Environment Planet Earth 9 Treescapes Dramatically Shaped by Wind By Catie Leary Writer and Photographer Georgia State University Catie Leary writes and curates visual stories about science, animals, the arts, travel, and the natural world. our editorial process Catie Leary Updated June 21, 2021 Strong gusts of wind have permanently bent this tree on the Big Island in Hawaii. Merrill Images / Getty Images Share Twitter Pinterest Email Environment Weather Outdoors Conservation While earthquakes and tornadoes can strike land with such a force as to uproot trees completely from the ground, strong gusts of wind are sometimes enough to dramatically shape treescapes. Often brought about by heavy, consistent, and prevailing winds, these distorted trees, from Twisleton Scars in the English countryside to the tropical city of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, give landscapes an eerie and whimsical bent. Here are nine treescapes around the world that are dramatically shaped by the wind. 1 of 9 Lake Hovsgol Barbara Barbour / Shutterstock The 1,070-square-mile Lake Hovsgol in northwest Mongolia is the largest freshwater lake in the country and receives regular gusts of winds strong enough to alter the landscape. The dramatic weather is caused, in part, by the lake’s 5,397-foot elevation and its location at the edge of the Sayan Mountain range near the Russian border. Trees like common pine and Siberian larch dominate the region, and the strong winds of the region have permanently bent them into fantastical and amusing shapes. 2 of 9 Twisleton Scars Phil MacD Photography / Shutterstock Among the rolling countryside of North Yorkshire, England lies a valley full of exposed limestone known as Twisleton Scars. The hilly region has been known to bear the brunt of extreme winds that have left its few trees whimsically and permanently stretched and contorted. The so-called “scars” are remnants of a glacial retreat when the area’s soil was dragged away, revealing the limestone underneath. 3 of 9 Slope Point Ben / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0 Situated just 2,982 miles from the South Pole, Slope Point is regularly confronted with extreme winds that travel uninterrupted for thousands of miles via the Antarctic circumpolar air stream. The dramatic power of these heavy winds is so ferocious that they’ve bent a collection of white-barked trees at a stunning 45-degree angle. 4 of 9 Darss Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH / Shutterstock Located along Germany’s Baltic Coast, Darss is a forested area and belongs to the Western Pomeranian Lagoon Region National Park. Considerable winds frequently hit the region due to its position on the Baltic Sea, causing permanent warping to many of the trees there. Alder, English oak, and Scots pine are among the common species of trees affected most by such fierce winds. 5 of 9 Puerto Plata Ronald Saunders / Flickr / CC by SA 2.0 The tropical city of Puerto Plata on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic sits between the Atlantic Ocean and the 2,600-foot Mount Isabel de Torres. This particular geographic positioning, along with the region’s tropical monsoon climate, combine to create drastic weather events that reshape the city’s waterfront trees. 6 of 9 Ka Lae mccready / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0 High-pressure trade winds from the North Pacific Ocean strike the Hawaiian Islands on a consistent basis. Although the wind speeds aren’t always incredibly powerful coming in, they can pick up momentum depending on the topography they hit once reaching land. One such spot, Ka Lae, is the southernmost point on the Big Island and is pummeled with gusts so strong that trees in the area have been permanently warped by their tremendous force. 7 of 9 Lake Nipissing Liam Quinn /Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0 Tucked between the Ontario River and the Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada, the 337-square-mile Lake Nipissing receives harsh winds that distort its trees into bizarre shapes. Its location near the river and the bay create a climate such that powerful weather often hits the popular fishing spot and distorts the white pine, ash, and other trees found there. 8 of 9 Nelson Photography by Gary Radler / Getty Images The tiny fishing village of Nelson in Victoria, Australia occasionally receives gusts of wind so powerful, that some of the trees that manage to grow into maturity there do so in a dramatically bent fashion. The intensity of the wind in Nelson can be partly attributed to its location on Discovery Bay on Australia’s southeastern coast. In addition to its wind-blown trees, the quiet town of only 190 residents, according to the 2016 census, is known for its 19th-century hotel and sheep grazing. 9 of 9 Cuckmere Haven Lemanieh / Getty Images Cuckmere Haven lies at the meeting of the River Cuckmere and the English Channel in Sussex, England. The rural beachfront area receives regular powerful winds that come in from the channel, up past the white chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters, and onto the grassy plains above. A majority of the few trees that manage to take root and grow on the grasslands of Cuckmere Haven are windswept and permanently bent from the unrelenting gusts incurred. The meandering River Cuckmere, which flows past a number of these peculiar-looking trees, draws visitors in from all over England for riverside walks and aquatic sports.