The forest of fighting trees

One of the scariest moments for me as a child was watching the fighting trees in The Wizard of Oz.  Trees with evil faces!  Trees that talked!  Trees that would scold you for picking parts of them off their trunks!

That such a forest existed seemed entirely plausible to me because I believed that the trees in our neighborhood, though not mean, grouchy trees like those Dorothy encountered, had personalities. Especially on windy days when the branches would bend and groan, I would be careful not to get too close.

For the last few years, while driving through the different neighborhoods in the city, I have seen tress that bear resin pieces that resemble faces on their trunks. Although they remind me of the Free Apples scene in The Wizard of Oz, I think they’re a bit stupid and I have never understood why a property owner would want to place these on their trees. I’ve often wondered if the faces came to life and spoke for the tree, if the tree might not object for having a piece of weather-resistant plastic nailed to its trunk.

The other day, when walking along the greenway, I realized that one of the house that borders the trail — the trail is little more than a sidewalk at that point, running adjacent to their property– had several trees with these resin faces. Along with the security cameras and the “NO Trespassing” signs, these faces may have been placed as a modern-day equivalent to the sign that warned Dorothy and her friends to “Turn Back While You Still Can”.

The wise old man of the trees


The one looks a big weary of guarding the place.

Is his name Wilford Brimley? Does he want some oatmeal?

While they may have been put there to serve as a warning, they just make me smile. There are about 20 trees in the parkway that have these decorations attached. I wouldn’t think of harming any of them. After all, those branches may just spring to life and grab me.

Curious, I searched for a site online that might have information on these resin faces. “It’s easy to add character and personality to your trees” one site claimed. No, thank you! I think I’ll stick with the real thing. My trees already have personalities. Some of them even seem to have faces. I found this natural version further down the greenway, on a trail section that is a bit more wild.

Nature's own Tree Face

Note: Don’t get upset with me over the You-Tube video title. I didn’t title it and wouldn’t slap a vegan any more than I would slap a tree.

8 responses to “The forest of fighting trees

  1. Wonderful trees. For me the the most terrifying moment in the movie was the flying monkey’s. They haunted my dreams for years. On some subliminal level probably impacted my decision to move away from the family farm and never feeling close to animals. But hey this is about trees. I love these tree shots. Great work. I would not mind walking among them. My first impression was of the Ents in the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy. Great stuff.

    • Oh those monkeys scared me too! But I started shaking at the trees. Usually I had to leave the room for a few minutes with the scary flying monkeys.

      I am not that familiar with TLOTR, although my son was a HUGE fan and did make me sit through the movies, the first which came out before I was allowing him to go to the theatre by himself. I wondered, at first, if these didn’t have some sort of connection to Tolkien, but when I looked on the web, seemed like they were just some sort of generic garden decoration, the type that you’d see in the SkyMall catalog, near the resin statues of Big Foot you can buy for your yard. Just what ever lawn needs????

  2. What an interesting concept. Glad you took these pictures, and I too would not like to see these at night.


    • I drive down the street adjacent to the greenway several times a week, usually at night. I don’t think that I’ve ever noticed them before. You’d think, from the photos, that those eyes would glow in the dark, but I don’t think that they do.

  3. omg i love those faces!

  4. I would not want to walk thru these woods in the dark, no sir!

    • I’m not sure which unsettled me more when I stood on the sidewalk taking these pictures — the trees or the security cameras. I think the cameras, which seems a bit paranoid to me, but I suppose if my house was that close to a public park I would want to keep people off my property too. I was prepared, though, to recite my rights to take pictures from a public space of anything within eyesight, if the home owner came running out telling me to stop. 🙂