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What is Inosculation

November 14, 2023
November 14, 2023 Jennifer Doran

What is Inosculation

The thinner tree was cut years ago and the big one has been holding and feeding it since then. They “wake up” together in the Spring and “go to sleep” together in the Fall.

Do you remember my post on Pando?
Inosculation, a captivating and remarkable natural phenomenon, unfolds as an intricate dance of arboreal connection. This enchanting process involves the interweaving of parts from two distinct trees, often of the same species, as they engage in a botanical embrace. Through the mystical act of self-grafting, these trees forge an intimate bond, seamlessly blending their lifeblood and sharing vital nutrients.

The roots of this fascinating concept stretch come from  Latin, where the term “inosculation” finds its origins in the word “ōsculārī,” meaning to kiss. Just as a tender kiss symbolizes a connection between individuals, inosculation illustrates the harmonious union of arboreal entities. This botanical embrace is not merely a visual spectacle; it is a testament to the resilience and interconnectedness of the natural world.

Consider, for instance, a tale of arboreal companionship, where the slender tree yielded to the saw years ago, leaving behind a void in the forest. Yet, the resilient and mighty companion, the larger tree, has since been steadfastly cradling and nourishing its diminutive counterpart. Through the changing seasons, these arboreal companions arise in tandem with the arrival of spring, awakening from their winter slumber, and gracefully bid farewell together as they enter the autumnal embrace of dormancy.

Inosculation, then, becomes not just a botanical phenomenon but a poetic narrative of trees entwining their destinies, sharing not only physical space but also the very essence of life itself. It is a story told in the language of branches and leaves, a silent testimony to the beauty and interconnectedness that flourishes within the natural world.