Seen While Running: Eaten By Trees

  • Written by: Shane
  • February 12th, 2008
  • Category:

One of the pleasures of running is the ability to observe everything as you trot along. You see little subtleties that you wouldn't notice as you race past in a car. I have run the same routes dozens of times and I always see something new and interesting each time. Here are some examples of trees that might look normal at 60mph, but they’ll give you a good excuse to stop for a breather if you see them in the wild.

tree growing through a car bumper

Nothing unusual, just a beetle on a tree.

sign being swallowed by tree growth

This sign still surprisingly legible considering it is about to be swallowed completely.

pennies in a tree

For good luck, hikers push a penny into this old log.

bucket growing into a tree

Look closely; the tree has actually grabbed the basin and lifted it off the ground.

Christmas lights grown into tree

You know those neighbors that never take down their Christmas lights?
This is what will eventually happen.

a motorcycle in the middle of a tree

This is definitely the best bike lock I’ve ever seen.

For fences with a similar effect, see these unusual fences


  1. spamonkey

    February 13, 2008
    6:18 AM

    If you’re facing a no trespassing sign you’re not actually trespassing are you?

  2. Desi

    February 13, 2008
    7:39 AM

    Wow that motorcycle one is amazing! this is a very good and interesting collection i must say…

  3. Nataly Short

    February 13, 2008
    8:38 AM

    Trees eating bicycle locks are a classic picture in Europe. I wonder why the locks just do not break apart.

  4. George

    February 13, 2008
    7:19 AM

    Those are great. I used to hike quite a bit and remember seeing in the middle of a forest an old, forgotten bit of barbed wire fence that was running right through the middle of a tree. It’s too bad I didn’t have a camera with me at the time.

    Although, I think the money one is a bit of a cheat – the tree didn’t really grow around it.

  5. John

    February 13, 2008
    7:57 AM

    Amazing how nature will reclaim things that are just lying in it’s path. The motorcycle one is amazing.

  6. subcorpus

    February 13, 2008
    9:10 AM

    i have seen trees coming out of the living room of an old timers house …
    was amazing … almost like the interior designer has planned it that way …
    kewl stuff here …

  7. Pat

    February 13, 2008
    10:06 AM

    Nice Pics, but the caption with the wash basin isn’t correct. A tree wouldn’t be able to lift up the wash basin. Tree’s increase in length from the shoot tips, not the base. Sorry, I’m a plant nerd

  8. Chrome Blue

    February 13, 2008
    10:52 AM

    The comment regarding lifting of the wash basin – you are correct. I figured that it was probably sitting on a woodpile originally and it was eventually eaten away/decayed.

  9. Heather

    February 13, 2008
    11:13 AM

    I think the tree can lift it up. I have to find it and send it to you, but I have a picture of a tree that grew around and old car axel and it’s over 6 feet from the ground!!!!!

  10. PETE

    February 13, 2008
    4:50 PM

    I once saw a pull-up bar that was bolted between two trees. over the years it got higher and higher off the ground until nobody could reach it unless they climbed the tree.

  11. Jonathan Brown

    February 14, 2008
    4:57 AM

    Is it me, or are things like that really creepy. Seriouly, they scare me.

  12. heather

    February 15, 2008
    12:24 PM

    What, no kites? These photos are great.

  13. ash

    February 17, 2008
    6:15 AM

    the penny tree is in a place called Ingelton (if that is the correct spelling) in the north east of England. I have been there many times it has huge waterfalls an is a very popular 5mile walk for trekkers

  14. Craig

    February 17, 2008
    4:41 AM

    Seeing stuff like this makes me cringe. I’m not a huge environmentalist at any stretch of the imagination, but these tree abominations such as the sign, christmas tree lights, or the motorcycle actually looks like a nature has been corrupted and twisted into something wholly unnatural.
    Great collection of pictures though.

  15. David

    March 10, 2008
    1:46 PM

    Nice images — I particularly like the car and motorcyle!

    Its funny how our relatively quick time scale (as compared to trees) can bias our perception of machines as being alive and the trees as inanimate objects. Yet the facts are just the opposite and these photos are the proof.

  16. ATOzTOA

    June 24, 2008
    1:52 AM

    Some are old… Some r new ones..

    Anyways.. all are cute :)

  17. Rafal

    July 27, 2008
    12:01 AM

    Hello,did You know where canI find more pictures ofthis vw bug?

  18. fred lapides

    August 15, 2008
    10:52 AM

    When running I never thought to carry a camera but only took an IPod along.

  19. brivapor

    September 1, 2008
    8:55 PM

    rumplestilskin would look perfect right next to the motorcycle

  20. Susannah

    December 27, 2008
    11:04 PM

    I’ve seen horses in which the face has grown over a halter that was left on until it was too small. Very sad.

  21. sai

    May 10, 2009
    3:26 AM

    Simply superb.. i like te motorcyle one.. and the penny thing also looks cool…

  22. Treeman

    September 23, 2009
    8:30 PM

    There is a tree growing up thru a old truck here in the woods. Too Cool.

  23. nicola taylor

    May 6, 2010
    2:40 AM

    There is also a penny tree in Lydford Gorge in Devon, UK, and I have also seen the one at Ingleton, yes that is the correct spelling.
    What amazing pics

  24. photographer

    June 20, 2011
    1:43 PM

    Great pictures – does anyone who knows anything about motorcycles care to make a guess what kind of motorcycle that is and, more importantly, how old it is? It might give us a guess as to how long it had been there for this to happen.

  25. david

    June 23, 2011
    10:49 PM

    I have a question.We pulled a 40′ sinker cypress log out of the river and apparently some 30 or 40 years before it was harvested for timber.someone attached a 1×3″board to the side from the bottom to around 40′ off the ground. The tree grew completely around the board and the board has since rotted away.Any ideas on the reason for the board? If I knew how to post a photo, I would be glad to.

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