Thorns on tree
trunks keep animals off from climbing and damaging the tree. It is
a protective mechanism. However, I notice that fruits of these many
varieties of thorny trees are actually not attractive. Examples are
Small-fruited Honeylocust (Gleditsia australis), Kwangtung
Scolopia (Scolopia saeva), Prickly Ash (Zanthoxylum
avicennae), Ailanthus-like Prickly Ash (Zanthoxylum
ailanthoides) etc. I wonder what these trees are scared of.
Here is Narrow Flower Poisonnut (Strychnos
augustiflora). Its fruits are like tangerines and attract
Cercopithecidae to pick them. Its thorns are like birds' claws, hard
and sharp and a bit scary. However, it takes time to grow, so they
are not necessarily brought into full play.
*translated by Mary Chung