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View Full Version : What would time do to a tree and wolf fur?



Black-Tooth
11-03-2008, 10:11 PM
Hello,

In my story there's a tree that falls over for what ever reason and rests like a make-shift bridge over a trench. Now, my character sees this tree and then returns around 12 years later. It'd be in a cold, damp climate like Britain or Scotland towards the end of the year.
What would have happened to the tree? Would the tree have rotted and collapsed into the trench or would it still be resting across it, just softer and rotten? It's a thick tree, like an oak.

My second question is about wolf fur. If it was used as wrappings for something and weathered a lot of travelling, how long would it last? Does it desintegrate after a certain period of time? Could it last over 10 years, even if it is little more than a few tuffs of matted hair that's balding around the edges by the end?

Thanks,

P.S I feel I need to point out I'm against the use of animals being used as clothes and so on. In my story however, they live in a medieval-like time and the animal was already dead.

RJK
11-03-2008, 10:55 PM
I'm guessing the condition of the tree would depend on its condition when it fell. If it was dead and rotting (causing it to fall) it wouldnt last long. If it was healthy but got knocked down, by man or weather, then it could still be in very good condition after twelve years.

The fur, would depend on how well it was cared for, just like fur and leather coats today. My wife has a fur coat that she bought over 30 years ago. I have a leather coat about twenty years old. If the hide was treated (they learned to do that very early), then it could last for quite a while. Left to the elements? I don't know.

Del
11-03-2008, 11:08 PM
Harder wood trees will last longer. Moisture will make them last a lot less.

I had the bottom of a cord of maple rot in one year because it was right on the ground.

The ground contact areas of your log would rot first.

A friend built a pine log cabin in the woods when he was 15. He is 50 now and the cabin still stands. It has settled a bit but mostly it is still intact. It is about 40 miles from my rotten firewood so we share a similar climate. Pine should rot before maple.

The conditions are important. The ends of the log might rot causing the log to settle but if water was able to drain the log could be there a long time.

As for wolf fur...same deal. If it was tanned properly no problem. It could even get wet regularly if it was permitted to dry. Kayaks used to be built from seal skin. And if you think of a bear skin rug...my uncle has one that is about 70 years old now. still furry after all that walking.

Puma
11-04-2008, 03:15 AM
We have a large oak tree on our property that fell over 20 years ago - it is still very much a tree. The smaller limbs have rotted away but that trunk will still be there when I'm gone (and it was dead when it fell).

And I have muffs and fur neckpieces that were my great aunt's back in the late 1800's. They were well used back then but are in very good condition today. Puma

hammerklavier
11-04-2008, 07:21 AM
RJK has it right, although I'll add that the bark will have rotted after a few years in such conditions and will have fallen off after a few more years. It falls off in big sheets once it's rotten, but after 12 years the trunk should be bare. The smaller limbs would likely be gone, and moss or lichen may be growing on parts of it. If it had any places to catch water they may have rotten more and may have other plants or sapling trees growing in them.

Del
11-04-2008, 09:38 AM
RJK has it right, although I'll add that the bark will have rotted after a few years in such conditions and will have fallen off after a few more years. It falls off in big sheets once it's rotten, but after 12 years the trunk should be bare. The smaller limbs would likely be gone, and moss or lichen may be growing on parts of it. If it had any places to catch water they may have rotten more and may have other plants or sapling trees growing in them.

Yeah, so ultamately the condition of the tree all depends on how much water/moisure it is subjected to. I guess it is up to your disgression! Ain't writing grand? :D

underthecity
11-04-2008, 11:05 PM
This is off the subject a bit, but . . .

Doesn't "A Tree and Wolf Fur" sound like a great title for a book?

allen