I recently went through every bear visit to a marking tree that my trail camera had recorded. I picked one photo per visit to show you, to give you an idea of how important these marking trees are to bears.
After a 6 month hiatus for hibernation, the first visit to the tree was in late May. I believe this was Milton, a male who has spent mating season here for many years.
A bear marking tree is a key communication center. Every now and then, a bear marking tree gets cut down or mowed over, and I always feel sad, knowing the role it's played in the lives of the bears. I hope that this mangled little tree stays standing for a long time!