Marker trees, trail trees or thong trees as they are called were created when a small sapling was tied to the ground and held in the bent position for some time. A piece of animal hide or thong was sometimes used to hold the sapling down. Not all these trees have the same shape and there is ongoing research to determine what this variability might indicate. Perhaps different shapes were used by different tribes and conjecture has it that these trees could also have been used to mark tribal boundaries.
True marker trees exhibit shapes or characteristics that have clearly been manipulated by man as pictured below and not by natural causes.
Thousands of marker trees have been documented in Southern Appalachia and are attributed to the Comanche people. Many people are not aware of marker trees and their existence is a wonderful connection to the past and the people that occupied this land coexisting with and respecting nature. These trees are slowly but surely disappearing and should you be fortunate enough to know of a marker tree, treat it with the reverence it deserves and appreciate your good fortune!