Two “faces” on a tree in Hunan
On one side, the leaves are withering and falling; on the other side, the verdantly green new leaves are just coming out and replacing the old leaves. This strange scenario is all happening on one tree, which is located at Qingshan Island in Xiangying County and called “long life tree” by the locals. “This is the first time I saw something like this,” A 60 year-old tourist said shockingly.
Qingshan Island is situated at the farthest north of Xiangying and within the Hengling Lake Nature Reserve, with plentiful animals, plants and mineral resources as well as over 70% forest and grass coverage. On the island, there is unknown ancient tree located at the Shuanglongzu of Zhongshan village with the shade of tree crown looking like an umbrella. The tree remains green throughout the year, even in the coldest winter season. But the strange thing is, every 5 to 10 years, the tree will change leaves from one side to the other side gradually. Sometimes the change is from east to west; sometimes it is from west to east. The locals call this simply “leaves changing side”.
The special phenomenon has attracted numerous plant experts and they all wanted to unveil the secret of the mystery tree. However, unfortunately, they were not able to find out which species it actually is. Given that this tree has not been found in other areas of the province, the experts said that this could be a new species. The local villagers couldn’t tell anything related to the tree, so they call it “Feilai Tree” (The tree that flies in with no one knowing). On the other hand, because the tree is right in front of the home of the general Huang He, who died at the advanced age of 106, hence it is also named “Changshou Tree” (long life tree).
Author: Fred Ou
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