Caution! This part of the trail is steep and slippery!

We have come to the slope that heads down to the stream. The soil depth here is thin due to erosion. Trees growing in this thin layer of soil have shallow root systems and are subject to windthrow. Many of the trees grow thick, bracing extensions at their bases on the down-slope sides. This adaptation increases their ability to resist the pull of gravity down the slope.

Wild grape vines hanging on trees

 Trees on a slope in winter

Something that may add to the tendency of these trees to windthrow are wild grape vines. These vines are very thick and well developed especially in this part of the trail and add a great deal of weight and density to the tree canopy. Winds hitting this denser mass exert more force on the tree thus increasing the probability of windthrow.

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