Coppice & the story of Salvation [CREATION CLUES] | 8 min

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MICHAEL LANE: But in nature, this is really rare to happen. This tree is one of these freaks of nature, that is how biologists would describe it.


MICHAEL LANE: Hi, welcome to Evidence 4 Faith. It’s your host, Michael Lane, and we are out of the studio, as you can probably tell. We are in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, up in Oneida County at a place called Fort Wilderness. It’s a very special place to me because this is where I worked and lived for over 22 years in this camp. And there’s a path that we just walked out into going on this peninsula that’s called Cranberry Point. But when I used to work here, I did breakfasts out here. And as we would take the group, about 40 people, I would walk in through here but I would stop here. Because something here at this exact spot, there’s something absolutely amazing, that is so rare, most people have never even heard of it or even know what it’s called. What happened at this spot many decades ago, probably, you know 1940s or 50s. No one could really tell me for certain because we’re out in the woods. But there is a tree here. Of course there’s a tree here. We’re in a forest. But there’s one tree here I want to bring to your attention. It’s a white pine and we know it’s a white pine because a white pine is an evergreen and the needles come in a bundle of five. If I pull off one of these and get a a complete bundle. Boy, they’re being very stubborn right now. But if I pull off one of these, you’ll be able to see that there’s five needles that are – just dropped one – but five needles that are on this, and this is a white pine, and very good wood for lumber and stuff. This was in the Northwoods, this was the tree that everybody always wanted to cut down and stuff for lumber. This was the the major tree. These get huge! 6 foot in diameter. They live for hundreds of years. They’re gigantic trees. There’s not that many natural ones because a forest fire went through here a long time ago. But something happened back, I’m guessing just – it’s totally just guessing – maybe in 1940s/1950s that a large white pine, this one that you see sitting on the ground here. You can see the trunk down here. During a storm most likely, because there’s a lake, this is Spider Lake you can see in the background. During a storm, a big wind must have come and pulled this tree out of the ground. It’s right by the bank here, so the ground is soft, it’s boggy and stuff. But this white Pines roots are still visible from being pulled out of the ground.

These are the actual roots. Some of them have been broken down overtime. You can see there’s a pine tree that came down and broke off a section – actually took out part of a tree here not that long ago and did some damage – but these aren’t the original roots. This was underground. Today they’re actually housing – this is a squirrel home! Inside of here chipmunks and stuff and things, and they go in here. There’s all sorts of bedding down inside and the remains of food particles all around here of things that they eat. But you can easily see this tree’s roots were pulled right out of this bog.

This tree normally should be dead because roots, as you all know, are important to keep trees alive. The roots are in the ground in most cases, and so when it gets pulled out of the ground and toppled over like this during a storm, almost all the time a tree dies. Frequently they die during that. Because they’ve lost being able to obtain nutrients and minerals, because of that reason alone, their roots are no longer in the ground. The leaves and the stems were still here. And normally the tree is dead. But something rare happened here. This tree, when it was pulled out of the ground and fell down into this boggy bank here. The limbs of the tree that were healthy and still alive were driven down into this bank. And what ends up happening, the limbs down in submerged into the the wet soil and stuff now become functioning roots. They change histologically. In other words the tissue of the stem changes from a stem into a root and it starts absorbing water and minerals through these stems. Now that’s not usually what happens to a tree. Thus, what happened was, this tree is not just one tree anymore, because the roots that were above the ground, as you can see down there, they’re dead. But the limbs that were above the ground and still are have now become functioning trees themselves. In other words, what we have here is what biologists call a coppice: C-O-P-P-I-C-E. A coppice. A coppice is something that is done in agriculture in plant husbandry, trying to grow plants. You can take plants sometimes and and take the stem of a plant and put it in the ground, and certain species of plants will then grow many, many copies and clones of of the tree off. And they can take these off and then sell them and graph them on other trees. But in nature this is really rare to happen. This tree is one of these freaks of nature. This one tree is not one tree anymore, but if you’ll count it’s: 1, 2, 3, 4, and there’s a fifth one back over. Yes, it’s a clone. They all have the exact same genetics because they all came off the same tree. But they’re individual trees now. Tt’s very strange to see this. So the tree should be dead. The tree should be dead. Trees pulled out – and there’s other trees if we were to scan around. You’ll see trees that have been toppled by wind storms and stuff. The trees die. This tree should be dead. But what it’s having instead, this coppice occurring and it’s having abundant life.

In the book of John, Jesus says this, in the chapter 10, verse 10, that he came to give us an abundant life. A lot of people think Christianity is something that you know, it hinders your life, and as is bad for you, that it takes the fun out of your life. Jesus tells us I came to give you an abundant. Life. A life without the burdens and shame and stuff like this. I want to give you an abundant life. We as people should be dead because we are sinners. We sinned against God, and the wages of sin is death. We all deserve death. But Jesus, just like us, he came to suffer in our place. We should be dead in our sins. But Jesus came and took our sins to the cross with Him and He died for us. And if we accept this free grace that he offers, we can be saved and born again. And being born again, we can have an abundant life. Do you know him as Lord and Savior? I hope you do. If not, just ask Him: “Lord God, please forgive me.” It’s not magic words. It’s what’s going on in your heart. But this is a place, this is an illustration of what He can do. And if He does this with a tree, He can do it even better with you. So until we meet again, take care, and may God bless.


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An uprooted tree will typically die as its roots no longer bring water and nutrients into it. Coppice is a rare occurrence in which a dying tree can experience abundant life! This natural but rare phenomenon is a great illustration for our own spiritual condition. Without God, we are spiritually dead. We deserve death. But God offers us abundant life through Jesus Christ!

Creation Clues is an ongoing segment to help Christians know God through studying His handiwork in the world around us. This segment’s primary focus is on the crossroad between science, faith, and the Bible. Join us as we get to know our Creator through His Creation!

Developed & Hosted by Michael Lane (Executive Director), Production & Editing by Charlotte Fohner (Creative Director)

ADDITIONAL CREDITS: L. E. Phillips Memorial Public Library: 1903 Breaking log jam in Chippewa river, 1900/1910 Crew decking logs onto horse drawn sled, Clay Banks, Vaiva Deksnyte, engin akyurt, Sini Tiainen, Marta Pawlik, Stock Music provided by ikolis from Pond5

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