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Faultline Trail Station #7

Interpretive Exhibit in Los Trancos Open Space Preserve


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From this point, you can see two oak trees in front of you, one on either side of the trail. Notice how the main trunks on these trees are growing parallel to the ground, with large limbs growing vertically —not a typical growth pattern. The main trunks of these trees were cored, a process where a small plug of wood is removed to count the tree rings. The rings show that the main trunks date back to 1899. The vertical limbs are newer; they date back to 1908. These trees were quite possibly thrown to the ground by the shaking produced by the 1906 earthquake. Even so, there was enough root contact with the ground after the quake to allow the trees to survive. The branches started to sprout from the side and grow upwards toward the sunlight. The unusual shape of these trees is probably due to the 1906 quake.