Biology

Get Two Trees for the Price of One with the Double Tree of Casorzo


Poet Joyce Kilmer famously opined that he would never see a poem as lovely as a tree. If one tree struck his fancy, one wonders what he would have said if he gazed at the Double Tree of Casorzo — a spectacle that is two trees in one.

Located between the communities of Casorzo and Grana in Piemonte, Italy, is a tree that is worth at least two looks — because it is actually two trees. The Double Tree of Casorzo is an oddity of nature, consisting of a cherry tree growing on top of a mulberry tree.

The phenomenon is known as an epiphytic plant. An epiphyte is an organism that grows on the surface of another, and pulls in nutrients and moisture from the air and the debris around it. Epiphytes are not particularly scarce. Common examples include orchids and some forms of pineapples and cacti.

While epiphytes are fairly common, they tend to be on the small size of the scale, and their lifespans are relatively short (but not as short as the mayfly). The Double Tree of Casorzo is a true oddity because it defies the norm for both of those standards for epiphytes.

How the tree/trees came to be remains a mystery. Locals suggest that a bird might have dropped a cherry seed on top of the mulberry tree, which then grew its roots through the hollow trunk to reach the soil below.

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