The Hidden Secrets Of Native American “Marker Trees”



Unless you live in the middle of a bustling city, trees are probably something you take for granted. They surround us almost everywhere we go, making it hard not to forget about their existence every once in a while.

The average person can most likely identify a few types of trees, like an oak or a pine, but the rest of them sort of blend together after a while. There are a few trees across the United States, however, that you can’t help but pay attention to when you come across them in the wilderness.

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Referred to as “marker trees,” these natural structures were a way for Native Americans to communicate important information from nation to nation. You can always spot a marker tree by its curved trunk, which makes it look more alien than earthly. Today, marker trees are becoming harder and harder to find, but, thanks to Dennis Downes, these gorgeous landmarks will be preserved for years to come. Check out the images below to learn more about these mysterious trees and the special purpose they served in Native American culture.

Hundreds of years ago, Native Americans navigated the land without any help from Google Maps or Yelp.


Members of different nations would use these trees to mark borders and guide travelers toward food and water.

This tree stands in between two neighboring nations, which explains why its trunk points in two different directions.


Oaks, maples, and elms tended to make the best marker trees.


Here’s the process, broken down step-by-step:


Native Americans were highly skilled when it came to following trails created by animals. Unfortunately, they needed to begin forging their own paths, and marker trees were the best means they had at their disposal.

Check out this video for even more information on these fascinating trees: