The world is an amazing place where sometimes we can find truly beautiful and very strange things. In a small pocket in north west Poland near the town of Gryfino is an example of such a place. The “Crooked Forest” of Gryfino is a small orchard of oddly shaped pine trees that grow with a 90 degree bend at their base. With some four hundred trees in the orchard that mostly bend in a northward direction, one might wonder that on earth has happened here ?
The crooked trees were planted in this area of Poland around the 1930’s, when Gryfino was still inside the German province of Promerania. There are many theories about how these trees were formed, the most plausible being that they were formed deliberately with a tool. The trees were probably allowed to grow for a number of years, but while still young and able to be bent, they were then possibly held down and warped by an implement. With no motive or exact reason for this, it is assumed that they were being harvested for bent-wood furniture, the ribs of boat hulls or yokes for ox-drawn plows. A definite “X-File” or case for “Ripley’s Believe it or Not”.
Another theory about how they were formed involves German tanks! It is highly unlikely, but it is hypothesized that with the outbreak of World War 2, the trees were possibly run over by tank movement during operations along the eastern front. Somehow these young trees managed to survive with their stems broken and were forced to grow in such an odd state!