Previously, I wrote about walking barefoot through the Leadwood forest in the Northern part of Londolozi.
While doing just that, I noticed that at both ends of the forest there are two trees of the two exact species that are connected (literally) – a Leadwood tree and a Jackalberry tree that have merged together in both cases. I call them the two twin sisters or guardians of the Leadwood forest as they are of similar size/age, thus have been there for many years overlooking the forest on either end.
I never really thought about it until then but the first question that popped into my mind was: is it possible that they are growing connected to each other sharing nutrients? When I got back to camp, I looked it up and found out about it.
These four trees are an example of inosculation: it occurs when two parts of a two different tree grows together; either the branches or the trunks. The trees move next to each other because of wind, in turn removing a layer of bark which exposes their cambium layers (the nutrient highway) that then fuse together as they try heal the damaged area and new bark is formed over that section. The nutrients may also be shared between the two trees and it is also said that if one dies the other will die soon after.
In some cultures it is seen as something spiritual as it is fairly unique or it is seen as the marriage tree as the two trees are bonded together by a “kiss”. Their bonds started as a “kiss” and formed an inseparable life-long partnership.
To me this seems fitting for the magical Leadwood forest at Londolozi, adding to this sacred place.
The Leadwood trees are ancient, standing for many years, whispering their stories to one another through the wind, all connected under the ground and now even their trunks to other trees, showing the connectedness that this place represents.