Thousands of nails found in old lime trees.

  John B 18:56 07 Jun 2009

A friend was asked to cut down several old lime trees in a local churchyard; they were old (250 years?). The centre of the trees had rotted away and looking down the centre of the felled trees the ends of thousands of old cut nail could be seen in each tree. They were from the base of the trees to about twenty feet high.

The trees (about six of them) all had the same thing. The nails were very old but for some reason the heads of the nails were just below the cambium layer.

No-one has been able to provide any reasoning ... the best suggestion has been that it was linked to pagan ritual. Hours of googling has come up without a thing.

It's clutching at straws but any ideas anyone?


  AL47 19:10 07 Jun 2009

gotta be one of the most interesting threads!

hope some light can be shed :)

  OTT_Buzzard 19:25 07 Jun 2009

Sounds many people do you think, errr, 'supplied' the nails? Old, young, any nail polish? lol

  jimv7 19:34 07 Jun 2009

I was told, regarding an apple tree whose trunk that was slightly fungus'ed , to put a few nails in the trunk for use as an iron supplement for the tree. It worked.

  John B 19:36 07 Jun 2009

You've lost me ....?

  laurie53 19:37 07 Jun 2009

Rite of passage - knock a nail in with one blow? I've seen the same thing done with 6" nails.

In a small remote village such a custom could last for centuries.

Anywhere near a smithy?

Some sort of ritual at a funeral/wedding/christening?

  OTT_Buzzard 19:38 07 Jun 2009

lolol. sorry, completely misunderstood - thought you were talking about nails as in toenails. MEtal nails makes a lot more sense (but not quite as interesting)!!!!

  John B 19:39 07 Jun 2009

There were three blacksmith around a couple of hundred years ago.

  peter99co 19:43 07 Jun 2009

How does a nailhead get under the bark?

  jack 19:56 07 Jun 2009

Tress grow rings annually with the bark moving out- the nails stayed put.
So with this info and if any of the centre of the tree remains- a guesstimate of date of placing the nails could be gauged.
Iron supplement may be!
or a local rituals such as celebrating a birth or some other family event.

  bobbybowls 20:02 07 Jun 2009

"How does a nail get under the bark"
The tree grows a new layer every year and slowly consumes the nail.
I used to work in a sawmill and hitting things buried in the wood was a common occurrence. Usually it was nails,fence wire or occasionally bullets. One of the other sawmillers once hit a glass bottle, it reduced a 5 inch wide bandsaw blade to about 3 inches and sent shreds of steel flying across the mill.

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