I’m perplexed by this. I’ve never seen anything like it. Have you?
Around the base of this modest-sized tree, and no other in the whole area, all the loose detritus is gone. The clear area extends a bit over a meter away from the trunk, and has no holes or dents or evidence that a heavy weight sat on the cleared area. The edge is even but not overly defined.
This special tree base is near a little-used but still public hiking trail. The spot is unremarkable, and nowhere near a hilltop or other prominence.
I’m thinking human not natural, without a doubt. But I can’t figure out why or what for….
Perhaps to mystify me and other hikers?