The Crooked Forest: A Mysterious Grove of 400 Oddly Bent Pine Trees in Poland
This stand of bent pine trees known as the Crooked Forest is easily one of the strangest places in Central Europe. Located outside of Nowe Czarnowo, West Pomerania, Poland, the nearly 400 trees are widely agreed to have been shaped by human hands sometime in the 1930s, but for what purposes is still up for debate. Each tree is bent near the base at 90 degrees, a form that could possibly be helpful in boat or furniture making. Strangely enough, every tree is bent in exactly the same direction: due North. A quick search online reveals a host of conspiracy theories ranging from witchcraft to energy fields.
Sometimes the strangest sights are found in nature. In this case, 400 pine trees in the northwest of Poland appear to be almost normal, but they are not.
If you look at the base of these trees, you might feel like you’ve just entered a strange mystical fairy tale.
All of the trees have the same northward 90-degree bend at the base of their limb. Known as the “Crooked Forest,” this unique site remains an unexplained mystery.
Every tree in the Crooked Forest has the same haunting bend, but despite bent beginnings, all of the trees have grown to be tall and seemingly unhampered by their C shape curves. Some experts believe that the trees grew like this because they incurred some sort of damage to the tip and along some side branches.
Trees are resilient, and so they continued to thrive, relying on the one branch they had left to take over complete function and grow upwards. Whatever damage occurred to one tree must have happened to them all because they remain uniform in deformity.
The Crooked Forest is around 80 years old. It is estimated that the damage that made them look how they do today occurred when the trees were about 7 years old. This would have been before the Second World War reached Poland.
Which helps to explain the most popular theory about how the trees came to be crooked. As the story goes, in 1930 a group of farmers planted these trees, intentionally damaging the base in order to create some sort of product, perhaps uniquely shaped furniture. The world may never know if it’s true because the farmers were unable to finish their work after the invasion on Poland during World War II dismantled their plans.
It is likely the trees were formed like this to make furniture, ship mantels, or numerous other woodworking projects. After all it’s not unheard of to grow trees with a curve in the branch for certain wood-made parts. This practice produces what is known as “compass timbers.”
Even if that’s the reason these trees are now crooked, it still seems so odd and unexplained, simply because someone’s work was never completed.
Others surmise that a snowstorm could have knocked the trees like this, freezing them into a bent position until the snow and ice melted come spring. The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to this unsolved mystery.
There are plenty of trees in the area, all of which grow upright from the base without the funky curve distinct to the Crooked Forest clan. The Crooked Forest is an odd occurrence in a seemingly ordinary place. So perhaps you are wondering why none of the locals have answers to what caused the formation of the Crooked Forest.
his is likely because the local town was devastated during World War II. It wasn’t until the 1970’s, when a new power and heat plant came to the town that it began to reestablish itself. The Crooked Forest is located right near this power plant, known as Dolna Odra (‘Lower Oder’) power plant.
Today tourists come to enjoy many beautiful natural sites common to this area—none of which happen to be as unexplainable as the Crooked Forest. If you are ever in Poland you can visit the 22 rows of oddly shaped trees. The Crooked Forest is located in a suburb called Gryfino in the Zachodniopomorskie province. One look at the forest and you start to imagine endless possibilities, so much history packed into the roots of these trees—if only trees could talk!