Literally hanging on by the bark of the roots

Root architecture is often not appreciated, by sheer virtue of the fact roots cannot be seen readily. Ground-penetrating radar can obviously allow us to interpret, with the assistance of a tomogram, what the root structure is expected to look like, though it is only when trees are up-rooted, or have some of their roots exposed, can we really begin to appreciate the durability, versalitity, and character of them. Below are some great examples of exposed root plates, courtesy of bank erosion (be it by a river, suspected quarrying, animal disturbance, or other means), from Ickworth Park, Suffolk, UK.

tree roots exposed 1
A huge oak tree perched precariously upon a mound, complete with young lambs. Note its exposed roots. Looks quite severe, no…?
tree roots exposed 2
Well here’s the other side! How is this thing still standing, and with a very full crown? Madness! A testament to the tree, no doubt. Sheer love sheltering underneath the root plate, though if any more soil is lost this tree may topple.
tree roots exposed 3
Looking up slightly gives us the view a lamb may have of the tree. On the other hand, it gives us the view of a person crouching down to take a photo…!
tree roots exposed 4
This image gives us a sense of scale of the level of root plate exposure. That gentleman in the blue jacket was at least 6ft tall.
tree roots exposed 5
A look on the up-hill side.
tree roots exposed 6
And another. Note the nettle growing from within one of the roots. A mini niche ecosystem, of sorts.
tree roots exposed 7
A lofty beech tree sits next to a river…
tree roots exposed 8
…and could probably get arrested for indecent exposure.
tree roots exposed 9
This veteran oak sits on the outside edge of a meander. In time, the bank beneath has eroded, and if this erosion isn’t halted the oak will fall.
tree roots exposed 10
From this slightly ‘aback’ angle, we can appreciate just how serious the situation is.
tree roots exposed 11
Holding on for dear life!
tree roots exposed 12
The crown is certainly not in great condition. A lack of vigour may worsen its prospects for clutching on to life.
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Literally hanging on by the bark of the roots

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