The Crooked Forest (Pol. Krzywy Las) is one of the most beautiful places in Poland. There is no such charming and strange forest in the whole world. It can be seen in Nowy Czarnów, located four kilometers from Gryfino, close to the "Dolna Odra" Power Plant.
This growing "idiosyncratic forest" is a real natural peculiarity, in which about 100 deformed pines grow. This forest covers an area of approximately 0.30 hectare (0.74 acre). It was probably planted in 1934. "Krzywy Las" administratively belongs to the Gryfino Forest District, and thus to the Wełtyń Forest District.
What is the uniqueness of this forest
The uniqueness of this forest lies in the fact that just above the ground, the trunk of the trees does not grow vertically upwards. It turns at an angle of ninety degrees. The trunks of these trees are then arched wide so that the tree climbs normally upwards. An interesting fact about this forest is also the fact that all trunks of trees growing in this extraordinary forest are bent towards the north. The view these trees create is amazing.
The Curse of the Old Witch
Years ago, the Old Witch lived in a tiny hut in the Gryfino forest. She cast spells on nearby people who were reluctant to share all material goods and food with her. The Old Witch did not work anywhere, and by scaring people, teasing them in extraordinary ways, she tricked them into giving her the things she needed. It often happened in the village that when somebody's cow was about to calve, the women took eggs and baked wheat bread to the witch's in the forest, so that the old woman would not curse the expected offspring. When the harvesters were going out to the field, they would put out sausage and salted meat for her. But once, they forgot to give the expected gifts and the witch cursed the whole village. Apparently, since then, numerous floods and crop failures have plagued the entire area. When the Old Witch died, she was buried in the forest. The wise forest, it did not want Witche's evil body to rest in its soil after death. So in the area where her cabin and farmhouse had once been, cursed pine trees that were stunted and crooked began to grow.
Straight pines are all around it
There are simple pines growing around this extraordinary forest. This fact allows us to assume that someone must have contributed to the deformation of the young trees growing in this place. Such a curvature of character of the tree trunks as noticed in the aforementioned forest is of course a rarity. A tree curved in this way is useful for making many items whose primary material is wood.
The pines are rather small
The rounded curves of the pines that grow here are up to three meters (10 ft) long. Above the arch, tree trunks already grow vertically upwards, which makes them look like dwarf trees. Despite their age, the pines are rather small, there are no pines that would grow to, for example, 15 meters. Among this unusual assortment, it can be noticed that, at the beginning of each bend, there are old knots, so the young trees were probably incised at the side branches to give them an extraordinary form. The number of rings in the above-mentioned knots proves that these treatments were performed on 10-year-old trees.
Looking at the forest management, there are known cases of special damage to trees, making them unnaturally bent. The wood obtained from such spectacular specimens served special uses. For example, crooked tree trunks have been used to build boats, lineless vats, and home furnishings, such as chairs and libraries with cornices. As you can see, the pines in the "Crooked Forest" were also meant to be used for creative human activities. The trees growing here have been recognized as an extremely beautiful natural monument.
Apparently, in the post-war times, the Communists were supposed to bury some of their goods in this forest. But the crooked trees in the Crooked Forest chased the bad guys out of their territory in a way only known to them. From then on, the Communists were afraid to enter this place.
See also: Cooked Forest, Wikipedia
All images from Wikipedia.
Translation from Polish by Andrew Woźniewicz.