On a visit to Snoqualmie Falls in Washington, I learned that the trees there sometimes sprout and grow out of rotting stumps or logs, called nurse stumps. Then as the stump material rots away, the exposed roots are left holding the tree up like stilts. All the trees pictured are Western Hemlock but apparently Douglas-fir, Redcedar and some other species also exhibit this growing pattern.
These are awesome - thanks for sharing!
It’s also fascinating to see multiple trees growing in a straight line. In the same species you mentioned, the new trees will grow out of a large fallen trunk and appear in a nice row.
Perhaps some are actually sprouting from the parent, as in a “raft”. I’ve often wondered if the large fallen and rotting tree actually provides the substrate or media for the sprouting of seedlings from the cones of surrounding trees.
Perhaps one of the group with more knowledge can comment?
According to the signs posted around the area, the roots actually do germinate and draw nutrients from the rotting trunk. In some pictures you can see roots penetrating into the material of the nurse trunk - eventually they need to make their way down to the ground though, or else the tree will topple over.