White Trail

Continuing on the White Trail, look for a standing dead tree - called a snag - on your right.

The Continuing "Web of Life"

Nearly a century ago a seed, using minerals from the surrounding soil, sprouted and grew at the spot where you now see this standing dead tree - called a snag. During its life it sheltered and fed generations of birds and animals, and each fall its leaves added nutrients and organic matter to the forest floor. Soon after the tree died, new kinds of life began to feed on and break down the woody cells. Woodborers, ants, bacteria and fungi are a few of the decomposers at work.

Trees such as this play an important role in the life of the forest. Many birds and small animals will visit this tree for a meal of insects. Woodpeckers may drill a nest cavity which at a later time may be used by a flying squirrel for its den. Eventually the decayed tree will fall and once again become forest soil. Perhaps an acorn or a beechnut will sprout here and the same minerals and nutrients will be reused in this age old cycle.

Next: Natural Cooling