Crooked Bush near Hafford, Saskatchewan remains a botanical mystery
Monday, August 26, 2013, 12:09 -
It's an unexplained phenomenon that continues to draw visitors to a trail near Hafford, Saskatchewan.
This trail features a cluster of aspen trees with branches that twist and turn in horizontal and downward directions.
"It gives the grove an eerie and, yet, mesmerizing appearance," says Tourism Saskatchewan.
For years, local residents have speculated on the cause of these crooked trees with everything from a UFO landing to a lightning strike that affected the area's soil.
A group called the Friends of the Crooked Bush recently emerged, posting a sign at the site stating no one knows the cause.
"Welcome to The Crooked Bush," the sign reads. "This grove of aspen trees is a botanical mystery. It is a national treasure, therefore, we ask that you treat it with respect."
Scientists believe that the tree growth is a result of a genetic mutation, but are unsure what exactly caused the mutation, tourism officials add.
The crooked trees were first observed by local residents in the 1940s and are about 15-20 feet tall. Officials say the trees are growing at a normal rate, but their branches are just growing in different directions instead of straight up.
The town of Hafford is also working diligently to preserve this natural wonder and have posted some signs at the Crooked Bush offering suggestions on how people can help out.