Status: 20.11.2023, 19:30 p.m.
By: Ines Alms
Attentive walkers have certainly spotted them before, the tree beads, called callus in technical language. These bark growths are necessary for the tree.
Tree bead, witch's egg, gnubbel or tree tuber – if you walk through the forest with your eyes open and look at trees, you may have already seen one of these strange protrusions on the bark, which are referred to as callus in arborology. What this is all about and what you can do with these tree beads, a user reveals on TikTok.
Tree beads are formed by the self-healing of the tree
A tree bead is botanically referred to as a callus – here the tree has healed itself. © Pond5 Images/Imago
In a video on the TikTok blog Die.Waldeule, a woman goes looking for pearls in the forest. It does not find them on the ground like truffles, but often well camouflaged on tree trunks, for example on beeches or oaks. Sometimes they are bulging, sometimes smooth, thumb-sized or like a giant egg – hence the nickname dragon egg. To put it simply, these are "small wooden balls that the tree forms when it heals itself in one place," explains Die.Waldeule. They are not to be confused with tree resin.
When these knobs are finished from the tree, the tree can repel them. And if they can be detached without much force, they are already no longer connected to the trunk wood and there is no hole, explains the TikTok user. Without bark, these tree beads are beautifully grained hand flatterers, but they can also be used to make jewelry.
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It takes years for a tree bead to form
The other users are very interested and some of them already have experience with tree beads:
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Fancy a voyage of discovery?
- "Oh crass. Came across it by chance and learned something again. I've seen these pearls several times and never knew what they were. 😃"
- "I've only found them on birch trees so far, and I haven't found any particularly large ones either."
- "Cool, I have to go tomorrow."
- "I also found my first one today. 😁"
Scientifically, these outgrowths are not referred to as tree canker, but as overgrowth or callus. This bead-like wood is formed by the tree after damage to close the wound and is a protection against invading germs. The process of flooding can take several years.