Giant broom – or is it?

This broom pine was found by Mr. Tuomo Ahola, forestry planner at Metsähallitus Forestry. Photo: Juri Laurila

It looks like a ten-metre broom, standing in the middle of a forest. What can this be?

The “Broom pine” (Pinus sylvestris f. condensata) is a very rare natural phenomenon. One of them was protected yesterday in Savukoski, northern Finland, by the Finnish state forest company Metsähallitus Forestry.

The broom pine is created by a genetic mutation. Instead of just one main trunk, the tree has several.

The tree is 10.5 metres high. Photo: Juri Laurila
The tree is 10.5 metres high. Photo: Juri Laurila

This broom pine was found by Mr. Tuomo Ahola, forestry planner at Metsähallitus Forestry. “It was the shape of the tree that attracted my interest. I could see at once that it is a rarity. I had never before seen a pine that was so clearly exceptional,” says Ahola.

Mr. Risto Jalkanen, researcher at Natural Resource Institute Finland, confirmed that this is a very rare mutation. “The point where the trunk of a broom pine is divided may be close to the ground or at a height of several metres,” says Jalkanen. As the tree grows, the separate trunks grow together, and over time it begins to look as if it had only one trunk, which then branches out at the top.

The Natural Resources Institute keeps a register over special forms of trees. There are only about a dozen broom pines in Finland, which means that it really is a rarity.

The broom pine was protected by Metsähallitus Forestry. The tree is 10.5 metres high and the width of the canopy is estimated to be three metres.


Location of Savukoski


 

Author

Anna Kauppi

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