Yes, trees really do grow directly out of rock. No soil. Just rock. I know it seems incredible to those who come from a different climate, but it really does happen here. Mind you, not all trees are strong enough to do this, but there are always some that are up to the challenge. Birches especially love to grow out of rock.
|Good-sized trees growing out of a massive rock formation.|
How is it possible? From what I understand, there are often many tiny cracks and fissures in huge rocks like the one in the photo, but they cannot always be seen by the naked eye. A seed falls and lands on the “perfect spot”--that would mean a spot with a nice fissure and some other fissures around it. The seed sends out a tiny root that delves far into the rock. Because the rock has many fissures, it actually has quite a bit of water inside of it, and the root uses this water. The rock is also quite warm compared to the surrounding air, and so while winter occurs outside, the little root goes further and further down.
Then the warm weather comes and the little root sends out a leaf. Now photosynthesis can occur. The tree begins to grow. The bacteria and fungi that are everywhere in the environment will use the water inside of the rock to help release nutrients and minerals from the rock, which the new little tree will need to grow. In return, the tree sends out many roots and creates a consistently moist environment that is perfect for the bacteria and fungi to thrive. They live in a partnership. And . . . the rest is history. The tree grows out of the rock.
What seems impossible is very possible. What seems absurd is quite ordinary. There is a lesson here that we can learn from the little tree seed: Nothing is impossible. What seems impenetrable only seems that way because we believe it to be so, not because it is. What seems hard and unyielding is only a mirage.
Also, this is how paper beats rock.
|The birch has dug in.|
|And it's not going anywhere.|