The double tree of Casorzo
A non-parasitic plant that grows on a tree is called an epiphyte. Typically, epiphytes are small and consist of things like mosses, lichens, and ferns, but there are rare instances when they grow much, much larger.
Take, for instance, the Double Tree of Casorzo in Asti, Piemonte, Italy. This tree is also known as Bialbero di Casorzo in Italian. The tree consists of a mulberry tree on the bottom with a cherry tree on top. These trees aren’t grafted together, the cherry tree just happened to grow on top. As it grew, its roots extended down through the hollow trunk of the mulberry tree into the soil below. It is believed that a bird relocated the cherry pit onto the tree and was not the result of human intervention.
Both trees appear to be in great health, with no signs of slowing down. This is rather exceptional, as trees as epiphytes usually don’t grow anywhere near this large or live this long because of a lack of nutrients and resources. The mulberry tree’s hollow trunk—which can be disastrous for a tree—appears to be the secret for longevity for this double tree. When trees develop hollow trunks, they can potentially become very unstable and fall over. However, the cherry tree’s root system taking up the space in the middle of the mulberry tree’s trunk could be giving it the added stability needed for both trees to stay alive.
Trees like the Double Tree of Casorzo are exceedingly rare. There have been rumors that a similar peach/spruce combination was spotted in the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia during the 1960s, though its existence was never confirmed.
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