Strangulations. - We are now in a position to understand the so-called strangulations which result when woody climbers, telegraph wires, etc., kill or injure trees by tightly winding round them. If strong wire is twisted horizontally round a stem, the growth in thickness of the latter causes the trapping of the cortex and cambium, etc., between the wire and the wood, and a ringing process is set up in consequence of the death of the compressed tissues. A callus then forms above the wound, as in the case of true ringing by means of a cut, and eventually bulges over the upper side of the wire: in the course of years this overgrowth may completely cover in the wire, and, pressing on to the lower lip of the wound, may at length fuse with the cambium below. Hereafter the thickening rings of wood are continuous over the buried wire. The process is obstructed by all the impediments referred to in dealing with ringing, and of course the stem thickens more above than below the wire. If the sapwood is thin, and the bark is so thick as to put great obstacles in the way of the junction of the upper and lower cambiums, death may result - the tree is permanently ringed. (See p. 201.)
Spiral grooves are frequently met with where Wood-bine or other woody climbers have twined round a young stem or branch, the upper lip of the groove always protruding more than the lower. If a kink or a crossing of two plants or branches of the twiner results in a complete horizontal ring, the results are as in the above cases of ringing and strangulation. Naturally grooved walking sticks are often seen.
Buried letters, etc. - These processes of healing by occlusion enable us to understand how letters of the alphabet, cut into the wood of trees, come to be buried deep in the timber as successive annual rings cover them in more and more. Chains, nails, rope, etc., have frequently been found thus buried in wood.