definitely shaped like a pine tree not as similar as other oak trees near it....I'm so confused.. it literally looks like a hybrid tree.
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greene
Mar 5, 2018 4:27 AM CST
Check back after the trees leaf out and get more photos, please.
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Name: Sue
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sooby
Mar 5, 2018 6:30 AM CST
A pine tree is evergreen so it should have needles year round on any part that is pine. It would be useful to be able to see more of the trees. From what I read it is possible for different species to conjoin although more common with related trees. But I just wonder if it has the appearance of being joined but actually that is just callous tissue from the trunks rubbing together. The bark of each trunk looks the same all the way up in the picture.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Mar 5, 2018 7:27 AM CST
I really hope you can get more pictures of the whole tree combination before and after they leaf out.
Porkpal
Name: Sue
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sooby
Mar 5, 2018 7:39 AM CST
If the pine is still alive it should be permanently leafed out. If there are no needles on the pine part at all perhaps it is dead (or a deciduous tree and not a pine).
[Last edited by sooby - Mar 5, 2018 7:41 AM (+)]
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Mar 5, 2018 7:54 AM CST
Or a chimera?
Porkpal
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plantladylin
Mar 5, 2018 7:56 AM CST
I never thought different trees would conjoin but apparently according to this article, it happens: http://www.thefranklinnewspost...

We had a pine in our yard grow up through an oak (or vice versa) but they weren't conjoined; when we were having trees trimmed u[ before hurricane season last year, we had the pine removed. I always called them the hugging trees:
Thumb of 2018-03-05/plantladylin/6af982 Thumb of 2018-03-05/plantladylin/6363d5

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Leftwood
Mar 5, 2018 8:54 AM CST
I see how you could think that oak bark is changing into a pine, but no. That is the natural progression as the oak bark ages. There will be varying degrees of change on other oak tree bark, but you will find that same phenomena on all the oaks of the same kind. However, it is interesting how quickly and uniformly it changes, isn't it. Some people are tall, some short, some thin, some fatter, yet we are all the same species - Homo sapiens. So it is with plants (including oaks). The growth pattern is due to this natural variation within the oak species genetics, and also influenced by surroundings. (The shape of the canopy is heavily influenced by light. A tree in a forest may be tall and narrow, while the same tree in an open meadow is short and wide.)

other examples of White oak bark:

Thumb of 2018-03-05/Leftwood/dd603e Thumb of 2018-03-05/Leftwood/5b617d

There are instances where natural mutations that occur within a tree's genetics can "spread" through the tree, and instances where forced unions (like fruit tree grafts) of compatible species can influence the "whole" tree, but this could not be one of those. The "conjoined" trees mentioned in the above link, are like siamese twins when closely related compatible species are involved. (They exchange fluids.) But in this case of the oak and pine, with such vast incompatibility, there is no physical connect other than proximity.
TEXAS
Jbridges9376
Mar 6, 2018 12:04 AM CST
Thank you guys for your input and thoughts I was definitely puzzled..I will post full pics this week and detailed pictures of the upper limbs which looked exactly like flaky pine tree bark.

So LEFTWOOD...so what is exactly happening inside the oak trunk were the pine tree limb has grown into....are they sharing nutrients? Vascular? Or is the pine tree just inserted inside and the oak tree has just grown around it and has stressed the oak in a way that just happens to mimic a pine tree? Is it possible for the pine tree to have influenced the oak trees characteristics? Genetic Code?
TEXAS
Jbridges9376
Mar 6, 2018 12:21 AM CST
Both trees are healthy and there is no rubbing of trunks...the pictures that you guys have shown and on the internet do not reflect this scenario.....this is 2 different species conjoined at one small particular lower/early point not trunks and were 1 species has protruded the other with a limb into the trunk of another which appears to have changed the characteristics progressively as you go higher in the tree...All research and pictures show 2 different species keeping there natural characteristics for each tree...not what is reflected here... I will show more pics this week. Thank you for any scientific possibilities or likely causes to the sudden change in the oak tree where I have examine over 5 Acres of White Oaks on the exact property and found nothing like the characteristics of this white oak.
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sooby
Mar 6, 2018 5:52 AM CST
So are you saying there are no pine needles anywhere on the tree/s?

You may find these articles interesting:

http://blogs.discovermagazine....

https://www.mpimp-golm.mpg.de/...

But in this particular thread, not only are they different species, it is also an angiosperm and a gymnosperm unless the second tree is not a pine but another deciduous tree. On that thought, I found this:

http://www.madsci.org/posts/ar...
[Last edited by sooby - Mar 6, 2018 7:06 AM (+)]
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TEXAS
Jbridges9376
Mar 6, 2018 9:01 AM CST
The pine tree does have needles present and the oak tree top is bare.

Sooby.....those a great articles and answered all my questions thank you so very much....so I now see research has proven in this particular case that genetic information can be shared between two different species hand or nutrients which could cause various characteristic changes such has been displayed and this white oak tree...
[Last edited by Jbridges9376 - Mar 6, 2018 9:15 AM (+)]
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Name: Rick R.
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Leftwood
Mar 6, 2018 4:53 PM CST
If indeed there is such a transfer in your example, Jbridges9376, then that union must be very old. Changes in the growth pattern (i.e. canopy shape) do not change already produced material (the existing branch structure, in this case); only the subsequent growth would be affected. Therefore, one ought to be able to trace back on the oak to where the changed growth pattern began. So it would be even more interesting to see the branch structure of the whole oak, if it is possible, as well as sections of the "pine growth pattern" and the older regular oak growth pattern.

Because of the necessarily old age of the union, it's difficult to fathom how such a phenomena could have occurred when the the two tree trunks were so much smaller and a sizeable distance apart. But we will never know all the relevant circumstances, so it could be possible.

I've always said that in nature, the only unbroken rule is that there are no unbroken rules.

If you are able to document your findings sufficient enough for scientific review and you are interested, I might attempt to contact one of the authors of those papers with said information.

Presently, I keep an open mind, but until I am shown evidence, I remain skeptical.

Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Mar 6, 2018 6:24 PM CST
The bases of the two trees were some distance apart when young and may not , in fact be joined now, but about half way up the picture there is a solidly attached point which could conceivably have been two branches growing directly at one another. They could have afforded quite an early conjunction. Maybe?
Porkpal
Name: Rick R.
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Leftwood
Mar 6, 2018 6:43 PM CST
Yes, that's the only way I suspect it could happen. A seemingly almost impossible scenario - what could keep such a juncture stable enough and long enough (timewise) to allow connective growth? Yet it happened.....
TEXAS
Jbridges9376
Mar 7, 2018 10:09 PM CST
Ok guys...Im heading out to the property tomorrow to take pictures of trees in full view so you can see how the oak tree has grown like a "pine tree" as least from my layman eyes and you will see the limbs have bark that looks flaky like the pine.

And I will take many pics and measurements as possible while taking pics of similar size trees next to both to compare structure and characteristics.
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purpleinopp
Mar 9, 2018 5:17 PM CST
Enjoying this discussion and I propose that maybe the sprouts occurred directly adjacent, and spread away from each other as they grew?
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Name: Rick R.
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Leftwood
Mar 9, 2018 8:51 PM CST
While perennials with short lived contractile roots can do that, I don't think trees can. Tree roots a permanent, and most trees (certainly oak and pine) have a strong vertical tap root in their first 5-10 years of growth.

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