During the final stages of the Second World War, a trench was dug in woodland near a small Polish village, probably by prisoners of war. There are no eye witness accounts and very few artefacts survive. The only way the story of these prisoners can be told is through the material memory held by the woodland. This paper aims to broaden the concept of material culture by considering the archaeological record that is retained in the bark of living trees. The focus is on the beech trees of Chycina that may hold the only record of the construction of a small section of the Festungsfront Oder-Warthe-Bogen in western Poland in 1944.