This is a red maple on my property. The trunk is at least a foot in diameter. Everything considered, it is a rather tall and healthy tree.
This post was edited by Casia-NH on Sat, Sep 21, 13 at 17:06
Native Americans were known to create bends in trees like that. They are commonly known as trail trees. Yours doesn't appear to have all the characteristics of one though.
Might have been layed down by winds, only to have what was previously a branch now assume the orientation of "trunk". I've seen that happen often with Thuja occidentalis, but I see no reason why it could not happen with other species. In the scenario I'm talking about, the original main stem would have long ago succumbed to something, leaving only what you see here.
Or maybe not!
Great info on the trail trees. I had never heard of them before, mostly because where I have lived (upstate NY and southern NH), the history of the Native American peoples has largely been erased.
I am guessing this tree is about 40 years old, and was probably injured naturally or during a logging run of the area.