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SummerStars

Funny looking trees...

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In the movie, "THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX", there's this one scene when Errol Flynn, and the other knights are in a horseback battle in a foggy field surrounded by these unusual-looking trees.  They're the kind that look like large lumps with thin branches sticking out of the tops.  I believe these kind are mostly common in English counties like Ireland or Scotland.  I know I've seen these trees elsewhere before (thankfully not up close) and I've been curious for some time as to what they're called.  If you want a good example of what I'm referring to, watch the "Looney Tunes" cartoon called "Foney Fables" in the scene that presents the "wolf in sheep's clothing".  The wolf is peering at the sheep from behind one of these types of trees.  They're also seen in such settings to create a rather spooky and intimidating mood.  Another "Looney Tunes" example is "Sniffles Takes A Trip" when the title mouse character approaches a forest for the perfect campsite, and through his subjective view sees these kinds of trees (among other spooky looking plants), and starts getting scared.  I know there's a name for these trees, but I just can't identify them. 

Would anyone happen to know?

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I'll have to wait till it airs on 2 Feb. as I don't have a recording of it.

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I believe this clip shows the trees to which you are referring:

 

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Harvesting branches (pollarding) but leaving the trunks or even entire small trees but leaving the stumps (coppicing) to grow again is traditional forestry. Often practiced in period England. Certain trees react to these practices better than others. Clever of the film makers.

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I don't know what tree they are, but they look like trees that have been severely pruned with an outgrowth of water sprouts/suckers/shoots. It's hard to tell what tree it is without seeing the leaves or the bark.

I just did a little poking around online and wonder if it could be a European Beech.  Here is a picture of an 'ancient' Beech Tree in England: https://www.mindenpictures.com/search/preview/ancient-beech-trees-fagus-sylvatica-lineover-wood-gloucestershire-uk-the/0_90733332.html 

or search:  european-beech-tree-fagus-sylvatica-ancient-pollard-burnham

from the alamy.com website (who sells stock photos) there is this ( Image ID: KEDP9Y) : (see attached)

This is my best guess.

 

 

 

KEDP9Y.jpg

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Yes, those look like mature trees that have had all their branches cut at the trunk (common term; bobbed or banged) and have had new branch growth afterward. I did not know this was traditionally done for forest growth, only for ornamental trees like these cherrys:

white-weeping-cherry-3.jpg

The things you learn from classic movies!

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The first tree looks an awful lot like a ginger root, like the kind you find with other produce in the grocery store.  Those cherry blossom trees sort of resemble dust mops, because they're so skinny, and have such floppy and saggy branches.  Those are some pretty good examples that sort of relate to what I'm referring to, but the trees I had in mind were very homely and rather "creepy" looking.  Sort of like lotus pods.  You know? Those solid brown seed pods full of holes that are used for autumn decorations.  The trees I was thinking of look more like large lumps with a mass of prickly twigs sticking out of the tops.  As I said before, the best place to spot them is in "THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX" during the horseback battle scene.  Since that is a Warner's film, there was another one that the studio produced in the mid 40s or so that probably reused the same set with those same trees.  I don't know the name of the film, but it was in black and white, took place in, I believe, Scotland (most of the action was set in a 19th century-style tavern), and starred a young Eleanor Parker.  It was once shown on TCM's "Saturday Matinee".  The film's probably only less than 60 minutes.  I know it also includes some mysterious man wearing some sort of mask over his face.  Nevertheless, those have got to be some of the most unusual trees I've ever seen.

 

By the way, when I was referring to the trees as "funny looking trees" it was a reference to Bugs Bunny in the "Looney Tunes" cartoon called "Lumber Jack-Rabbit".  It's the only "Looney Tunes" cartoon produced in 3-D (with the WB shield zooming RIGHT up to the screen even).  It's in the scene when Bugs walks through Paul Bunyan's garden and perceives some large stalks of asparagus as "funny looking trees".

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Below is a shot from the clip scsu1975 uploaded earlier in this clip.  Is this what you mean?  If so, it's what the other posters were talking about.  Trees pruned to encourage growth in a particular manner, primarily long straight branches used for a variety of purposes.  Like oisiers from willows for wickerwork, and bows from yews.

Untitled.png

 

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In fact, in "Foney Fables" referred to in the OP the house in Tom Thumb is likely wattle and daub, the branches they are trying to grow on the trees would be the wattle.  Daub is mud. You save 20 or 30 years by harvesting thin branches but leaving the tree.

wattle-daub.jpg

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Thanks for answering my questions about these odd trees.  I've just always wondered what kinds of trees these were when I've seen them in certain movies.

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I find it interesting that these kinds of trees are pruned down to the trunk so that thin branches can sprout out, and can be used as wicker.  So if anyone needed to weave a basket, or a back rest for a chair, or a wine bottle cover, their source would just simply be the twigs from these kinds of trees.  Is that correct?

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There are two practices.  The one in the movie was pollarding, the cutting back of branches toward the crown of the tree.  This was done mostly to provide fodder for livestock, or poles for fences or other uses.  Coppicing, the cutting of a tree near the ground to encourage shoot growth, was done mainly for firewood, poles and osiers.  Osiers would be used for furniture framework.  Reeds or split cane would be used for the woven seats and backs.  Also for wine bottles.

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