Instead of ghostly hauntings, today’s entry deals with unexplained phenomenon. Near the town of Hafford, Saskatchewan is the crooked forest.
Since at least the 1940s, a population of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) with a crooked architecture was observed growing at the edge of an agricultural field near Hafford, Saskatchewan. For years, local residents have speculated on the cause of this growth form – everything from soil contamination to effects of a meteorite crashing into the area and altering the development of the trees.
In recent years, a group called the Friends of the Crooked Bush has emerged and they have posted a sign at the site stating that no one knows what causes the grove of trees to grow this way and go on to provide various possible causes.
The Crooked Bush. This grove of aspen trees is a botanical mystery. it is a natural treasure, therefore, we ask that you treat it with respect.
Friends of the Crooked Bush
Call it mystical, bewildering, a rarity, something that transcends human reason. It is a botanical mystery as old as the earth beneath it that protects its roots and its secrets.
As you walk into the Bush, you will see the trees twist, turn and lovingly embrace each other from the ground, in clumps along the path. They cast a mystical, eerie, and marvelous sight.
What causes the grove of trees to grow this way? No one really knows.
Some say a flying saucer flew over the area and changed the chemistry of the earth beneath the roots. Was it a lightning strike? Is the soil radioactive?
There are reports of people getting dizzy and light-headed in the Bush. Only the brave go into the Bush on the night of a full moon. The local cattle stay out of the Bush without a fence. Why? There is mystery and beauty in these silent sentinels that guard the secrets of their origin held deep within their roots and the soil below.
Respect it’s uniqueness and above all, preserve this natural wonder.
Sign at the Crooked Bush
While environment can have significant effects on tree architecture, for example the twisted ‘Krummholz’ vegetation typical of trees growing in windswept areas and in response to saltspray, there is no evidence that the phenomenon in the Hafford aspen is related to factors of the environment.
The community of Hafford is also working hard to preserve this natural wonder, and signs at the Crooked Bush offer some suggestions as to how people can help out.
The Tourism committee of Hafford are working diligently to preserve this bush. All work done is voluntarily. We would appreciate any monetary donations to help with the cost of materials and public facilities. Your donation may be mailed, in the envelopes provided to “Tourism Committee of Hafford” c/o Hafford Town Office, Hafford, SK S0J 1A0.